Trojan wrestlers finish eighth in state

The wrestling team wrapped up their season on Dec. 12 after placing eighth in the state at the California Community College State Championships.

While all four wrestlers that qualified did a great job, it was not quite the ending they had hoped for since they had been ranked as high as fourth during the season.

Jean Leazard ended at second place in the state in the 125 lb. weight class.

“He did a phenomenal job,” Wrestling Coach Creighton said. “He beat two guys that beat him during the season, but nerves got the best of him.”

Eric Helmstreit placed fourth at 157 lbs. This was Helmstreit’s last season on Skyline’s wrestling team and Creighton said he will miss him.

“He wrestled fairly well but since he took fourth he’s hungry now,” Creighton said. “Great things are in his future. I wish he could wrestle for us again. He had a great season, it just didn’t end the way he wanted it to.”

Austin Torres took fifth place in the 165 lb. weight class. Coach Creighton said Torres wrestled well at times and had exciting matches.

Alecxis Lara took eighth place in his weight class of 184 lbs.

“He was real banged up,” Creighton said. “But, he wrestled with the heart of a champion.”

At 197 lbs., Jeff Lema qualified for the state championships but Coach Creighton said he would do better in a weight class lower at 184 lbs.

“Lema got valuable experience, he knows what to do now and next year he will do better at 184 lbs.” Creighton said.

David Sequiera failed to place at 133 lbs but Coach Creighton still feels he will be great.

“He also showed the heart of a champion,” Creighton said. “He battled a lot of tough contenders and gained experience. Experience is everything in wrestling. He will be back next season, with a vengeance.”

Helmstreit and Torres will not be returning next season, but Sequiera, Leazard, Lara and Lema will be returning, among others.

Creighton is committed to setting a new standard for off-season training. He has high hopes for next season.

“I guarantee it will be better,” Creighton said. “Last season was my first season and right after I got the job, we were thrown right into practicing. I didn’t get a chance to recruit.”

Now Creighton and his assistant coaches are focused on recruiting and promoting the program.

“I feel that Skyline sports in general, but specifically Skyline wrestling, needs visibility in the community and that is what we have been trying to do. We have a good program.”

“It’s really about the journey; our picture is not painted yet,” Creighton said to the men that were on his team this last season. “The best is yet come.”