Vista’s New Wrestling Season Shows Great Promise

Nate Rettinger, Staff Writer

The Vista del Lago wrestling team has begun its season, and they have already competed in a couple of invitationals and walked away with successful results. The team is looking to take League Championships this year.

Andrew Vaquero, a senior who has wrestled for Vista all four years of high school, praised his team for the success he saw in the first tournament.

“The first tournament we all wrestled well and we had a lot of individual’s place high,” said Vaquero. “I took third place individually and the team came in fifth.”

Training for the season started early in the winter on Nov. 10. Since then, the team has been hard at work getting ready for a promising season.

“The team we are looking forward to going against is Oakdale because last year they barely beat us in D3 sections,” said Vaquero. “We feel really good about our lineup this year. Unlike last year, we have a lot of returning Master’s Qualifiers, including Grant Leon, Noah Johnson, Austin Soelzer, Austin Thomson and myself.”

The wrestling program at Vista is one of the top programs in the area. Varsity coach Frank Richmond has trained for the Olympics and is a fierce competitor earning him the nickname from opponents on the mat, Frank “The Tank”. Richmond also puts the same effort from his personal training into the school’s team with practices often lasting two hours with a variety of workouts designed to increase the physique of the athletes including long runs, lifting weights and ladder training.

Wrestling is also a sport that is inclusive of all genders. While many would look at girls in wrestling as unusual, Vista boasts on having many women wrestling alongside the guys. Isabella Fagalde is a sophomore wrestling for her second year on Vista’s team. She thoroughly enjoys wrestling and the team atmosphere.

“Being on the wrestling team as a girl certainly gives me a sense of pride, knowing that I’m working hard at least five days a week on a workout that was meant for varsity level boys,” said Fagalde. “I think it’s awesome because you have a good connection with all the other wrestlers, especially the other girls. You become so comfortable in your own skin, which is really important to me.”

The team is set to have a great season with league meets coming in the next month. Be sure to keep updated on wrestling news and come out to support the team.