WRESTLING MID-SEASON REPORT: With an underclassman takeover, the boys and girls teams strives to build its stamina, a key factor to its success

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Audrey Seo

Junior Kylie Yang works on conditioning alongside fellow teammates during a Nov. 15 practice at the wrestling room (Room 153).

Rachel Yun

Coaches: David Barr (head coach), David Wilde (head coach), Ethan Nguyen (assistant coach)

Top Returning Players: Kayla Alamos (10), Logan Filadelfia (11), Paul Garcia (11), Kyle Hunkin (11), Liam Kim (10), Jeremy Lee (11), Kevin Moreno (11), Jenna Park (11), Kylie Yang (11)

Top Newcomers:  Aute Blackwell (12), Davon Fuller (10), Andrew Gomez (11), Soorin Hwangbo (10), Kaito Inoue (10), Andrew Katayama (9) 

Last Season:  After CIF State condensed the 2020-21 season into “fall” and “spring” groups, the wrestling program was pushed to the spring season, playing in March instead of December and were able to participate in CIF Playoffs. The Lady Lancers placed second place (4-1) overall while the boys finished third place (3-2) in the Freeway League season. Seven wrestlers qualified for CIF, and Yang and Class of 2021 then senior Briann Tran further qualified for unofficial off-season state. Tran would go on to finish third overall.

Outlook: With more than ten incoming wrestlers, the squad looks to build its core foundation of endurance and speed to place at least second in the Freeway League and qualify more players into the state playoffs, Barr said.

“I feel like [we] have a pretty good work ethic, and they are driven to wrestling and to have success this year,” said second-year head coach Barr, who believes Sonora is the Lancer’s biggest competition. “They all want to build off of last year and want to get a better match.”

Wilde handles all of the administrative work for both of the teams and Barr, along Nguyen,. handles the daily practices at the wrestling room.

During the beginning of the 2020-2021 season, the Lancers practiced at the baseball fields. However, the Lancers were able to practice indoors in the wrestling room during the 2021-2022 school year when they started off with basic drills and hard conditioning.

“The team struggles with conditioning, but we got through it [with] drilling and working out our calisthenics,” Barr said. “Conditioning is really important, especially for the incoming players, as it builds up their cardio so that they can last through their matches, and they can outlast the other [opponents].”

Heading into her second year on the team, Park, who placed seventh in the Dick Morris Memorial Tournament at Corona Del Mar High School on Jan. 15, said she is excited to compete once again and put in the hard work alongside her teammates.

“We started out good, but we are striving to get better,” she said. “With the team filled with underclassmen, I’m excited to maximize our potential and put in the hard work to get that [win].”

The Lancers have been participating in different competitions before their league season, including the San Clemente Rotary on Jan. 8.     

“In these tournaments, I have faced a lot of different schools and wrestlers that helped me become a better wrestler,” Filadelfia said. “For the future, I want to build on my strength and stamina, so I can out-wrestle my opponents.”

Coming out of the Lancer Wrestling Duel against Sonora at the Sunny Hills Gym on Jan. 19, the Lady Lancers dominated with three pins in three matches contributing to their Freeway League undefeated record of 4-0. However, the boys team lost their second consecutive league game to an overall score of 1-3.

In their final league game of the season, they will battle Fullerton in an away game today, Jan. 25 at 5:30 p.m.

“As a young team, we’ve been strong ‘til now, and we’re going to work even harder in our future games,” Barr said.