The Student News Site of Gabrielino High School

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

Wrestling adjusts to new building, new schedule

By Kaylee Chan | Junior Editor

Gabrielino High School’s new athletics building.
Photo courtesy of Jacob Mark

   When one thinks of activities to do during a global pandemic, wrestling is not the first thing to come to mind. Images of sweaty bodybuilders tackling each other in a ring seem out of place in a high school gym— much less one that mandates six feet of distance between students. However, as many sports resumed at the end of a socially distanced school year, so did the Gabrielino wrestling team, who faced both a shortened season and a new training gym with dedication.

   In the new wrestling room on campus, the team did drills to build skill every class session. This included warm-ups, learning techniques in different positions, and doing practice matches with partners. To play a sport with such emphasis on close quarters and frequent contact, the team had strict protection measures put in place.

   “We take extra precautions by repeatedly getting tested for COVID before we practice and, of course, wearing our masks while practicing indoors,” explained junior Katie Do. “If members of our team have not taken the COVID test, then they are not allowed to practice.”

   These precautions were even more impactful when it came to a shortened season, where every practice is essential. Due to lack of time and space, many skills the wrestling team focused on in previous seasons were cut in favor of practicing wrestling itself.

   “There’s more emphasis to just wrestle this year, so I’m in better physical and mental shape than I normally would be during a season and it’s definitely nice,” said Jacob Mark, senior. “Other than that, we’re just speedrunning through the season and it feels semi-natural.”

   Not only was the schedule sped up, but unlike seasons before, the wrestling team practiced in the new Gabrielino athletics building, which was just completed this year. With all sports seasons happening concurrently, the campus needed space for all the athletes, which the building provided. There were also new features, such as built-in dressing rooms.

   “It’s really nice to get something new for a change, and now we don’t have to manually roll out the wrestling mats like we used to before,” said senior Darren Banhthai. “Since we have a space that’s dedicated purely to them, it saves us a lot of time when we begin our session.”

   Most on the team are returning team members, who spent previous years practicing in the small gym. According to them, this year’s facilities were a major upgrade.

   “I am a huge fan of the athletic building for wrestling,” said Celeste Bojorquez, senior. “I would have loved to have more time in that room. It has many features that I never knew I needed such as the cubbies and dressing rooms. I just know all the future and current wrestlers are going to appreciate the space.”

   Despite having no individual tournaments or duals as would happen in a normal fall season, the team has seen successful matches so far, with two wins and no losses against Marshall Fundamental Secondary School.

   “The season did have very few matches but the boys did very well and I am super proud of them. Unfortunately the girls did not have a chance to compete,” Bojorquez said. The weight requirements between competitors, especially with a lack of girls on other teams, made those opportunities rare. “But we were right there cheering and supporting everyone because a win for one of us is a win for all of us.”

Donate to The Tongva Times

Your donation will support the student journalists of Gabrielino High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Tongva Times

Activate Search
Wrestling adjusts to new building, new schedule