The Skyline wrestling team has been training diligently to fight their way to state championships as they finish up the first one third of their fall 2015 season.
Coach James Haddon said that there are a lot of talented newcomers this year, who are all dedicated to working hard, progressing step by step alongside the few returning teammates. Although the freshmen may be persistent and dedicated, they face competitors frequently, like Fresno City College and Santa Rosa Junior College.
“The growth curve is kind of steep,” Haddon said. “They are getting better every day, and they bought into the system of step-by-step, inch-by-inch.”
“We’re doing okay right now, but there’s a lot of room for improvement,” said sophomore Coleman Maher. “If some people make some adjustments, they can probably be placing at every tournament. The matches they’re losing are close matches for some of our guys.”
Maher is one of the more experienced wrestlers, and he has been dedicated to training for the past few years while he took a break from the team.
“I trained as much as I could in the off-season, but sometimes it’s hard to find good wrestling [in the off-season], especially for people my size,” said Maher, explaining that most wrestlers are smaller than him since it’s a weight class sport.
His goals for this season are to work towards becoming state champion by scoring earlier in matches, while reaching his personal potential of knowing when to attack faster.
“We’ve had some ups and downs, but for the most part, I think our team is coming together, and we’re learning along the way,” Maker’s teammate, Brady Huang, said in regards to the team’s progress this season.
Huang is also a sophomore, and he described his wrestling style as “unorthodox.”
“A lot of guys, when they go against me, they’re kind of surprised that I put them in different positions,” Huang said. “As I have the element of surprise, I also have that wild funk where I might get caught myself, going for these dangerous moves.”
When training, Huang said the team uses situational drills where they practice scenarios that may happen in a match, so when they could be taken down, they are prepared to quickly respond as if it were a natural reaction.
Before tournaments Huang prepares himself not only physically, but also mentally by visualizing himself succeeding, and performing to the very best of his abilities. He also makes sure he wakes up in the morning of a tournament hyped and ready to go.
Coach Haddon and the teammates all explained that they believe, while winning is nice, it doesn’t mean everything. Instead, continually progressing themselves through healthy habits and hard work is very important to them.