Wrestling Newcomers Thrive at Novice Tourney

Kylie Choi, Staff Writer

Many rookie wrestlers showed promise at the novice tournament held on December 6.

Most of Campolindo’s 1st-time wrestlers won at least 1 match; some won more. Junior Lucas Tucker was undefeated during the tournament and pinned each of his opponents during the 1st period. Junior Kimo Okamura also showed potential, finishing the tournament with a 3-1 record.

Coach Travis Louis said the tournament was a success for the young Cougars. “[The novices] all are ready and they want to battle, they want to win and have really good attitudes towards that. They all fought hard. We didn’t have anyone who gave up ever,” he said. 

Heading into the competition, freshman Molly Breznikar hoped to do well against lighter opponents. “I don’t know any of the competitors [be]cause they’re all from different schools, but I am on the higher end of my weight class so hoping that’ll give me a little bit of an advantage,” said Breznikar.

According to sophomore varsity wrestler Madison Lee, the team needs to work on shots. A shot is an offensive move that puts the opponent on the ground. After getting them on the ground, Lee explained, “move from there to get a winning combination or just get more points.”

Coach Louis Suba was happy that the number of female wrestlers on the squad continues to increase, and said that he hoped it would keep growing. Many of the novice wrestlers on Campolindo’s squad are girls.

“We’d love to get, you know, more, if we can, because we’re going to be entering more and more girls’ tournaments. We’ve got more on the schedule this year. And we’re probably going to even add more that aren’t on the schedule,” Suba said of their plans for future seasons.

Lee said that being a female wrestler is special. “Being a girl wrestler, there’s something really different, and, like, you develop a, like, very close relationship with people you meet because it’s a really niche sport,” she said.

While the Cougars are enjoying larger participation numbers, Lee does not expect his team to win many matches this season as so many of his competitors are learning the sport for the 1st time.

“I think our biggest goal is improving from last year,” Lee said.