The UC High Wrestling Team is working hard to improve and hopefully return to the mat soon, safely in accordance with COVID-19 protocols.
Captain Senior Santiago Garcia is hopeful that a season will take place. “I’m very excited, and I hope there is a season,” he said. “We have a lot of wrestlers with a lot of potential that shouldn’t go to waste,” he continued.
Senior Abel Estrada agreed, “I believe [the California Interscholastic Federation] will find a way with safety guidelines to let us wrestle,” he said. “Even if that means wrestling with a mask on, I would still be stoked.”
Junior Michael Holter is hopeful that the team will come back strong if there is in fact a season. The wrestlers have been putting in work individually to stay strong and ready for a possible return whenever CIF and COVID-19 conditions allow. “I think the pause hasn’t affected the team too much,” Holter said. “We still try to work and train as much as we can on our own in the gym, backyards, or wherever else is available.”
Holter did admit that training by himself has been tough. “I’ve definitely missed getting together with the whole team and training as one,” he said.
Garcia has high goals for the team, even in these unforeseen times, provided that a season does take place. “This year as a team if we work hard, I think it is possible that we could become League champs,” he said. “Individually I think a lot of our wrestlers could win League in their own weight class. Some could possibly even represent our school at state if they work hard and get some good results,” he continued.
Senior Danny Mendoza explained that the Wrestling Team hasn’t missed too much of their season at the present time. “The wrestling season wouldn’t have started yet so we haven’t missed any competitions. However, there are offseason freestyle wrestling tournaments which have been canceled,” he said.
Garcia stated that there is definitely a sense of a “brotherhood” among the wrestlers on the team. “When you join the Wrestling Team, you aren’t just joining any sport,” he said. “You are joining the brotherhood [on the UC High Wrestling Team], as well as the amazing and loving wrestling community,” he said.
The Team USA website acknowledges the sense of brotherhood the sport provides. “Despite tragedy and trails, the wrestling community will find a way to support its brothers,” the website says (teamusa.org). The UC Wrestling Team’s motto backs that up as it states, “Those who stay will be champions.”
“As captain I am looking forward to leading the team, as well as the newcomers, and showing them what a great and fun experience being on the Wrestling Team is,” Garcia said.