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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

Multisport athletes draw on past experiences for an improved wrestling season

Freshman Quinn Bossow’s SCVAL bracket and performance.

Seven wrestlers on the wrestling team competed against 30 teams at Wilcox High on Feb. 2-3 for the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League (SCVAL) Finals. JV boys and girls competed on Feb. 2, while varsity boys hit the mat on Feb. 3. 

Many were hoping for a bid to CCS: The top seven contenders in each of the boys’ divisions qualified, and the top five wrestlers in each of the girls’ divisions qualified.

In the end, freshman Quinn Bossow was the only member to qualify. Although he placed eighth in the boys 106-pound weight class division, a wrestler above him in rankings declined to participate, giving him a slot. 

Three members of the team missed qualification to the CCS Championships by just one match, including Quinn’s older sister, junior Rebecca Bossow, who placed sixth in the girls 120-pound weight class division, sophomore Jayden Kwong, who placed eighth in the boys 165-pound weight class division, and freshman Suzy Xie, who placed sixth in the girls 135-pound weight class division. 

Among the team’s top performers at the event, many are multisport athletes who feel that participating in other sports has improved their performance in wrestling.

According to Bossow, his success this year is partially due to his experience playing water polo, which has helped him develop greater strength. After playing for the JV water polo team in the fall, he has noticed his endurance immensely increase, which has translated to his stronger performance in matches.

Kwong has also applied the knowledge and skills he’s gained from playing football on the school’s varsity team to wrestling. Since starting wrestling this year, he has found that the physical and mental aspects of both sports have been very similar. Football helped shape his drive to succeed and built his discipline and work ethic, while the athleticism that football required has helped him be more aware and “explosive” in wrestling matches.

“You’re forced to stay in a wrestling stance for hours at a time, so being able to build your legs in football [has helped me in matches],” Kwong said. 

Junior Keion Ashjaee-Marshall, who participates in the 190-weight class division, has seen that athletic experience translates across multiple sports. Like Kwong, he’s found his wrestling experience to be instrumental in his football journey.

“Wrestling definitely helps with your tackling form,” Ashjaee-Marshall said. “With your increased strength, you’re not as susceptible to injuries as other players, and it definitely gets you in shape.” 

As Ashjaee-Marshall competed in a large bracket with fierce competition, he was unable to qualify for CCS. 

Still, he is optimistic for improvement next year and also looks forward to a more expanded wrestling team. Coach Bianca Adams is currently hosting clinics at Redwood Middle to help bolster team numbers and increase the team size in future years.

At the same time, volunteer coaches Julian Garza and Hayley Aguilar and paid assistant coach Paola Ramirez have continued to help the team grow throughout the season. As many of the volunteer coaches have experience as high school and collegiate wrestlers, Ashjaee-Marshall said the experience they brought was “surreal” and the team spent every practice eager to learn and improve.

“The season was definitely way better than anyone expected,” Ashjaee-Marshall said. “We held our ground and put up good numbers against state and regional contenders. We developed way more this year than in the past years, and it’s a huge step for the wrestling program and the athletic program as a whole.”

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