Team wrestles to success despite challenges early in season

December 10, 2010 — by Brandon Judoprasetijo and Deborah Soung

“Keep calm and carry on,” was the British motto during the beginning of World War II, when invasion was imminent. Through the hectic beginning of the wrestling season, with a new coach, injured captain and an extremely young team, the wrestling team has also lived by this motto, managing to pull through with surprisingly strong results.

“I think the team did well considering this was a varsity tournament and most of the team is freshmen,” freshman Charles Li said.

Because the wrestling captain, junior Alfred Murabito, has been injured since the beginning of the season, other members are stepping up. Murabito strained his back during a practice and is working with a personal trainer separately from the rest of the team, so several other members of the team are acting as “stand-in” captains of the team.

Coach Joe Pele has not yet picked set captains, but after every practice, he chooses a varsity sophomore or junior to “break the practice off and say a little something,” sophomore Bryson Yates said.

“Team captains just run practice, like overseeing stretching and breaks, nothing big,” said sophomore Henry Wei, one of the substitute captains.

Wei said the season’s outlook is still murky, since the one of the team’s major wrestlers last year, alumnus Alan Yen, has graduated and is now wrestling at Stanford.

“We have a lot of young guys on the team without much experience, so we need some people to step it up,” Wei said.

On the other hand, sophomore Zachary Hansen, also a stand-in captain, thinks the team’s prospects look positive, even with such a young team.

“[The team is] at least twice as big or three times as big as last year’s,” Hansen said. “I think we’re going to do pretty well. Most of our wrestlers are pretty good in varsity; we even have a few freshmen wrestling varsity.”

Shown at the wrestling mat on Dec. 4 at Peninsula Invitational at Half Moon Bay, the wrestling team is still staying strong despite its young members.

Li wrestled his way to 6th place, Wei to 5th, Hansen to 4th and freshman Graham Grant to 3rd.

“It was a good meet,” Wei said. “Definitely not one of the hardest tournaments, but it gauged where we were and where we needed to improve.”

Wrestlers had a chance to show improvement on their last match on Dec. 16, but due to printing deadlines, the match could not be covered in the print issue of the Falcon.

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