Wrestling team switches regimen to start from scratch, promotes stronger team bonding

December 9, 2019 — by Nicole Lu and Cici Xu

Connected to the side of the Large Gym and secluded from the center of the school is the school’s wrestling room. A tattered poster hangs from the doorway, its bright colors advertising the open mat wrestling program. Loud music blasts from the speakers behind the door where a select group of athletes come to train every weekday during the winter season.

The wrestling team is focusing on learning more basic techniques this year compared to last year, when conditioning was the bigger focus. 

Senior varsity wrestler Nico Sabato said the team didn’t always have proper form and technique when they got into matches. “This year, we are starting off basically from scratch.”

In order to continue facilitating this new approach, coach Taylor Wilson is making the veterans on the team work with the rookies so that they can get a good understanding of the sport quickly, according to senior wrestling captain Robbie Bilic.

The team’s first practice meet was held in the Half Moon Bay High School gym on Dec. 7 against a variety of different schools. Bilic placed 6th at 170lb, Sabato placed as a consolation prize B champion at 152lb and senior Kole Tippetts placed 8th also at 152lb. 

Though the newer wrestlers struggled in their matches, Bilic holds out hope for future tournaments, stating that he has “a good feeling about the team because we have plenty of people.”

A typical practice lasts for around two hours. The team starts with a 20 minute warm-up, before stretching in a circle with the captains sitting in the middle, leading the team. The team usually goes over some old moves first, then a new one or different variations of an old one. They practice drills and do some live sessions before ending it all with some warmdowns. 

Despite the changing training schedule, Tippetts has confidence in their gradual improvement.

“I am feeling pretty good for the people that we have now, and I am hopeful for the younger kids,” Tippetts said. “It was really beneficial to have wrestlers who made it into CCS who helped us a lot with our technique. Now, hopefully we can teach the younger kids and have relatively good results this year.”