Wrestling hopeful for improvement at end of season

Coming out of their 40-30 victory over Cupertino High School last week, the Paly Wrestling team felt that their season was turning around for the better.

Senior and varsity wrestler Tiep Nguyen said the team’s victory was their first in a season where they have been short on wrestlers and reliant on younger athletes.

“This was the first school that we beat this year,” Nguyen said. “The win was really good for team morale since, for the last few weeks, we’ve been against larger and older teams.’

Senior and boys wrestling captain Max Felter said the team struggled early on due to being short-staffed after losing members during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’ve got a pretty small team, since the team got hit hard last year. A part of the reason we’ve lost some of our rounds is because we’ve had to forfeit and give up full points,” Felter said.

Felter said the team has adapted to gaps created by its small size by adopting younger JV wrestlers into the varsity program.

“We’ve had JV members wrestle for us, and they’ve usually done a good job of filling in,” Felter said. “We’re really young this year. We have four seniors, and the rest are freshmen and sophomores.”

Felter said the team’s practices have become increasingly oriented on maintaining the athletes’ fitness as the end of the season approaches.

“We’re really trying to maximize our conditioning so that we can peak at the end of the year,” Felter said. “That means shorter and more intense workouts, and our coaches have been planning for that.”

Felter said the team is hopeful to continue its momentum through the last two games of its season.

“It really comes down to matchups,” Felter said. “The schools we’re dueling are also pretty small, so we’re definitely looking to win these next two.”