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The Accolade

The Student News Site of Sunny Hills High School

The Accolade

The Student News Site of Sunny Hills High School

The Accolade

GIRLS WRESTLING PREVIEW: Lady Lancers hope to body themselves into CIF

Senior+SooRin+Hwangbo+%28top%29+and+sophomore+Keira+Suh+practice+their+techniques+in+the+Sunny+Hills+wrestling+room+Wednesday%2C+November+15%2C+to+train+for+their+first+Freeway+League+match+at+home+against+the+Sonora+Raiders+on+Wednesday%2C+Nov.+29.+
Chloe Kang
Senior SooRin Hwangbo (top) and sophomore Keira Suh practice their techniques in the Sunny Hills wrestling room Wednesday, November 15, to train for their first Freeway League match at home against the Sonora Raiders on Wednesday, Nov. 29.

Coaches: Matthew Acosta (head coach), Fernando Mora (assistant coach), Ethan Nguyen (assistant coach)

Top Returning Wrestlers: Kayla Alamos (12), SooRin Hwangbo (12), Sage Moreno (12)

Top Newcomer: Ava Flores (9)

Last Season: Despite a winless 0-5 Freeway League record, the Lady Lancers found success with individual performances. Five of the seven wrestlers secured a spot in CIF matches after placing in the Top 3 of their respective weight classes. Alamos made it to the Day-2 CIF competition, and the rest completed their season after the first match day.

Outlook: This season, Nguyen, who oversees on-the-mat training with Mora, hopes to build on those individual accomplishments last season.

“For the teams, I would like them to win at least one game match,” Nguyen said. “But as for individuals, I really want to see my three seniors do very well [in CIF]. I think Kayla has a chance to make it to the state tournament this year.” 

In her fourth year on the team, Alamos said she looks forward to growing with her teammates and recruiting more wrestlers. 

“We want to show that we are very welcoming and willing to teach anyone as long as they try,” the senior said. 

The wrestling rules state that for teams to be able to win matches strictly by points, they need at least seven girls all in different weight classes. Since the Lady Lancers do not meet this requirement, they need to win every match by pin, which makes it that much harder for team victories to be possible, despite individual feats.

Another concern for Nguyen is keeping the Lady Lancers healthy.

“One of the biggest issues was injuries and cardio because for some reason, girls wrestling is more brutal than guys wrestling,” he said. “They had this burn to wrestle continuously, and we wanted to give them that experience, but at the same time, making sure they are safe.”

Nguyen said his summer conditioning program was one way to work on curbing injuries during the season.

“During summer, we focused a lot on technique and refinement to essentially make them perfectionists on the mat, as every detail matters,” he said. “Now, we really focus on building a strong mentality [as a team] and constantly push the girls to become better.” 

Alamos said she appreciates the experiences she’s gained along with the intrinsic growth the sport offers. 

“I would say wrestling builds character,” she said. “It helps you learn lessons later in life and teaches you how to push through your challenges no matter how much you think you can’t.”

Hwangbo said she hopes to continue building upon her talent in her favorite sport and hopes for her and the team to perform well in Freeway League and CIF play. 

“Wrestling is a mentally and physically difficult sport,” she said. “All the hard practices, hours of working on techniques and drilling, not being able to eat or drink because of weight cutting.

“But being able to get your hand raised at the end of a match always makes it worth it. I wouldn’t change [competing] for the world.” 

The Lady Lancers will be competing in their first Freeway League match against the Sonora Raiders on Wednesday, Nov. 29, at 6:30 p.m. in the SH gym.

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Jiwoo Han, Opinion Editor
Senior Jiwoo Han returns to The Accolade this school year as one of the opinion editors. Han served as one of the sports editors in the 2022-2023 school year and hopes to integrate his knowledge of working with a co-editor into this year’s staff as well. As a fourth-year member of the journalism program, Han received many accolades for his sports writing and spent the majority of his junior year writing sports recaps. Han clinched fifth place in sports writing for the Orange County Journalism Education Association competition, a journalism competition among students in the Orange County region, and he hopes to continue receiving merits for his writing this upcoming year as well. Besides working for The Accolade, Han leads the Hallelujah Club and does community service work with the CAL GIVE organization, as well as with his church members for a homeless shelter. Han also enjoys cooking, hanging out with his friends and listening to/playing music. With greater talent and composition, Han hopes to bring a positive influence and light to the campus.
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