New start for wrestling

Ingrid Chan, Staff Writer

After experimenting with a new training regime last year, the Diamond Bar High School wrestling team has settled into a rigorous practice routine for their upcoming matches. Recently, the members have been striving harder to make progress for the start of the new season.  

Preparation for this season began with its usual summer camp program.  During in school conditioning, the students hone their physical fitness by weightlifting and running two to three miles daily.  Now that they have begun to participate in tournaments, the Brahmas have increased their efforts by focusing on the improvement of their technique as well as engaging each other in mock wrestling matches.

In preparation for league, which starts after winter break, the team is also participating in tournaments every weekend.

They plan to go to Walnut, Monterey Bay, Troy, and Montclair High School for their other upcoming weekly tournaments as well as Cerritos College in order to compete for tournament champion.

“We haven’t changed much from last year besides pushing a little harder,” head coach Marcus Johnson said. “We want to be league champions and CIF champions if possible, and have as many guys make it to masters and state as we can.”

Johnson is satisfied with the students’ abilities and believes they have a good chance at performing well in league.  He expects a handful of the returning boys to take part in CIF and go to masters as well as state individuals.

“We normally take turns working with the kids during practice, especially the younger ones because they need a lot more time and attention than the older guys,” Johnson said. “Though we have three coaches already, we could really use four or five.”

According to Johnson, the three players who are showing outstanding effort are seniors Zaid Parekh, Nick Wahba and Michael Cardiel.  Cardiel finished fourth in last year’s CIF Individual and represented DBHS in the Masters Tournament.

Though Johnson is confident in his students and has high hopes, nothing is certain when the time to compete actually arrives.

“Some things are really hard to tell before the first tournament, because you could look good in practice, but then perform very differently in the actual tournament.  So we’ll just have to see how well the boys do,” Johnson said.  “Of course I’d like it if we were in even better shape and more well versed in our technique than we are now, but I think coaches always expect more from their students.”