The article you’re about to read is from our reporters doing their important work — investigating, researching, and writing their stories. We want to provide informative and inspirational stories that connect you to the people, issues and opportunities within our community. Journalism requires lots of resources. Today, our business model has been interrupted by the pandemic; the vast majority of our advertisers’ businesses have been impacted. That’s why the SC Times is now turning to you for financial support. Learn more about our new Insider’s program here. Thank you.

Senior Mark Marshall practices a cradle drill on Alexander Ames during a wrestling practice. Photo: Steve Sohanaki
Senior Mark Marshall practices a cradle drill on Alexander Ames during a wrestling practice. Photo: Steve Sohanaki

By Steve Sohanaki

Last Season: The San Clemente High School wrestling team finished second in the South Coast League.

Players to Watch: Mike Marshall and Alexander Ames.

Circle ’em: League matches against Trabuco Hills (12/16) and Laguna Hills (1/20) will be among the Tritons biggest of the year.


After taking second place behind Laguna Hills at the South Coast League Finals last season, the San Clemente wrestling team is hoping to make a comeback this year and emerge as the league champion.

The league schedule presents a veritable gauntlet for teams to run through. The high-profile South Coast League includes the sixth-ranked Tritons, Dana Hills, No. 3 Laguna Hills, No. 5 Trabuco Hills and Mission Viejo.

That hasn’t stopped the Tritons from aiming high.

“Our goals are to go undefeated in all of our league duels, qualify 14 of our guys for CIF and then win the CIF Tournament,” San Clemente head coach Mark Calentino said.

Calentino said the biggest challenge in coaching high school wrestlers is keeping them motivated to work hard. This year that hasn’t been the case.

“The main difference between this year and last year is that I just don’t hear about kids slacking off,” Calentino said. “I haven’t caught any kids taking shortcuts on our runs and they’re doing plenty of hard work outside of the wrestling room too. They’re just way more self-motivated than last year’s team.”

The team currently has three returning CIF place finishers and one returning state qualifier in senior Mike Marshall (182 pounds). Marshall placed fourth at the CIF Masters tournament last season and trained with El Dorado High School’s national dual team during the offseason.

“I want to place in the top five at the state tournament,” Marshall said. “I’ve improved a lot since last year and I’m really motivated.”

Senior Alexander Ames (197 pounds) also trained on his own during the offseason by traveling to Minnesota and enrolling in the J. Robinson Intensive Wrestling Camp, a prominent development program headed by University of Minnesota head coach J. Robinson.

“It opened my eyes to what I need to do to improve myself and gave me a mental edge,” Ames said.

Date                Opponent                                Location, Time

12/2                  SC 8-Way Tourn.                       SCHS, 3 p.m.

12/5-6              Millikan Duals                            LB Millikan, 2 p.m.

12/9*                Dana Hills                                   DHHS, 7 p.m.

12/12-13          Edison Beach Bash Invit.         Edison, 2 p.m.

12/16*              Trabuco Hills                             SCHS, 7 p.m.

12/19-20          Brea Olinda Invit.                     Brea Olinda, TBA

12/29-30         Reno Tourn. of Champs           Reno, 10 a.m.

1/3                    Ontario Invit.                              Ontario, 9 a.m.

1/6*                  Mission Viejo                              MVHS, 7 p.m.

1/16-17             Temecula Invit.                          Temecula, 10 a.m.

1/20*                Laguna Hills                               SCHS, 7 p.m.

1/24                  SC Rotary Tourn.                      SCHS, 9:30 a.m.

1/31*                SCL Finals                                   Aliso Niguel, 10 a.m.

*–denotes league meet

Trustworthy, accurate and reliable local news stories are more important now than ever. Support our newsroom by making a contribution and becoming a subscribing member today.

About The Author Staff

comments (2)

comments (2)

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>