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Four-Time First Losers Hungry For City Title

Wrestling Eyes City Championship After Four Straight Second Place Finishes

Varsity+Wrestler%2C+Joey+Arroyo%2C+holds+his+opponents+head+in+hopes+to+maintain+control.+
Varsity Wrestler, Joey Arroyo, holds his opponents head in hopes to maintain control.

Varsity Wrestler, Joey Arroyo, holds his opponents head in hopes to maintain control.

Kobe Collins

Kobe Collins

Varsity Wrestler, Joey Arroyo, holds his opponents head in hopes to maintain control.

Haley Perez, Reporter

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Taft’s wrestling is stuck in a four-year rut, having finished second place at the city tournament four years in a row.

With a talented and experienced team, the Eagles are hopeful this is the year they get over the hump and win a city championship. Last year the Eagles lost to Kelly, in the previous three seasons Taft finished second to the Simeon Wolverines.

“Taft [wrestling] has never won city in its entire history. We should have won but we weren’t ready for the big stage. A few years back we had a guy disqualified and having his points taken away was huge loss for us. For all the other years we just didn’t wrestle well. Last year we took everyone to the second day of the city competition and every time we went against Kelly we lost. We choked under pressure. We just need to keep grinding and we need to work on things like pressure situations. It’s not the biggest goal we have but we do need to work on it,” said head coach Brad Engel.

Qualifying for, and winning the state tournament remains the ultimate goal for all wrestlers, but getting over the hump and winning a city championship would be the first in the school’s history.

“My main priority is the state competition but I think it is ridiculous that we keep getting second because we are better than all the teams we [wrestle],”said captain Maxwell Garland.

Wrestlers feel tough practices and clutch performances this time will get Taft on top.

“The reason the team has failed to win city and [took] second is not pushing hard enough in practice. Also, members of the team haven’t stepped up when needed to on the big stage,” said captain and two-time individual city champion Brendan Gallo.

Wrestling will have their tournament on Dec. 27 at 8 a.m. at Morton East Main Gymnasium.

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Four-Time First Losers Hungry For City Title