All though wrestling in high school remains a team sport matches themselves rely solely on the individuals athletic talent, preparation, and conditioning. Unlike many other sports the success and failures in wrestling rest on the shoulders of the individual. And when times get tough the only finger that can be pointed is at one’s self.
For the individuals of the Yosemite High wrestling the hard work and preparation paid off in the form of success Thursday, Jan. 15, when the team took on Kerman for their first home match of the season.
Much like other sports, in recent years the Badgers wrestling team has struggled to find enough athletes willing to compete in one of school’s most grueling and demanding sports.
Despite being out manned during Thursday’s match the Badgers proved to be the more talented team winning four of their seven matches, all coming by way of pin.
After an initial 13-5 Badger defeat in the first match Yosemite’s 160--pounder Matthew Martinez gave the Badgers their first victory of the night pinning his opponent with 15 seconds left in the second period. The Badgers then lost their third match by pin but where able to bounce back on then athletic talent of Matthew’s younger, but bigger, brother Peter Martinez. Peter used his athletic build and strength to one up his older brother by retiring his opponent by way of pin in just 1:51 giving the Badger an early 12-10 lead. But it wasn’t long before the forfeits and lack of athletes caught up with the Badgers.
If only counting the matches that took place Thursday night the Badgers would have defeated the Lions 24-16. Unfortunately for the Badgers the rules require all 14 weight classes be counted towards the team’s final scores. When adding 30 points in forfeits the Lions came away with a decisive but misleading 46-24 victory.
Other Badgers who earned victories Thursday night included senior Quinn Hilliard and freshman Jesse de la Cruz who also won their matches by way of pin.
After the match Coach Lincoln showed gratification in the small victories and said he was satisfied with his team in calling it a “victory” for a team that forfeited 30 points due to a lack of wrestlers.
The teams next match will be Thursday, Jan. 22, versus Liberty when the Hawks make the trip to Oakhurst to take on the Badgers for their second home match of the year. The match is scheduled for 6 p.m. with weigh-ins at 5 p.m.