Wrestling: Paly falls to Fremont at home, 35-39

Kate Marinkovich, Author

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Paly junior Andrew Frick takes on Fremont’s Sam Kanongata’a in a match. The Vikings went on to lose the dual 35-39, after suffering from forfeits and a slow start. Photo by Spencer Carlson.

After a slow start and an impressive comeback, the Palo Alto High School wrestling team (1-5, 1-4) fell to Fremont High School, 35-39, in a dual-meet loss Thursday at home.

Forfeits cost Paly the dual, as the team suffered from absences caused by bacteria infections and injuries, according to head coach David Duran.

Paly began the dual slowly, suffering four consecutive losses to bring the score to a lopsided 0-23. With Paly behind by a significant margin, freshman Eric Oshima took to the mat and delivered the first promising performance of the evening. After dominating the first two periods, Oshima nailed a pin over Fremont’s Tyler Chew in period three, putting Paly on the scoreboard  at 6-23.

Oshima’s victory sent Paly on a winning streak, as senior Gary Hobach then secured an early victory with a 15 point lead over Fremont’s Dominick Huerta. Junior Jordan Gans, despite suffering from a mild shoulder injury, followed with an impressive pin over Fremont’s Christian Reyes. Freshman Chioke Bryant-Anderson delivered a victory next with a pin over Fremont’s Alitio Ampe, bringing the score to an even 23-23. Senior Alex Taussig then secured another victory with a pin over Fremont’s Castro, bringing Paly to the lead with a score of 29-23.

With Paly in the lead, star wrestler junior Andrew Frick came to the floor, but was pinned early in the match by Fremont’s Sam Kanongata’a for a surprising loss, ending the winning streak and bringing the score back to an even 29-29.

“I was surprised when he [Frick] got pinned,” Duran said. “You stop wrestling for a second and get caught on your back.”

Paly then forfeited the next round, bringing the score to 29-35. One victory away from a tie, sophomore James Giaccia hit the mat against Fremont’s Joey Caire. Although evenly fought by both sides, Fremont emerged victorious bringing the score to 29-39. Fremont forfeited the final match; however, their lead was too strong and they emerged victorious with a final score of 35-39.

The loss, although disheartening, was not unexpected, according to Duran.

“We were in position to win the match and we didn’t get it done,” Duran said. “We obviously had quite a few guys out still.”

As the dual marked Paly’s last home game of the season, Duran honored the team’s four seniors: Jordan Smith, Alex Taussig, Erik Anderson and Gary Hobach.

With key players soon returning from infections and injuries, Paly hopes to continue improving and be back in full force for upcoming league finals.

“We’re wrestling better,” Duran said. “We have all these forfeits we have to give up but we’re coming along, our main goal is to have everyone back by league finals and then we’ll be okay.”