Cougar wrestling team trains hard for season and has great success

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Photo: SLV Yearbook

As the wrestling season begins, the wrestlers, who have been practicing for about a month now, are itching for the rush of adrenaline they get on the mat.

The San Lorenzo Valley High wrestling team’s coaches this year are Todd Kraft and Ken Pollastrini. The team captain this year is Senior Jed Kraft.

Sophomore Evan Heywood said, “Some returning wrestlers to watch out for this season Jed Kraft (senior), Ian (senior), Jeremiah Aguirre (junior), Dominic Aguirre (junior), and Jesse Berry (sophomore).” There are many returning wrestlers this year and everyone is expecting a really good season for the team.

On Wednesday, December 2, there was a novice tournament at Scotts Valley High. Three freshmen, one sophomore and one senior from SLV competed at the event. Two of the wrestlers, one sophomore and one freshman, placed third and one of the other freshmen placed second. Senior Jake Hampton placed first in the tournament.

On Saturday, December 5, there was a Frosh/Soph tournament at Harbor High and a Varsity tournament at Half Moon Bay High. At the frosh/soph tournament, Jesse Berry (sophomore) placed first and Joe Hardenbrook (sophomore) placed second, as did freshman Zyriz De La Torre. Junior Dominic Aguirre also placed third while his twin brother Jeremiah placed fourth.

Wrestling is a warrior’s sport. One must be in great shape as they have three rounds that last two minutes each. The wrestlers run one mile every Monday, Wednesday and Friday before practice. On Tuesdays and Thursdays the team goes into the weight room and works out, doing bench presses, pull-ups or even push ups. Wrestling takes endurance, strength and mental fortitude.

Wrestling is a full contact sport; each wrestler is trying to pin the other. It is very difficult to keep a person’s shoulders on a mat while the other person is struggling to get to his stomach. In a wrestling match, one needs to have the strength to lift someone in the air and slam them back down on the mat.

When someone loses, sometimes it can really get in their head and stop them from performing at their best. If someone has good mental endurance, they can use their failures in matches to learn from their mistakes. A good wrestler does not let losses get to them, but they review that match and work on the things they did wrong in their match.

There are many ways to score in a wrestling match. There are “takedowns”, which gives a wrestler two points, “reversals”, which are worth two points, “near fall”, which can either give two points or three, an “escape”, which is worth one point, and a “pin” ends the match giving the wrestler who pinned the opponent a win and six points toward their team.

There are many ways to get a penalty call and give the other wrestler a point. Points are given for a takedown when one of the wrestlers is behind the other and one of the opponents is on their hands and knees or flat on their stomach. Reversals are when a wrestler on the bottom performs a move and ends up on top with the other wrestler on the bottom. Near Fall is when a wrestler turns their opponent past 90 degrees and almost pins their opponent. Escapes are when a wrestler on the bottom escapes and the two wrestlers are standing. A Pin is when one wrestler holds the other wrestlers shoulders on the mat.

There are many ways to hurt someone and wrestlers use that to their advantage. There are several different moves that can bring pain to an individual, whether it pins them or not. Sometimes wrestlers use moves just to weaken and tire their opponent.

By Wyatt Atchley

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