READY FOR PRIMETIME

After a successful 5-1 season last year, the wrestling team looks to build this season with athletes stepping up into leadership positions and a standout transfer.

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READY FOR PRIMETIME

(CAM MEDRANO / EYE OF THE TIGER)

(CAM MEDRANO / EYE OF THE TIGER)

(CAM MEDRANO / EYE OF THE TIGER)

BELLA AYALA

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Following a successful season last year, the varsity wrestling team is hoping to continue and improve upon their performance this year. Last season, the team placed second in the CVC and sent eight wrestlers to Masters.

This season, the Tigers are already off to a 2-0 start in league. 

Coach Doug Ash is excited about this season and believes this could be the best wrestling team Roseville has had in a while.

(CAM MEDRANO/EYE OF THE TIGER)
Cole Babbini competes against a Woodcreek Wrestler.

“This will be the best team we’ve had in over 30 years,” Ash said. “We have over double the amount of Masters qualifiers than we normally do and potentially the most state qualifiers we have ever had. We have a ton of depth.”

Senior wrestler Brendan Thao can feel the difference in mentality from this year’s teams to lasts. 

“There’s definitely a shift in the team’s energy this year,” Thao said. “We have really high hopes for ourselves this year and I think there’s a lot more focus that comes with that from everybody.”

Even though this year’s team is different, senior Ethan Bandy would like to see the team maintain some traits from last year’s team.

“Last year we really connected as a team and really worked good together and pushed each other hard so I think we need to focus on keeping that same mentality this year,” Bandy said.

Bandy believes that the mix of new wrestlers with last year’s core still mostly intact has the team poised to improve. 

“We had a successful season last year but this year I think we can do even better,” Bandy said. “We were able to keep most of our core team from last season and also add some new key additions.”

The team is filled with mostly upperclassmen and has a strong returning crew from last year’s team.

Junior Josh Provins and Thao are returning for the Tigers, both of which finished in the top twelve at Masters. Provins had a 30-16 record last season and received honorable mention in the state rankings. Thao is ranked 36th in the state and went 13-7 last year. 

Despite falling short last year, Thao is hoping to make it to states this year and believes this year’s team will help contribute to his own goals and success. 

“My goal this year is to make it to state. I was one match off last year, so this year I’m going to have to work even harder,” Thao said. “I think it will be easier for me to work even harder this year because we have a better team so I will have better people to go against at practice.”

Also returning for the Tigers is Bandy, who is ranked 35th in the state and had a 28-11 record last season. Returning junior Garret Solso will also be strong for the Tigers.

Solso went 30-14 last year and received honorable mention in the state rankings. 

With an abundance of returners, Coach Ash believes the team’s experience will help set them apart this season.

PROVINS

“We are very mature, most of our wrestlers are juniors and seniors this year,” Ash said. “The last couple of years we’ve had a lot of freshmen and sophomores and they’ve grown up now, so they have had a lot of years of varsity experience which is a huge advantage.”

Though the team is filled with mostly upperclassman, some underclassmen are stepping up into the lower weight classes.

Freshman Campbell Pritchard is 2-2 this year in the 103 weight class and is doing what he can to better prepare himself to be a varsity wrestler.

     “I’ve been working out and eating healthy and trying to learn as many moves as I can,” Pritchard said. “I’ve also been watching the upperclassman and am trying to pick up on some of the things they are doing.”

As a seasoned varsity wrestler, junior teammate Josh Provins has served as a role model for Pritchard.

“I really look up to Josh [Provins], I think he is our best wrestler and I really like what he does,” Pritchard said. “Right now he’s wrestling with a hurt knee and it’s really showing his dedication to the team.”

The biggest addition to the Tigers roster this season is senior Jake Stone.

Stone transferred to Roseville High School this year from Oakmont, where he had great success as a wrestler. Stone is ranked 27th in the state and already this season for the Tigers has a 3-0 record and got first place at the Granite Bay Invitational match.

Thao believes Stone does a lot of great things as a wrestler and will play a big role in the team’s success.

“I think Jake is a very strong addition to the team this year,” Thao said. “He is really fast and strong, his movements are really explosive and he has really good technique.” 

Coach Ash has high hopes for the strong, experienced roster this season.

“We’re really tough, we got a full line up, strong wrestlers from top to bottom,” Ash said. “I think we have a good chance to win league, a chance to win the section title, and potentially a chance to have about 3 to 6 guys make it to states.”