By Chris Parker
Hollister wrestling is still a young program entering just its seventh season as a varsity sport.
The Tigers on the mat will also be young this year led by a strong group of juniors. That group includes: Danny Gimlen (220), Christian Mayfield (152 pounds), Rylan Newell (145 pounds) and Lucas Bare (138 pounds). All four were on the district team last year as sophomores.
“These four wrestlers have all participated in off season training and are coming off the football field ready to hit the mat. We are eager to see how this improved fitness and focus translates into a successful season,” Hollister head coach Jeff Engel said.
Engel is entering his third season as the head coach at Hollister.
Sophomore Layton Newell (132 pounds) also has put in a lot of time in the wrestling room throughout the fall.
Freshmen Michael Collins (285), Grant Jones (106), Daylan Schwyart (160), Kannon Parker (120) should all have an immediate impact at the varsity level. Transfers Damien Pera (126 pounds, senior) along with juniors Alex Stacey (138 pounds, junior) and Seth Perry (145 pounds, junior) will also be new varsity wrestlers to watch.
Engel wants his team to be resilient this year.
“Our goal has been for all of these young men to come to understand they can do more than they think. They are stronger than they know. They will not quit,” Engel said. “As coaches we have loved on them and encouraged them but we have absolutely demanded they learn to be problem solvers and not problem creators. We want them to be emotionally aware, observant and resilient. We want them to ask themselves ‘Am I making this better or worse’. We want them to dissect and manage their fears. We want them to forge their path and lead themselves and others. We want them to take extreme ownership for their lives.”