Wrestlers send three members to CCS after a season of rebuilding

February 14, 2019 — by Mathew Luo and Phoebe Wang

Under coach Kirk  Abe’s leadership, the wrestling team sends three members to CCS and attracts over a dozen new members this season.

Three wrestlers, seniors Victor Chen and Carolyn Ma and sophomore Hunter Hawley, are attending CCS on Feb. 16 and Feb. 17, marking the end of wrestling’s first season with history teacher Kirk Abe’s return as head coach. Chen and Hawley qualified for CCS by placing third and fourth respectively at leagues on Feb. 9, while Ma qualified for CCS by placing fouth at the Lynbrook Girls’ tournament on Dec. 15.

Despite having to rebuild after the loss of sophomore Linus Blom to Los Gatos and Allie Liddle to graduation, many wrestlers ended their seasons with a winning record.

“We definitely improved a lot this season, transforming 80 percent of the team from being newbies to having them medal and wrestle well at tournaments and duals,” said senior captain Chen, whose personal record was 19-8.

Wrestlers experienced two departures from former coach Daniel Gamez’s training regime under Abe this season. While Gamez focused on conditioning, Abe focused on technique training and lifted the weight-cutting requirement that Gamez enforced.

According to Ma, this new training regime had multiple benefits: it attracted more wrestlers to participate in the sport and helped wrestlers out-technique other teams during tournaments.
“One of the big things for joining wrestling this year was Abe’s philosophy of wrestling over running,” Ma said. “If you don’t know how to wrestle, conditioning doesn’t help much. We’ve found that we’re often more technically advanced than other teams.”

Overall, Chen does not expect strong results at CCS. But more than results, Chen is satisfied with the revival this season brought to the wrestling team.

“Our team was really tight knit this year. We were all there for each other during tough practices, before big matches and when we cut weight,” said Chen.

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