By Sandy Grossman & Jordan Xiao
The wrestling team concluded its 2014-2015 season with an unsuccessful run for Masters at the CIF Coastal Division tournament, hosted at Lakeside High School from Friday to Saturday, February 20 to 21. Unfavorable seeding played a major role in hindering the team’s efforts, with none of five participating Tigers placing.
Freshman Irving Perez (106) lost to his class’ eventual fourth place winner in his first match, but floored an opponent in the runoffs before being eliminated. Junior Caleb St. Julian (120) fell under similar circumstances, losing by pin to his class’ third place seed. Junior Emiliano Sornoso (145) first suffered a difficult 19-4 loss to a senior from Elsinore, then narrowly missed a shot on the runoff mat with a 5-4 loss to a Hoover Tornado.
Senior Julian Lopez faced off against the 152-pound state champion from Santiago in his first match, losing by pin with 1:06 on the clock. Lopez fell one point short in his next match, falling out of the tournament after a 2-1 loss in the runoffs.
“Personally, I’m happy with my performance, especially considering that my first loss was to the number one wrestler for my weight class,” Lopez said.
Senior Harry Yun (113) was the only Tiger to advance into the tournament’s second day, with a bye and close 4-2 win over a wrestler from Corona before being pinned in the quarterfinals by the eventual first place winner from San Marino. Yun was eliminated from the runoffs after a tough 9-4 loss to the sixth place winner from Poly/Riverside.
“This year’s competition was significantly more challenging than last year’s,” Yun, who also participated in CIF last season, said. “I try not to be too hard on myself because I know I did everything I could have done to prepare for this tournament.”
Lopez shared his fellow senior’s sentiments over their final tournament representing SPHS.
“Everyone was a little bummed out that we didn’t place, but I think we were content with what we did and how we performed,” Lopez said.
The Tigers finished in Rio Hondo 0-5 in dual meets, but the 2014-2015 season marks an end to frequent forfeits, with SPHS fielding a full team for the first time in several years. Next season will be an important one for the team, as the Tigers will have to see if they can become competitive across all weight classes to ensure success beyond individual wrestlers. While many of the upper-weight wrestlers have shown considerable promise throughout the past season, further experience on the mat is the only way to improve.