Panther wrestling aims high

By David Witte / sports@losbanosenterprise.comDecember 1, 2012 

Ask Pacheco senior Robert Burkart what he expects the Panthers wrestling team can accomplish this year, and he'll have one word for you.

"League," he said after his team's Purple and Black Scrimmage Tuesday in the school's north gym. "I think we're pretty stacked this year. Everybody's working hard."

He doesn't care that his statement will go up on six bulletin boards around the Valley, either. In fact, he invites it.

"That's good," he said. "We want everybody to bring it."

The Pacheco wrestling ranks have swelled this year, with coach Mike Singh overseeing a program with 62 wrestlers.

"We have quite a bit of freshmen that came out -- about 15, six of those are girls," Singh said. "Our girls are up by about 15 this year."

It's a trend seen statewide, and Singh said he has seen teams that have split a girls team off from the boys team, which is something he wants to do eventually.

"Now that they have the state tournament for girls, we're seeing it get real competitive," he said.

For now, the girls team is part of the main team, which wrestled out its final varsity spots on Tuesday. Brenda Carrillo (106 pounds), Aaron Jaime (113), Martin Perez (119), Taryn Mitchell (126), Salvador Rostro (132), Nathan Bristow (145), Marcus Azevedo (152), Thomas Cardenas (160), Burkart (170), Adrian Eusebio (182), Brandon Villareal (195), Nick Vermillion (220) and Everardo Santillan (285) all won their matches.

Singh wasn't as gung-ho about the teams goals this season, but he still has lofty goals.

"My goal is to take three or four up to masters," Singh said. "Last year we met our goal of taking half of them to the divisional tournament. We have a couple of guys with the ability to do that."

The ultimate goal is making the state tournament, which may not happen for a few years.

"Someone would have to have the season of their life, but in the future we have some guys to do that," Singh said. "We have some freshmen who are coming in with talent."

Enterprise reporter David Witte can be reached by phone at 388-6565 or by e-mail at sports@losbanosenterprise.com

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