Our QHHS Wrestling Team is Chasing Redemption

The Quartz Hill Wrestling team is generally regarded as one of the strongest athletic teams on campus. Known for the rigorous training and CIF banners, the team has seen lots of success. However, given the circumstances of COVID for a close-contact, indoor sport like wrestling, the team faced many hardships. Ultimately, the team under-performed in the league, losing their back-to-back Golden-league champions in the 2020-21 season.

The 2019-2020 season was a solid season for both girl’s and boy’s wrestling. QHHS junior and varsity wrestler Andre Shahbazyan stated, “I wouldn’t say it was the best team just because of how strong our 2009 team was in terms of CIF success. It was still comparable, though, as we had three boys and two girls place in CIF; Luke Lambarth at third, Jae Johnson at sixth, Max Maldonado at eighth, Kassidy Bear at eighth, and Abena Adu at seventh.” The league championship contributed to Quartz Hill’s 28th league title, with seven boys and two girls as league champions.

The varsity lineup consisted of a high number of seniors which was an important factor when considering the outcome of the 2020-2021 season. The pandemic delayed practices and practice opportunities for new wrestlers. This made it difficult for many athletes to compete against teams that kept their original varsity lineups intact, since many Royal wrestlers lacked experience. Andre states, “It also impacted our original design of our weight classes pre-COVID, since most of the wrestlers gained weight from not training.” Weight, being an important factor in a sport like wrestling, ended up changing the weight classes of many of the athletes, and as a result, drastically impacted the lineup. For instance, Luke Lambert, the athlete who placed third in CIF, was a heavyweight wrestler but got substituted for not meeting weight requirements, which was devastating to the lineup.

Head coach Coleman has made it a goal to come back stronger than ever before. By introducing extra practices during sixth-period athletics, he can condition and train the wrestlers throughout the year and focus on techniques. Coach Coleman preaches the philosophy, “If you put the work in here, you will see the results out there.” The after-school training began September 13, and the season begins in the fall. Best of luck to the Royals for a successful season!