Wrestling (0-1) suffered a loss to San Pasqual High School (1-0) 60-19 on Nov. 30 in the Falcons’ first preseason dual meet of the year.
TPHS won four of the 12 matches, with one tie and seven losses.
“The team did excellently,” head coach Martin Brown said. “We had about seven wrestlers where it was their first match, and they had a lot of wins.”
Among the winners were Gabe Panikowski (9) DJ Younkin (12), who both said hard work, dedication and having the fight and will to win led to their victories.
Younkin, who won 10-9, prevailed using strength, the “less technical way.”
“It was a fight to the end, for sure, and a tough match, but I guess I just kept my determination in there and won it,” Younkin said.
Having wrestled since his freshman year, Younkin’s experience is a definite factor in wins, a factor that did not figure into the victory by Panikowski, who won his match after wrestling for “a total of two hours.”
“Honestly, I didn’t know what I was doing at all,” Panikowski said. “I just won by strength, and all of my teammates were there for me, and I appreciate that.”
Like Panikowski, many of the new team members are freshmen and sophomores.
“We are a growing program,” Brown said. “We have a lot to improve on, and it’s going to be a long season, and with all of the new wrestlers that we have, building knowledge is going to be the key to this season.”
For Emily Sway, one of two female wrestlers on the team, “escaping from bottom” is the most significant area of improvement for the team.
In her 8-2 win, she swiftly pinned her opponent, scoring TPHS six points, the highest number a wrestler can earn.
Individual and team confidence are what will lead Brown to his two primary goals of the season: having CIF and State Champions on his team.
“I’d like to build the program another step,” Brown said. “Every year for the past three years we’ve been building and this year is a huge opportunity to take a giant leap.”
Even with a loss in the books, Brown says the wrestling team is confident that they will be “much better in the future.” The wrestling team faced Cathedral Catholic on Dec. 7, after the Falconer went to press, and will compete at Canyon Crest Academy in the Carmel Valley Classic on Dec. 14 at 5 p.m.