South Pasadena High’s wrestling team has once again whipped out their singlets and donned their headgear in preparation for the upcoming winter season.
With high hopes and energy moving the team forward, the wrestling year is almost in motion.
The team predicts that wrestlers such as juniors Sebastian Chinen, George Barron, and Irvin Perez will lead the charge to advance to CIF Masters. Freshman Chris Kim is also expected to play a key role in the varsity lineup due to his extensive wrestling experience prior to high school.
“The goal of the varsity team remains the same and we are still very focused on achieving it,” Chinen said. “We want to reach the CIF masters tournament, a very prestigious accomplishment for any wrestler, as entering the tournament puts you against the top eight percent of all California wrestlers.”
While this goal is noteworthy, the team believes that a sudden reduction in members may hinder their performance in duels. Due to the graduation of many experienced senior wrestlers last year, matches will be harder to win with less competitors. The Tigers will be at a disadvantage since these duels are judged by a cumulative team point system.
However, the squad still carries hope for the season through their harder training regime and new coach, Jeff Robinette. With intense workouts such as carrying giant tires overhead, dragging heavy sleds in a full loop around South Pasadena High School, and completing intense crossfit routines, the team has found a whole new level of persistence. The new exercises issued by the coach has brought all athletes closer together.
“When you are in a sport with so much physical contact, it is inevitable for you to get to know who you are practicing with,” said sophomore Jackie Takarabe. “The sport has made many strong friendships throughout the team and lets us all work really well together.”
With the addition to the coaching staff and a new training routine, the wrestling team is looking forward to achieve its goals this season.