January 29, 2020 —
Despite facing overwhelming odds with a team consisting of just six returning athletes of 20, head coach Taylor Wilson has managed to mold a competitive squad.
To this point, the Falcons have performed well in tournaments but struggled in dual meets.
According to Wilson, the co-ed team has medaled at every tournament they have attended, with senior Kole Tippetts placing second and junior Trevor Green placing third at the Santa Clara tournament on Jan. 14.
Due to the team’s strong tournament performances, the team has high hopes of qualifying for CCS through their league matches, which started Jan. 9.
Three girls on the team — freshman Irene Frazier, junior Nora Sherman and junior Nina Dertorossian — have already secured a CCS spot by placing top eight in a 32-tournament bracket, and the team hopes to send five boys to CCS, effectively taking all of the CCS league spots. Considering that only the top five wrestlers in the league are able to qualify, according to Wilson, this would be a significant achievement for the relatively inexperienced team.
To accomplish this feat, the team has been training for at least two hours each school day during the season, focusing on muscle repetition and “getting the body used to wrestling.”
“We’re not doing anything new right before leagues,” Wilson said. “The biggest thing right now is practicing so that during competition, you can put yourself in positions where you’ve been there before and you can let your body take over.”
The Falcons are 1-2 in dual meets: they have beaten Santa Teresa but lost to Milpitas and Monta Vista. According to Tippetts, this problem doesn’t stem from team members’ weak individual performances; rather the team’s lack of members in the 145 and 190 lbs weight classes puts them at an automatic disadvantage.
“We don’t have enough people, so we have to forfeit 12 to 18 points a meet and start out 0-12 or 0-18,” Tippetts said.
Despite this, Wilson is happy the team’s performance overall.
“Considering the fact that I have a young team, we’re having a pretty successful season,” Wilson said. “I didn’t really know what to expect at first, but as of right now, I’m proud of the kids.”