Wrestling: Blom and Liddle make CCS tourney

March 20, 2018 — by Mathew Luo and Rahul Vadlakonda

After qualifying to CCS Masters Championships, wrestlers prevented from participating due to injuries. 

Although the wrestling team initially struggled throughout this season due to a lack of participants, two of its members, senior Allie Liddle and freshman Linus Blom, made it to the CCS Masters Championships on Feb. 23 and 24, a tournament only the top 32 wrestlers in CCS participate in. Blom, who wrestles in the 108-pound weight class, went 2-2 in the tournament, getting injured in his last match due to a pinched nerve and Liddle could not wrestle since he sustained an injury before CCS.

Despite not being able to wrestle in CCS, Liddle’s commitment to wrestling allowed him to finish his high school wrestling career ranked No. 22 out of 60 statewide competitors in the heavyweight division. Though Blom is not ranked this year, as this was his first season on the high school team, he nonetheless attained success during the regular season, achieving a record of 32-12.

As an experienced wrestler even before coming to the school’s wrestling team, Blom looks back proudly at the amount of work he put in leading up to and during the season.

“I attribute all the hard work that we put in the [wrestling] room to making it this far,” Blom said.

Blom credits coach Daniel Gamez for much of his success, as Gamez pushed them hard during practices and trained them to counter any opponent they came up against. In addition to physical training, Blom also said that the mental preparation he went through during this season allowed him to progress.

“[Coach Gamez] motivates me to do more, and that is how you move forward in wrestling,” he said. “He always has my back, teaching me to learn from my mistakes after tough losses.”

While this was Blom’s first season in high school wrestling, it was Liddle’s last.

Much like Blom, Liddle attributes his success to the physical and mental training from coach Gamez— physically, through the conditioning they did during the season and mentally through pushing him to his “limits as a wrestler.”

Junior Victor Chen, a teammate of Blom’s and Liddle’s, credits the dedication the two give to the sport in order to attain such a level.

“I attribute their success to how hard they work,” he said. “They have a driver and motivation to get better at each practice.”

For Liddle, the bulk of his offseason training occurs through the lifting he does in order to prepare for the football season; for Blom, the year-round training he does at wrestling clubs around the area, keeps him prepared and in shape for upcoming seasons.

Through this training in the offseason, Chen says that the two wrestlers are in better shape than many of the other wrestlers on the team.

As Blom has aspirations set on making it to the state tournament next season, he aims to continue training during the offseason.

For the next three seasons, I will set up higher expectations for myself,” Blom said. “I will train super hard during the offseason, to be ready to go in the [upcoming] season and lead the Falcons.”