Multiple departures from last year’s wrestling squad leaves the program room to establish a new image and pave a new path to the Central Coast Section (CCS) playoffs this winter.
Three-year varsity captain and 2022 CCS title runner-up Xavier Bruening is now an Iowa State wrestler. His brother Louis Bruening, who secured a CCS playoff berth last season, has also graduated. Even the head coaching position was vacated after a successful yet drama-filled season led by tenured coach Eric Bothelo.
Former assistant coach Ernesto Nunez has stepped into the role and has the energy and passion to revamp the program, which has been very successful in the past five years.
During last year’s season, however, the team took a massive hit when players departed from the team in the middle of the season. to. Notably, by the end of the season, the girls’ side of the squad had no active wrestlers.
This year, there has been a massive influx of participation with around 30 total wrestlers on the squad and eight girls ready for competition. Look out for seniors Emmi Cate and Erika Jiang, who have been standouts in preseason practices. On the boys’ side of things, be ready for strong campaigns from juniors River Lee and Ariuka Purev-Chang. Experienced wrestlers like sophomore Quinn Jones, senior Nabil Balach and junior Ellis McConnell, among others, are also poised for successful performances this year.
New leadership presents a new opportunity, and Burlingame’s wrestling team is back for blood. In particular, the Panthers have their eyes set to compete with league favorite Carlmont High School in the coming months. The team had their official weigh-ins and will face their first test of the season on Saturday, Dec. 3 in a tournament at El Camino High School.
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