Wrestlers Bring Pain Back to the Mat

Natalie Wapniarski, Staff Writer

The Miramonte wrestling team is back in action and ready to fight. With the current record 2-3, Miramonte is getting ready for NCS.

The boys started off the season with a rocky start with a loss to Los Lomas. But they came back high and mighty with an incredible win against Alhambra the following week, making their record 1-1.

Going into the Campolindo match with a 1-1 record, the team didn’t know what to expect. Knowing that Campo is their biggest rival, and the team knew it would be a tough one and that they would have to give it their all.

“Campo is a strong competitor in our wrestling league, and with one of our coaches presumably unable to attend the match, I felt a little insecure about our unity as a team and our chances of winning,” said Kai Shimoko ‘12.

It was a close match, but Campo got the  best of our wrestlers, making the team’s record 1-2.

“It was with a certain confidence that I walked onto the mat, even if it wasn’t with a feeling of victory that I walked off,” said Shimoko.

Miramonte had an fantastic win against Acalanes the following week. The boys gave it their all and it paid off with a spectacular round of matches for all wrestlers.

Following the Acalanes match, the wrestling team took on Dublin High School, losing by one pin. Along with  Campo, Dublin was another team that the Mats knew was going to be a tough competitors.

The team is coached by Jose Herrera and coach Van Le, who both help the wrestlers improve their mobility, strengthen their weaknesses, and teach them moves to prepare the next matches.

Although not specifically named captains, Shimoko and Micah Spalding ‘13 have strong leading roles on the team. But in the end, Shimoko explains that the coach is always in charge, and whoever they say is a captain, is a captain.

Along with being leaders, Shimoko and Spalding are the all-stars of the team, along with Brian De Luna ‘13, who is currently injured, and Alex Jaing ‘15.

The improvement of the team comes through for our wrestlers in the weekend tournaments. The best of the team’s wrestlers have placed high in the ranks, alongside their teammates taking an average seating.

At the Golden Gate Invitational in San Francisco Spalding placed second overall, losing only to last year’s sectional champion.

The following weekend, Spalding pumped up the heat, earning himself a first place win at the Bill Martel Invite at Northgate. Keeping his high standing record going, he placed third at the Bianchini tournament in Cupertino after fighting against a wrestler who is ranked third in state.

“Before every match, feelings of determination and anticipation are going through my body,” said Spalding.

The mindsets of the wrestlers vary from competitor to competitor. Some blast their music to get them pumped, others jump  around to get their blood flowing, and some manage their food intake to such extents that all they can think about before a match is fried chicken and pizza. “Before, my motivation was thinking about winning for my team, for myself, for my friends, for my school,” said Shimoko. “Now, I’m really just fighting for my life.”

“‘Don’t give up’ runs through my head over and over again,” said Jeff Clark ‘13.

“I don’t actually remember what I think about,” said Spalding. “I don’t really think at all while I’m wrestling.”

The team has gained many new wrestlers this year, mostly freshmen. The freshmen are strong competitors, showing sure signs for a strong future for our wrestling team.