Oviedo Lions wrestling team advances from bronze to gold


Audrey Strembicki

Eric Esquivel practices wrestling with his teammate to prepare for upcoming matches.

Joshua Sabbia, Reporter

Last year was the first year back for Zach Waters as the coach for the Oviedo wrestling team. He had started with a much less experienced team due to COVID-19, leaving him with many first and second year varsity wrestlers.

“I was very anxious about the unknown [for] my first year back,” said Waters. “ We had a lot of new wrestlers come out, but not many returners came back.”

Now, they have six experienced seniors on the team compared to the former year having only two. These seniors are very excited because of the improvement the team has made to become better.

“This year I have definitely seen some drastic improvement, especially [with] the amount of confidence the team has,” said senior Jana El’ Harake. “This year we all have a chance to make it to states. How badly we want it will get us there.”

One half of the battle with wrestling is the mental one. With any sport, everyone requires that drive to work with their team to constantly get better and better.

Senior Amy Trevino was extremely excited for this year after seeing the progress everyone has made.

“We have gotten a lot closer as a team this year. Last year not as many people knew each other, but throughout  the year we did a lot of bonding and now we are stronger than ever,” said Trevino.

Bonds are something that always allows teams to feel more comfortable and overall do better in wrestling. They have the drive to succeed, and they’re confident that they have the skills to only continue improving since they gained more experience during their off season practices/tournaments.

“A lot more kids are committed to wrestling this year,” said John Miceli, one of last year’s captains. “I remember my freshmen [year] a lot of people had quit midway through the season, but now people are staying and even going to off season practices.”