By Clarion Staff
When the season started, JFK’s wrestling program had 42 students (including 11 female) sign up to wrestle. Coach Brian Ewing informed these would-be wrestlers they would be weighing in for one of the toughest sports they will ever participate in. The physical preparation as well as the mental aspect of wrestling will test everyone each day. “You will find an excuse not to do it”, says Coach Ewing. “You need to overcome the stress it takes on your mind and body”.
Out of the original 42 that signed up this season, only 16 have persevered. Within the final JFK team, two female wrestlers remain, Freshmen Anna Fukuhara and Antonia Hart. Both wrestlers have earned a spot on the Varsity squad. In tournaments this year, Anna earned two third place medals and Antonia has earned one third place medal. “As freshmen, their dedication and determination will afford them many more medals in years to come,” says Coach Ewing.
The Varsity wrestling team is led by captains Gabe Lopez (145lb) and Nicholas Nishikawa (122lb). In five tournaments this year, JFK wrestlers have earned six gold medals, five silver medals, and 11 bronze medals. “It is quite a feeling when the referee raises our hand displaying you as the victor”, says coach Ewing. “It’s a one-on-one sport with all eyes on you, nowhere to run or hide.” JFK Wrestling has been hit with some setbacks though. Captain Gabe Lopez dislocated his elbow in a championship match in December and has been ruled out for the season. Other injuries include: Alan Lee (dislocated shoulder), Luiscciano Garcia (broken finger), and recently, Sebastian Amador (Sprained ankle).
As JFK looks forward to the league tournament on February 12th at Sacramento High School, JFK favorites to win/advance in league competition are Heavyweight Thunder Hatch Williams, Sebastian Amador (220lb, if healthy), Genero Barretto (174lb), Nicholas Nishikawa (122lb), and Keanu Salahuddin (106lb). The divisional tournament for female wrestlers is February 5th at Natomas High. Both Anna and Antonia will be looking to advance to the Nor-Cal Masters tournament on February 19th-20th at McNair High School.
When you see JFK wrestlers on campus, wish them luck!