Girl grapplers hope less is more


Maria Nunez

Kassandra Nieto and Alondra Juarez work on their technique at practice on December 16, 2021. Head Coach Ernesto Fuentes feels these two freshmen have what it takes to get to CCS.

While Covid has affected a lot of the teams, it has especially affected the girls’ wrestling team. They have not been able to practice during the summer like they did in the past, which has affected a lot of the girls’ conditioning and transition into the sport. 

Head Coach Ernesto Fuentes states that his expectations will always be the same for every season – to go to CCS, win, and then go State -, but this year all he wants is for his girls to wrestle in matches and experience a regular season of wrestling.

“Everybody is in their rebuilding year. All the girls are wrestling great for their first time,”  Fuentes said. 

Making the rebuilding process a little more difficult is a low turnout and a lack of experience. 

“We would average 18 to 23 girls every year, but this year we only have 9. The numbers went really low, but I think we will do great with the nine that we got,” Fuentes said. “We could do a lot of good things and I know we could make it to CCS.”  

This season the team has freshmen and sophomores who haven’t experienced a wrestling season. As of right now, the only returner, Celeste Meza, and two freshmen  – Alondra Juarez and Kassandra Nieto – have what is needed to make it to CCS and maybe even state, according to Fuentes.

Players aren’t feeling any different from how big their team is, they are only focusing on their own goals and what they need to improve on.

“This is a small team this year and even though we are not that big of a team we could still win championships and make it to CCS for our weight class,” said Kiana Thompson, a freshman. 

Having Meza being the only returning player this season is a bit stressful as everyone has to start from the bottom. This is a bit time-consuming as the usual goals have changed due to the circumstances of only having beginners on the team. 

The players have different goals that they are trying to accomplish throughout the season and they are working hard to accomplish them. “Some goals I have for myself is to learn how to take my shots because I usually wait for the other person to take the shots which don’t really help me, but I wanna learn how to take my shots in order for me to get the points and win the match,” said freshman Jazzaray Lopez.

Fuentes feels practice and the experience in matches will help the girls improve in the moves that they need in order for them to win PCAL championships. “These girls have a motivation and dedication to improve and show what they are capable of doing during the Trojan Wrath, giving their very best during practice everyday will make a difference in the tournament and even in PCAL Championships,” Fuentes said.

The Trojan Wrath Tournament is December 22, 2021, at 9 AM at Alisal.