GIRLS WRESTLING PREVIEW: New coach, increase in athletes raise expectations for season


Senior Kayla Alamos (above) puts her left arm around senior Kylie Yang to demonstrate the referees position during wrestling practice on Wednesday, Nov. 16, in Room 153.

Coaches: Matthew Acosta (head coach), Ethan Nguyen (assistant coach), David Park (assistant coach)

Top Returning Players: Kayla Alamos (11), Jenna Park (12), Kylie Yang (12)

Top Newcomers: Karina Leon (10), Keira Suh (9)

Last Season: The girls wrestling team took second in the Freeway League with a 4-1 record. Even with injured wrestlers, Alamos and three other wrestlers qualified for the CIF state tournament along with co-captain Yang, who made it to the girls wrestling state finals.

Outlook: With the girls wrestling team nearly doubling from five to nine wrestlers since last season, the coaches believe the Lady Lancers are capable of winning the Freeway League title and making it to the CIF individual tournament.

“This is [going to be] their best year; we’ve never had this many girls,” third-year assistant coach Nguyen said. “Newcomers and returning players are training every day, working really hard and looking better than any other school I’ve seen so far.”

Since former head coach David Barr resigned at the beginning of the school year, first-year social science teacher and assistant football coach Acosta was tapped to be the new head coach for the administrative side of the program.

“I’m excited to get to know everyone and hopefully make an impact on the wrestling program,” he said. “It’s essential to know everyone as much as they know me in order to bring the idea of family and unity to the wrestling program.” 

Since preseason, the Lady Lancers (4-3) have held conditioning sessions at the same time as the boys wrestling team Monday through Friday. 

“Most girls teams I’ve seen do not work out late and have separate practices,” Nguyen said. “The problem with that is the pace of wrestling between guys and girls is different … and that’s why our girls have the advantage because they’re more used to the pace of guys wrestling.”

Co-captain Park said she is excited for new wrestlers to bring different looks and more energy into the team.

“Having more people to practice changes the atmosphere and allows our previous wrestlers to experience different reactions from new wrestlers,” she said. “I’m expecting our girls team to go very far this year as the team is slowly growing.”

In the Lady Lancers’ most recent match Tuesday, Jan. 24, at Sonora High School, even though the girls won all their matches, the Raiders still came out ahead to take the win because the Lady Lancers didn’t have enough athletes in all weight classes. The Lady Lancers will next face the Esperanza Aztecs in the Esperanza High School gym on Saturday, Jan. 28, at 9 a.m.