Team of veteran wrestlers aims for Freeway League title

Junior+Luke+Yang+%28right%29+performs+a+3-point+near+fall+on+sophomore+Zion+Mejia+during+practices+on+Nov.+14+in+rm+153.+Photo+taken+by+Accolade+photographer+Paul+Yasutake

Junior Luke Yang (right) performs a 3-point near fall on sophomore Zion Mejia during practices on Nov. 14 in rm 153. Photo taken by Accolade photographer Paul Yasutake

Tyler Pak

Coaches: David Wilde (head coach), Josue Chew (assistant coach) and Ryan O’Sullivan (assistant coach)0

Top Returning Players: Ethan Nguyen (11), Andrew Park (12), David Park (12), Tim Park and Luke Yang (11)

Top Newcomers: Kai Bautista (9), Paul Garcia (9) and Gabe Serrato (9) .

Outlook: The Sunny Hills boys wrestling team hopes to improve and place first in Freeway League this season after finishing third with a 3-2 record last year. 

“Last year was myself and Coach Ryan’s first season, and now that we have this relationship with the wrestlers for over a year now, we all know how we operate,” Chew said. “They know what to expect from us, and we know what to expect from them.”

Improving the team’s technique and cardio are the main focuses in preparing for the upcoming season.

“[We’re] focusing on the very [basic] techniques [and] making sure everyone’s very comfortable with it,” Chew said. “[We’re also] making sure that the cardio is good to go by the time we get ready for our dual meet against the schools in the league.” 

Yang shares Chew’s enthusiasm.

“[This year,] I think the team is a lot better,” he said. “Last year, our will to win was pretty low because there weren’t high expectations for us going into last year with new coaches, and the majority of our guys being sophomores and juniors.”

Though the coaches and players have high expectations, they still acknowledge that becoming Freeway League champions will be no easy feat. 

“Sonora is definitely the top team in the league, [so] for us to be able to compete with them would be great,” Wilde said. “Last year, we were 3-2 in league, and I think this year we have a shot at improving to maybe 4-1; then hopefully, we can compete with Sonora.”

Chew also maintains that this could prove to be a successful season for the Lancers.

“I think this is probably the best the team has been in a while,” he said. “Kids have a lot of potential, and if they really just go 100 percent, they could probably win league if they really try.”