Wrestling: New coach provides fresh start to season

November 3, 2010 — by Brandon Judoprasetijo and Deborah Soung

The wrestling season began on Nov. 1 with a fresh source of motivation: a new coach. Joe Pele has coached the Lynbrook High team for four years and the Miller Middle School team for six years in the past and is now looking to guide the Falcons in wrestling.

As an unfamiliar face to the team, Pele said that earning the boys’ trust can be a challenge. However, team members such as sophomore Tavius Woods are feeling good about new leadership.

“I feel more comfortable around him than our former coach,” said Woods. “As long as we try our best during matches, it doesn’t matter if we win or not, while it felt like the opposite in the past.”

Pele likes what he sees so far, commending experienced wrestlers such as senior Chris Burse and junior AJ Murabito for their leadership skills.

“Chris is knowledgeable and dedicated; he always works hard and is willing to help the younger guys. AJ shows great promise as a leader and is an extremely skilled wrestler,” said Pele.

Pele has also noticed several “blue chip” freshmen joining the team such as Graham Grant, Mike Fitzsimmons and Jason Li, all whom he describes as talented and focused.

The wrestling team is in the upper division of the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League, the De Anza League. To get into CCS, the team must place in the top three of its division, which is an extremely hard feat to accomplish, said Pele, who just wants his team members to try their hardest.

“I do not like to talk about what we can do, or what the wrestlers can do,” said Pele. “As they say—talk is cheap. The Saratoga Falcons will let their wrestling do the talking.”

Even before the season began, Pele had set a goal for the team: to build a “cohesive crew.”

“I want our team to know that we have each others’ backs,” said Pele. “I want our team members to be able to look at each other and know, for a fact, that their teammate left it all on the mat!”

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