5-member wrestling team hopes to increase size in future

February 15, 2023 — by Nikhil Mathihalli
Photo by Anthony Wang
 Coach Taylor Wilson and senior captain Sohum Bhan instruct a series of wrestling moves to the rest of the team.
Senior Sohum Bhan, the sole varsity wrestler on the team, expects the program to expand with younger members recruiting incoming freshmen to join.

The wrestling team this year has only five members — an extraordinarily small team even for a group that annually fights to attract participants.

Those five members recently competed in their league tournament on Feb. 4. 

While senior captain Sohum Bhan, the only varsity member of the team, did not place in the tournament, he hoped to place top 16 in the regional qualifier for the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League on Feb. 11 to qualify for CCS. (The Falcon was unable to cover this meet in its print edition because of printing deadlines.)

Apart from Bhan, sophomore Rebecca Bossow placed third among the female JV wrestlers and freshman Elizabeth Kline placed fifth. The team operates under head coach Taylor Wilson, who, according to Bhan, has a relatively laid-back approach.

As a senior, Bhan said his main goal for the season was to recruit as many new athletes as possible. To his disappointment, he could only get senior Tony Fernandes to join.

“Although I was slightly unsuccessful, I expect our three returning members to bring along new members with them and expand our wrestling program,” Bhan said.

The only returning members to the team this year were Bhan and Bossow. Kline and Pastega are new members of the team this year but learned the basic skills relatively quickly, according to Bhan.

“Wrestling is a sport where you can’t really fake your way through the season,” Bhan said. “So I really like the way [Taylor Wilson] coaches. We’re all working to improve our individual skills, and it’s more effective to work at your own pace.”

Over his four years on the wrestling team, Bhan developed a connection to the sport and those who participate in it. Since he is the only varsity wrestler on the team, he is often unfamiliar with wrestlers from other schools. During the league tournament, Bhan did not know any other wrestlers, but still found the wrestling community welcoming and comfortable.

“[Other wrestlers] were comfortable with me and allowed me to warm up with them,” Bhan said. “Overall, the whole wrestling community is encouraging and it’s not toxic like many other sports. I’ve definitely enjoyed my last four years as a wrestler.”

Tags: wrestling
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