Wrestling team wins first MCALs since 1973

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Wrestling team wins first MCALs since 1973

Cole Donnelly

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The 41-year drought ended as junior wrestler Ryan Styles, to the euphoria of his teammates, pinned his opponent and clinched the victory.

With a thrilling win over Novato on the Feb. 11, the Redwood wrestling team secured their first MCAL dual meet pennant since 1973—the same time the first cell phones were being invented.

“Even if you are the most talented athlete in the world, you are not going to have a lot of success in your first or even second year. And that is what we are getting now––a couple of guys who have multiple years of experience on the team,” said coach Andrew Morris.

The win over the Hornets was a nail-biter, as the last two undefeated teams, both with a MCAL record of 6-0 at the time, faced off for the deciding match of the season.

Novato started off strong in the dual meet-up, at one instant leading by more than 20 points, but a late rally by Redwood’s middle weight classes proved to be the deciding force of the match.

“We have a string of guys that other teams can’t match up with about halfway through our lineup,” senior Brian Finci.

Redwood ended their roster with five pins in a row by Eli Kahn, Chris Berreman, Simon Ermolov, and Chris Keating.

“I wasn’t really confident that we could win until every single one of our guys started pinning their opponents,” Morris said.

Already league champions, the Giants then went on to beat Terra Linda to finish their season undefeated with a league record of 8-0.

Redwood has seen some very talented wrestlers come through its doors in recent years, perhaps most notably brothers Nathan and Dylan Morris, who both have gone on to wrestle Division I at Stanford. However, capturing the MCAL title had been the elusive goal that the program struggled to accomplish for so long.

“I drove down [from Davis] to watch the match,” said former Redwood wrestler Kenneth Berreman, who placed sixth at NCS last year.

“It was really cool to see the guys who were underclassmen when I was wrestling rise up. It was insane to see how much they have grown physically and mentally. All of them have been working so hard,” Berreman said.

For a large portion of the team, the season isn’t over. Redwood will send a relatively large number of wrestlers to compete at the NCS meet this weekend at James Logan High School.  The top wrestlers in each weight class at NCS will have the opportunity to compete in the state meet on March 6.