Wrestlers finish season strong with titles


Raza Diop

The state qualifiers list hangs in the wrestling room. This years team finished strong with a 3rd place finish in sections.

Graham Doyle, Sports Editor

The South Wrestling team wrapped up their season with an impressive track record and performance at the Twin Cities Conference meet. This year’s team won first place in three different weight classes and took home titles from both the City Conference and the Twin Cities Conference. 

This season had been full of ups and downs for South. Despite struggling with a lack of members, the team proceeded to take many victories at meets. Senior Taro Jelinek said, “At [the] Twin Cities tournament Rio placed 1st, Rey placed 1st, Sergio placed 1st, Nate got 2nd, Daniel got 2nd, Charlie got 3rd, and I got 5th. Winning the city and twin city championships was definitely a highlight this year.” 

This year’s team consisted largely of seniors, something Jelinek indicated might be a problem for next seasons. “We have like eight or nine seniors right now, so I think the team is gonna look a lot different, we have like two juniors. It might be tough next year, we need more people on the team. We don’t even have a full lineup.” While this year’s team was full of great wrestlers, the team is going to have to put in a lot of work next year to continue the legacy.

The lack of team members was most burdensome at the Sections meet where the team was forced to forfeit five of the usual fourteen weight classes. Despite these forfeits, the South team won six out of nine matches and fought all the way till the end to secure a title for South. Jelinek recounts the final match at Sections, “We were down by like 30 points and we needed seven straight pins to win and we got six out of seven. It came down to the last match, Sergio wrestles 220 and had to wrestle heavyweight(285) and was going against this guy who was like fifty pounds heavier than him.It was a crazy match, it was super close. That match was definitely a highlight at sections because of the momentum and all the pressure on him.”

The team had incredible momentum this season and is demonstrated by the numerous titles and awards won by team members. According to an announcement made by Tony Stewart, our school’s Activities Director, five South wrestlers qualified for the State tournament at Sections and also took the following places: Brandon Reyes 138 2nd, Rio Starr 170 1st, Teddy Jackson 195 1st, Rey Saice 220 2nd, and Sergio Altamirano HWT 1st.