Wrestling is topping from the bottom

It was a rough set of matches for Mens´ Wrestling, but they took back to Skyline a 6th place finish. (Diana Diroy)

It was a rough set of matches for Mens´ Wrestling, but they took back to Skyline a 6th place finish. (Diana Diroy)

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The Skyline men’s wrestling team went into the meet with Fresno City College looking for another win, but after a strong competition with this “tough team” the Trojans were defeated 27-14.

On Oct. 13, the Trojans met Fresno at Terra Nova for their only home game this season. The team had a large amount of family, friends, and supporters cheering them on.

The wrestlers from each team met on the mat under a dim spotlight while the rest of the gymnasium was dark. It was almost as if they were wrestling in their own world, except for the constant energy coming from the stands and the passionate support from Coach Creighton on the sideline.

Jean Leazard got Skyline on the scoreboard with three points and great wrestling. The Trojans stayed at three for some time while Fresno continued to raise their score. When Ali Lockett began his match, the score was 3-17. Lockett showed excitement and great athleticism to bring the crowd and his team back into the meet. The constant back and forth between Lockett and the Fresno wrestler ended in Skyline’s favor with Lockett bringing the score to 6-17.

After a quick loss to Fresno in the next match, Skyline was sitting with a score of 6-23, as Eric Helmstreit was ready to wrestle. Helmstreit, the top wrestler of the night, gave the Trojans a glimmer of hope as he threw his opponent to the ground. Helmstreit refused to be taken down and stood his ground no matter what moves the Fresno wrestler attempted. Helmstreit was declared the winner of his match, bringing a much-needed five points to his team, leaving the score at 11-23. Coach Creighton says that Helmstreit is definitely one of the top wrestlers.

“Helmstreit is as strong as an ox,” Creighton said. “He could well be the strongest 164 lb. wrestler in the state. People are scared of him.”

The last Skyline wrestler to be victorious was 174 lb. Austin Torres. Torres started off strong and took down his opponent with single leg takedowns. After a few rounds, Torres seemed to tire out and the crowd got nervous. The yells became louder for him to finish the match and Coach Creighton jumped up, yelling to Torres to get up and not give up. Torres didn’t give up the fight and got his reward when the referee held up his arm to declare his victory. After Torres’ win, Skyline lost one more match and the score ended at 14-27.

Coach Creighton couldn’t hide his dissatisfaction about the loss after the game.

“I am disappointed. I do not feel good about the loss,” Creighton said. “Fresno came ready. I don’t think we were quite ready for this level of competition. We were supposed to meet last week and they pulled out so I don’t know what the coaches were thinking. We still have a lot of work to do.”

Creighton got his satisfaction at the West Valley Invitational on Oct. 16 where his Trojans took 6th place out of 20 teams from junior colleges all over California.

Austin Torres was the only champion from that tournament. Alexis Lara took second place.

“My goal for finals is to walk away with a third place trophy. I’m being more realistic since we are ranked 6th now,” Creighton said. “We don’t have the talent to win on talent alone. There are a lot more teams who have wrestlers with more experience, but they’re not better coached.”

Coach Creighton says that everything they are doing now is preparation for finals on Dec.11. He believes he has a few strong wrestlers who will take trophies at the state finals.

Creighton still has high hopes and confidence in his team, stating very confidently that they will beat West Valley College on Oct.21 and Santa Rosa on Oct.22.

“We are a better team than both of these teams,” Coach Creighton said. “I feel good about us.”

The men’s wrestling team’s dual record is 2-2 right now. They took 5th in the Sacramento City invitational, 1st in the Modesto Invitational Tournament, and 6th in the West Valley Invitational.