Team Effort Propels Wrestling over Milpitas

The Wrestling team won a hard-fought wrestling match against Milpitas on January 14, beating the Trojans in their first home game of the season by a close score of 33-32.

The Eagles took the initial lead, bringing the score up to 12-3, with sophomore Harry Halvorsen and junior Joseph Donnelly pinning their opponents down for six points each. The Trojans then tied the score, with the Eagles giving two successive falls, to 12-12.

The Eagles retook the lead 18-12, but after three successive losses, the Eagles found themselves down 28-18. All three matches fell into the second and third rounds, with Eagles and Trojans battling desperately to pin their opponents.

Los Altos battled back, with senior Patrick Vargas narrowing the Trojan lead to 28-24, and sophomore Austin Sonnentag scraping off a win in the last seconds of his final round for a close score of 28-27.

“We had some kids who came up short and lost, but everyone contributed, whether they didn’t get pinned and fought the whole way through, or they did win and pinned their opponent,” head coach Randolph Jimenez said. “Everyone on the team fought today, and I haven’t seen that in the room up until this point.”

With two final matches remaining, coaches on both sides became more desperate, and the teams began to cheer louder and louder. Sophomore Jamie Bennett fought to the third round, pushing hard against his opponent but ultimately falling to widen the Trojan lead to 32-27. The final match fell to sophomore Louis Garcia to pull off a six point pin. After a minute of intense back-and-forth struggle, Louis tackled his opponent at the waist and threw him down on his shoulder. After he held the position against his struggling opponent for a few seconds, the referee blew the final whistle to give Los Altos the winning score of 33-32.

“Right when I finished that I felt great,” Louis said. “I unclipped my helmet, I was yelling, waving at the stands and my team. To take a win like that, 33-32, it feels amazing.”

While the match was closer than any other of the season, the victory is more impressive against Milpitas, whose wrestling team is double the size of Los Altos’ 20 wrestlers.

“[Milpitas] came with 50 kids, and we only have 20 kids on our roster,” Jimenez said. “So for them to show up like that means they want to come here and win. You don’t come to Los Altos, to our house, thinking you’re going to win, but if you do, and we fight like we did, it’s real good.”

Jimenez hopes that the victory will fuel the team’s morale and set them on track for League finals in February.

“It was all drive and it was all fight, and I couldn’t be prouder,” Jimenez said. “If they keep fighting like this, we could be the El Camino division championships. They have that little fire in their belly, and they know what they have to do to get the job done. We’re on pace to be where we need to be, and we’re going to continue to go harder and harder and harder.”