Wrestling teams unite, succeed in Dallas tournaments

Sophomore Dani Yan wrestles with the intent to win.

Irene Vazquez

Sophomore Dani Yan wrestles with the intent to win.

Dani Yan, Staff Writer

For the first time in the school’s history, the middle school, JV and varsity wrestling teams traveled together to compete outside of Houston.

“It’s great that we could bring the entire team together for a trip like this. We got a lot of good exposure because of it,” sophomore captain Layo Laniyan said of the event in Dallas.

On Friday Jan. 8, varsity wrestlers competed in duals against Plano East and All Saints while middle school wrestlers watched and cheered on. The Mavericks won both duals, defeating Plano East 51-30 and All Saints 48-18.

“We really created a sense of unity in the entire team when we were able to watch and cheer for each other,” freshman Wesley Gow said.

The following Saturday, the varsity and JV teams competed in the Texas Christian Academy Invitational tournament while the middle school team competed in the St. Mark’s Middle School Wrestling Tournament.

At Texas Christian, five varsity members ranked in the top four for their respective weight classes, and six JV wrestlers earned individual place medals. Middle school had 11 individual place winners at St. Mark’s and won the team championship.

“We had a few guys step up and wrestle really well,” Laniyan said. “But there’s a lot of room for improvement.”

The tournament served as a chance for varsity wrestlers to face high levels of competition before the Southwest Preparatory Conference (SPC) and state tournaments.

“Ultimately we came to the tournament to prepare ourselves for the next few weeks, where the stakes are much higher,” Laniyan said. “I think we’re stronger because of competitions like this.”

The trip established a rapport between the middle and upper school teams that would have been difficult to achieve otherwise.

“These kinds of experiences definitely help to strengthen our program and reinforce a sense of family,” Laniyan said.

Wrestlers and coaches both hope to continue combined middle school and upper school trips in the future.

“This year we had around 60 wrestlers on the bus. That’s an army of wrestlers,” head coach Alan Paul said. “Next year we’re doing it again, and we’ll be taking two busses.”