Wrestling 2021 season preview


Junior Marcelo Pozo and sophmore Christian Pinto work on their moves in preperation for their first meet on Dec. 4.

Hard work and talent at the lower weight class divisions will be an x-factor for wrestling this season.
The grappling Atoms look to start their season right in their season opener invitational tournament this Saturday, Dec. 4.
The match will be the first of ten for the Atoms, and will put the team to the test right away against quality opponents.
AHS was able to compete and push through adversity in 2020. With only six wrestlers on the varsity team, it was hard to match up against schools with a full squad.
A benefit of having a smaller team in 2020 was the increased role and experience for underclassmen.
“Since we were very shorthanded last year, we were able to get a lot of one on one practice and I feel like that will contribute to our success this season,” junior Imran Khalid said.
The Atoms lost several key contributors as 2020 graduates, and will lean on the newly appointed veterans to lead the team to triumph in 2021.
Junior Marcelo Pozo is fresh off of finishing first in the district last season as a sophomore. He will look to take a step even further, looking to compete at states at his 120 pound weight class.
“I hope to win in our tournaments and place well at states, and as for the team, I hope that we can have a dual winning percentage of at least 75 percent,” junior Tyson Nguyen said.
AHS has a full 14 man roster heading into the season, with an influx of freshman and first-year wrestlers looking to make an impact early in their careers.
“We haven’t changed up our approach much, just practicing hard every day, working on our conditioning and the scrimmages we have had have all helped us grow,” Khalid said.
The Atoms participated in scrimmages on Nov. 17 and Nov. 23 against schools including Woodson, South County, Edison and Lee High School.
“Scrimmages play an essential role in exposing wrestlers in match situations and provide an opportunity for us to learn which of our moves work and when to use them to be most effective,” Nguyen said.
The scrimmages have also helped the Atoms get adjusted to the new district and the opponents that they will go up against this season.
Conditioning and working on endurance have been points of emphasis for the team. Being in good shape is critical for wrestlers to have success, and over a long season, the Atoms will be put to the test.
Last season, off-season training was limited for the wrestling team and all high school sports due to extensive COVID protocols to keep everyone safe, this season with the vaccine mandate for all athletes, the Atoms were able to prepare and train properly for the season ahead.
A 10 match schedule is set for AHS before the beginning of the District tournament on Feb. 5, with five invitational tournaments and five matches lined up as an opportunity for the program to establish itself as one of the best in the newly appointed district.