Wrestling has a great history at Burlingame, but not a big following. Frequently, wrestling matches are overlooked in favor of football or soccer, and as a result, the Panther community may not know very much about the wrestling team or the sport itself.
Head coach Eric Botelho has been with the team for ten years, and he currently works alongside assistant coaches Bunzel and Capaella. The team has grown in recent years to over twenty players.
Cole Friedlander is the senior captain. He has played football and wrestling for his entire high school career, as well as baseball for three years. Friedlander uses his athletic experience to help him endure the long days.
“The best feeling in wrestling is when your hand gets raised [at the end of the match]. No other feeling will ever compare,” Friedlander said. “Wrestling will help you develop motivational life skills to find the determination to finish things when they are toughest.”
Junior water polo captain Jacob Chudnovsky is also an active member of the team, and this is his first year in wrestling. Chudnovsky has involved himself closely with the athletics program, having been on the swim team as well.
“A lot of people I know, when I say I do wrestling,” Chudnovsky said, “they say, ‘isn’t that dangerous?’ And, I say, no, it’s not really dangerous. It’s very strict in the rules. You can’t really hurt a person. I think that’s the number one misconception about the sport. If you do it right, it’s fun.”
So wrestling is very inclusive, being a no cut sport. Aside from a strong team spirit, wrestling is a well regulated sport that can be very enjoyable if played fairly. Wrestling matches occur often, and the entire roster and schedule for the 2016-2017 season can be found on the Burlingame High School website.