COVID-19 has presented many restrictions that have altered our daily lives, leaving people to learn how to cope with pandemic protocol. Many Wildcats were concerned that close contact sports would be canceled this year. However, the Boy’s Wrestling Team, one of the most intimate contact sports offered at Ukiah High, has found new ways to condition and practice while upholding COVID-19 regulations.
Wildcat Boys Wrestling Coach Thomas Fragoza provided an overview of what training the team is currently engaged in and the pandemic protocols the team is practicing. According to Coach Fragoza, the wrestling team is weight training twice a week to condition for the upcoming season.” During weight training, the boys are required to wear masks when not exercising or when not able to maintain social distancing,” he explained.
Coach Fragoza works diligently to ensure the team follows COVID-19 protocols: “Despite anyone’s personal opinions, our team plans to follow any guidelines put forth for high school athletic teams.”
Charlie Cliburn, a senior on the Boy’s Wrestling Team, stated, “I don’t go out that often; I usually wear a mask when I lift weights and go to the store for food.” Cliburn feels the restrictions are necessary to stop the spread of COVID-19. However, he would prefer them to be less strict because he wants to practice wrestling.
Brandon Vargas, another senior on the Boy’s Wrestling Team, always brings a mask and social distances when he leaves his house. Vargas supports the restrictions because he believes they are protecting us from COVID-19, stating, “the faster it’s gone, the faster we can go back to normal.” Vargas suggested that “if we were more strict in the beginning, it would have been gone by now.”
Coach Fragoza explained that he expects Wildcat wrestlers to workout at home to ensure that they will be ready for the season. Cliburn runs with Cross Country while Vargas does push-ups.
The brawling within the wrestling circle is scheduled to occur this upcoming March. However, Cliburn “all the team can do is hope and pray that Wrestling practices can happen.”