Female athletes make history with girls’ first wrestling team


Freshman Kylie Yang (left) stares down Highlander wrestler Vanessa Hernandez during the Sunny Hills dual meet between La Habra and Sunny Hills Jan. 15 at the Sunny Hills gym. Yang won the 137-pound JV girls bout with a pin in the second period. Photo taken by Accolade photographer Paul Yasutake

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

Top Returning Players: Brianna Tran (11)

Top Newcomers: Daniella Berrios (12) and Kylie Yang (9)

Outlook: For the first time in Sunny Hills’ history, nine female students have formed the first girls wrestling team and are looking forward to winning Freeway League and reaching the CIF state competition. 

“I think the girls are a great addition to the wrestling program,” head coach Wilde said. “They have been training since last fall and are led by great coaches like Chew and O’Sullivan.

Though Wilde is mostly in charge of administrative duties, he was responsible for advertising girls wrestling last year.

“I made a whole bunch of announcements, put up posters around [campus] and had our returning female wrestler recruit girls and have them come in,” Wilde said. 

Coach Chew, who keeps the wrestlers motivated, directs their eyes to the prize — the CIF State competition. 

“I want them to know never to give up,” Chew said. “Whether it’s in sports or in life, I want them to keep fighting.” 

Tran, last year’s lone female wrestler, hopes to guide the new wrestlers through their first season.

“[Tran] ended up being one of the best wrestlers on the team and is the leader for girls wrestling,” Chew said. “The girls look up to her and aspire to reach her level.” 

He respects the girls’ strength and drive as they motivate one another, fuel friendly competitions and improve their skills.

“These girls aren’t afraid to compete and get tough despite how physical the sport is,” Chew said. “They’re little savages able to do what they set their minds to.”  

Berrios, one of the eight newcomers, took home a victory at the 36th annual Halloween Open at Cerritos College on Oct. 27.  

“I gave it my all and placed [first] at my very first [tournament],” she said. “It made me more confident for this year’s competitions, and I’m ready for whatever is headed my way.” 

The first official tournament will be held Nov. 23 at the Varsity Capo Valley Classic at 9 a.m. 

“I have faith in them, I believe in them,” Chew said.