Liddle wins at league tourney; injuries deplete roster

March 1, 2018 — by Sean Oh

After a successful season with two gold and silver medals, senior Alexander Liddle continued the trend, winning the 285-lb weight class at the Santa Clara Valley Athletics League (SCVAL) league tournament on Feb. 9 and 10 at Los Gatos High.

Additionally, freshman Linus Blom placed second in the 106-lb weight class, senior William Sabato placed fifth in the 113-lb weight class and junior Victor Chen placed seventh in the 126-lb weight class.

In the semi-finals round, Liddle faced senior Miguel Maes from Wilcox High, pinning him in 28 seconds. The final round against Cohle Feliciano from Fremont High was more difficult, but concluded with a 5-3 victory for him.

In other action, Blom made the second fastest pin of just 16 seconds in his first round.

Liddle is seeded fourth for the boys CCS championship in the 285 lb weight class and will compete on Feb. 23 and 24 at Independence High School.

Despite these strong performances, the Falcons placed ninth overall out of 15 schools. Fremont finished first and Los Gatos took second. The Falcons have half the number of wrestlers as these squads.

“We just don’t have enough people to wrestle in certain weight classes while other teams do,” junior Isaiah Vivero said.

As the team closes out its season, injuries hurt them, from minor sprains to debilitating impairments.

Among the injured were freshman Hunter Hawley, who injured his thumb but healed before missing any meets, and freshman Nora Sherman, who dislocated her kneecap and chipped her femur and was unable to continue competing.

Injuries are common in wrestling due to the sport’s violent nature, but Sherman’s injury is more severe than usual, said Vivero.

For example, injuries that involve the knees, like Sherman’s, are part of the 17 percent of injuries from 14 high school wrestling teams, according to a study by the Cincinnati Sportsmedicine Research and Education Foundation. Additionally, they represent 44 percent of season-ending injuries in high school sports.

Injuries of this magnitude can result in the team missing out on tournament points if a wrestler is absent. Unlike other sports, coach Daniel Gamez said he cannot simply substitute in a new wrestler. Additionally, the smaller team size also means there is one less person to train and practice with.

“I wish I could participate in meets. It’s disappointing that I can’t until next year,” Sherman said.

The team’s injuries did not prevent them from exuberantly celebrating Senior Day at a meet against Los Altos High on Feb. 1.

Although SHS won four out of the five matches actually wrestled, forfeits led to an overall loss.


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Senior Charles Qi chips during a recent match.

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