By Diana Viera
Led by sophomore Ronald Collister, the Dons’ young core kicked off 2015 with a victory in Bakersfield and is looking for more after finishing 6-9 last year.
“Right now this is my second year coming in. I’m a returning state placer, this is my last year, I don’t know if I’m going to keep wrestling after, but right now I’m just working hard every day,” Collister said.
The Dons is primed for improvement. Two sophomores, Collister and Eric Roberts, both placed in the top 10 in the
2014 state finals and are looking to get into the state championships that will take place at Fresno City College.
“I’m trying to win a state championship and I want that team championship if it’s possible. I want us to do as well as we can,” Roberts said.
Since the season is early and conference play hasn’t started, the roster isn’t finalized. But Head Coach Vince Silva believes that by December the back end of the roster will be shored up with all the guys making weight.
“We still have our lineups, that haven’t been established yet. We still have guys trying to get down to proper weight, but for the most part we’ve got a good crew of young wrestlers,” Silva said.
One of the athletes that isn’t on the roster, but hopes to compete as soon as possible, is freshman Jeremy Dean. Dean, an MMA fighter who specializes in jiu jitsu, joined the Dons wrestling team to improve his wrestling skills.
“I definitely want to compete if I get good enough, without a doubt. I did a jiu jitsu tournament and I lost and it was because of my wrestling, so I decided to come to college to wrestle,” Dean said.
Some of the freshmen standouts include Armon Fayyazi, Tristan Steinman and Andrew Gomez.
“Because of the young and inexperienced core of our guys, I’m expecting them to show and do well. But as far as where I like them to be, I’m more optimistic thinking that in December, come to regionals, they’re going to be prepared to do some good,” Silva said.