By Brandon Yung
Inside the practice gym, the unrolled black mats are crowded with wrestlers — both new and experienced. Captain of the wrestling team, senior Caleb St. Julian leads the team in a last set of drills for the night’s practice. The wrestling team, which has been meeting on Tuesdays and Thursdays for the last few months, is right about to advance into its full season schedule.
After a somewhat unfruitful season last year with no duel victories or Master’s qualifiers, the team’s overall varsity prospects don’t seem hopeful due to the loss of many of their top athletes to graduation. What the varsity team lacks in numbers however, it hopes to make up with individual talent. Seniors such as St. Julian and senior Emiliano Sornoso, both in the lower weight classes, have had relatively successful previous seasons are preparing for a prosperous final year with the team.
“This year I feel a lot of nerves seeing that it’s my last [year]. I’ve been working a lot harder this year than did in all of the previous ones. Hopefully, that will also translate into some of the younger members of the team,” St. Julian said.
While the wrestling team puts out for another year of duals and tournaments, the real assets of the team lie in the fresh faces on the mat. Lately, freshman additions to team have made for one of the largest and youngest rosters the squad has seen in years. Along with a renewed JV lineup, the team will be receiving a new mat to wrestle on this season — a much needed addition to the decade old mats that the team currently uses.
“We lost most of our strength [on the varsity team] but that’s okay because of the influx of new wrestlers, it’s refreshing to see this kind of turnout and motivation,” Al Shuden said, coach of the wrestling team.