Team enjoys strong start despite departing players


FANTASTIC FORWARD: Forward Johnny Juzang ’20 pushes upcourt in a fast break with teammates Simon Pompan ’18 and Mason Hooks ’20 after stealing the ball in a 63-56 win over rival Notre Dame. Juzang scored 25 points and grabbed 15 rebounds. Photo Credit: Lucas Gelfond / Chronicle

Lucas Gelfond

In spite of a close 39-31 loss to Chaminade in its first Mission League match, multiple injuries and the cancelllation of multiple meets, the wrestling team has lofty goals for the season.
To achieve them, the squad is looking to its upperclassman leaders for guidance.

Calvin Kaleel ’18 has stepped into a leadership role and has been providing support and mentorship to the younger members of the team. His younger teammates have vocalized their appreciation for Kaleel and the other leaders.

“[The upperclassmen] have been really great captains and they have been leading our team to some great success,” Viswa Douglass ’21 said. “They’re always there for the little guys when we go through tough times.”

One major problem the team has had to accomodate for is various injuries to its players.

The seniors’ leadership has given hope to the players and coaches and team aspirations still remain high. Much of the team’s motivation comes from the experience and skill of some of the team’s younger members.

“The team goal is for everyone to go as far as they can and team-wise, the coaches all have the goal of a mission league title in their mind,” Douglass said. “We have a larger and more rounded team this year, with a lot of good wrestlers. Kanoa [Young ’21] and Justin [Butler ’19] are two amazing wrestlers and Riley [Ruiz ’20] is definitely leading the lower weight classes. [Kaleel] is altogether a really good wrestler and a really hard worker.”

The team has lost their only match of the season thus far, but they aren’t letting a small sample size define them.

“In terms of experience, we haven’t had as many chances to wrestle but at the same time, I don’t think it’s going to affect the way we close out the season,” Kaleel said. “I think it gave us an opportunity actually because it gave us some time to focus on getting up to speed and just to be able to work harder.”

Dual meets against Chaminade and Palisades High School were canceled because of the fires.