Varsity wrestling continues to find footing at Colt Invitational

Sam Cano gains footing and is able to get on top of his opponent from Leland High School.

Emma Scott

Sam Cano gains footing and is able to get on top of his opponent from Leland High School.

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Three members of Carlmont’s newly-formed wrestling team competed against individuals from 48 different high schools in a tournament-style competition, placing 42nd overall.

This larger tournament was a challenge for Carlmont, and although they were able to score eight points overall, Carlmont was not able to make it past the double eliminations. 

“We are at a varsity tournament today, which means that the quality of the wrestling is better. Mostly, we’ve been going to JV tournaments because our team consists of more inexperienced wrestlers,” said Joe Patane, Carlmont’s wrestling coach. 

This season is Patane’s first year coaching at Carlmont, and it is also the first time Carlmont has had their own wrestling team in almost 20 years. Although Patane is new to coaching Carlmont, he has many years of experience in the sport of wrestling, including being an athlete himself in the early ’80s with El Camino High School at the Colt Invitational. This is the competition’s 11th consecutive year at El Camino after previously moving locations. 

One of Carlmont’s three wrestlers, Sam Cano, a junior and second-year high school wrestler can attest to the intensity of the competition.

Emma Scott
“Many schools come to this tournament to tune-up at the end of the season before league championships,” said Joe Patane, the wrestling coach.
Parents and supporters from all 48 schools came to support the athletes.

“I was not ready for it. I haven’t wrestled a guy that fast in a long time,” Cano said.

Reid Rodriguez, also a junior and third-year wrestler, felt that his performance at the competition was “sub-par and worse than some of the previous matches this season.”

Rodriguez and Cano are part of Carlmont’s new independent wrestling program but were still high school wrestlers. They trained at Sequoia and represented them during competitions in previous years since Carlmont’s program was not available yet. 

Despite the non-optimal performances by Carlmont, they were still able to gain practice and experience from this tournament. 

“Compared to previous matches, it was a lot faster. But I definitely survived for a longer time. I bridged out more, and I didn’t get pinned as quick,” Cano said.

This practice and gained experience are some of Patane’s strategies for building up the team. 

“We’re trying to get a lot of mat time and go to a lot of tournaments to get many opportunities to become better wrestlers. I prefer to get that competitive edge, come back, correct things, and go right back out to see if we can improve,” Patane said. 

The three athletes at the Colt Invitational are considered to be more the advanced members of the team by Patane, as they have more experience than the freshman and sophomore team that was attending a separate competition in San Jose on the same day. Many of Carlmont’s athletes from the other competition and the three athletes at the Colt Invitational will all be attending the league championships coming up on Feb. 14-15. 

“Right now, I’m really trying to build-up numbers and build back-up the Carlmont name since it’s been gone for so long,” Patane said.