By Phuong Nguyen

The PHHS Wrestling team gets ready to tackle the upcoming season by building up physical strength and maintaining a healthy diet.

“We try (to) get physically stronger so that during the season, we can maintain our strength rather than build (it) up,” said Co-Captain James Grier.

Three or four times a week, practices usually consist of one hour of drills, a half hour of technique and the final 30 minutes of live wrestling.

“Practices are really tough right now because Coach (Max Gonzalez) is trying to condition all of us so we don’t get tired during our matches. But it should get easier (as we practice more),” admitted varsity wrestler Jordan Palamino.

In addition to those practices, Co-Captain Isaiah Gonzalez receives private training to prepare for the upcoming season.

“(For me), I do private lessons at a local gym called Smash Gym,” revealed Gonzalez. “The coach that teaches me is actually the father of one (of) our wrestlers (who was a) four-time state finalist.”

Gonzalez and Grier feel that the practices are going well but there is always room for improvement.

The team finished its last season off with a record of 6-1. Its only loss was on Feb. 10, 2015 with a score of 37-33 against Sobrato High. Gonzalez hopes that his team members will maintain their record in the league after placing first in Beeli for BVAL (Blossom Valley Athletic League).

“Last year (was) a good season but I got a concussion after league finals so I wasn’t able to wrestle in CCS,” recalled Palamino. “My goal is to wrestle (at the weight class of) 115 by the end of the season and beat as many people ahead of me in the CCS rankings as I can.”

“I’m looking forward to (the) league finals and CCS because I’m hoping that I can outdo what I did last year,” said Grier.

The wrestling team’s first dual meet of this year’s season will be on Jan. 4, 2017 against Pioneer High School.

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