Despite facing a serious lack of depth compared to its strong Mission League competition, the varsity wrestling team is off to a successful start to the 2014-15 season. The team has an 0-2 record in Mission League play as of press time, but the record is more a result of the CIF Southern Section’s strict dual meet rules than poor performances from the team.
In dual meets, if the Wolverines don’t enter a competitor in a certain weight class, the opposing team’s wrestler for that class is given a forfeiture win, getting the same amount of points as he would if he had won his match with a pin. Consequently, it is essentially impossible for the Wolverines to win a league meet; the varsity roster only has eight members, so the team cannot possibly fill each of the CIF-SS’ 14 weight classes.
Still, even though the team is winless, certain individuals have impressed so far in the young season. Jake Adler ’17 and Ryan Ruiz ’16, who both finished second in the Mission League in their respective weight classes in 2013-14, have dominated so far, as both are individually unbeaten in league play.
The team honored seniors James Lennon ’15 and Malcolm Neill ’15 at its last home meet against Alemany Jan. 7 for Senior Night. Both seniors won their matches along with victories from Adler, Russell Davis ’17 and Ruiz.
“The team is having a great season overall, the younger wrestlers are showing a lot of improvement and we are building as a team,” Ruiz said.
Recently, the Wolverines competed in the prestigious Asics Challenge Tournament in Orange County, where the squad struggled against the elite competition. The squad sent Ruiz, Adler, Lennon, Davis and Neill, but only Neill was able to advance to the quarterfinals.
“Other than Malcolm making the quarters, there were really no highlights, and it wasn’t one of our best tournaments,” Ruiz said.
Even if a successful league record is unlikely for the undermanned program, the 2013-14 team sent 10 members to the CIF-SS preliminaries, and this year’s squad wants similar success after the dual match season is complete.
“I am looking forward to a successful post season for our varsity team,” said Ruiz.