Taking down the competition

On a cloudy Saturday afternoon, the boys varsity wrestling team felt “confident” going into their meet against Downey High School on Nov. 20—and rightfully so. 

“Our preparation had definitely paid off,” said varsity captain, senior Connor Kaplan. “It was a nice way to start the season.”

Winning four of their five matches and placing second overall, the team walked away from their meet feeling “proud,” despite losing to the 17th best team in the state, Corona Centennial. Although he went undefeated, Kaplan used his match as an opportunity to learn, stating that his team plans to improve their cardio and sense of community.

“We did well, but I think I learned to stick with my team and try to be more encouraging towards younger teammates,” Kaplan said.

Practice throughout the pandemic proved difficult for the team, as wrestling was deemed the highest COVID-19-risk sport. Unable to begin their season until late April, they only recently began attending normal tournaments, which require proof of vaccinations and COVID-19 tests. 

“Wrestling has been tough throughout the pandemic,” senior Brock Morishige said. “The masks and the cohorts got in the way, and I’m glad that’s not something we have to deal with anymore. We learned that we need to work even harder to win CIF this season, and I think it’s something we can accomplish.”