Wrestling Overview

Leah Schulman, Staff Writer

As the first semester came to a close, the wrestling season was in full swing. The boys’ team has had four frosh competitions, three for JV and three for varsity, along with some pre-season tournaments. The girls have had three league matches and have wrestled in tournaments as well.

Varsity senior captain Daniel Mattar has been wrestling since 8th grade. He placed third in the league last year and is aiming to place first this season. Considering it is also his last season, he is looking forward to going against tough teams such as Irvine and Laguna Hills, and is confident in the team’s preparation and training.

“Even though we’ve only competed a few times, we have looked really impressive all around,” Mattar said. “We work so hard to get our hand raised on the mat.”

Fellow senior captain Michael Del Pilar has also been wrestling since his freshman year and shares the same determination as Mattar. He hopes to make it to CIF or Masters and is excited to see all of the new interest in wrestling this year.

“[One of my favorite parts about wrestling] is seeing the progression in the newer wrestlers we have,” Del Pilar said. “It’s really great to see, especially when you know they’ve been working just as hard as you.” 

Not only has the boys’ program gained many new wrestlers, but the girls’ team has also reached a new high for members. For the first time, girls’ wrestling was able to field a team of eight girls.

One of the girls’ top wrestlers, junior Megan Sognefest, joined wrestling this year. Sognefest has a background in the sport, as well as in jiu-jitsu, and wanted to be a part of the athletic community at UHS.

“So far I’ve won almost all of my matches, so I hope to continue to do well,” Sognefest said. “My favorite part so far has been competing and learning from the other, more experienced wrestlers.”

The wrestling program is also unique at UHS because it includes several deaf and hard of hearing or DHH students. The coaching methods are different for these athletes during competitions, with the interpreters signing to them from all sides of the mat. The DHH wrestlers have performed exceedingly well thus far.

“The DHH program is picking up traction,” Mattar said. “[It had] historically been a very small part of our program.”

In the upcoming week, the wrestling program will be heading into league finals, with both girls and boys competing on Feb. 3.