La Cañada High wrestling Coach Gavin Williams doesn't think people realize how difficult the postseason is for high school wrestlers.
The road to the CIF Southern Section Masters Meet is a grueling one. After making it through an entire season, a wrestler has to compete in six to seven matches in two days for a shot at qualifying for Masters.
Making the elite meet was a goal La Cañada wrestlers Luke Sanborn and Chris Bache. They achieved that goal and took part in the tournament Feb. 28-29. However, they both quickly realized how difficult the competition was, as the two entered the meet unseeded and were eliminated after two straight losses.
"The competition was actually a lot better than I expected it to be. It was completely different from any other tournament because every match was close and everybody there was just so good. It was really something else," Sanborn said.
Williams said Bache and Sanborn have nothing to be ashamed of with their results. He added that The Masters Meet takes a tremendous amount of skill, the ability to keep your emotions in check coming off a tough loss and some luck.
"[Sanborn and Bache] had the best shot, but all my seniors had legitimate chances to make it to Masters," Williams said. "From what I saw last year, and the way they wrestled at CIF [Southern Section Division VI] duals, every single one of my seniors had a shot at it , but it's hard. People don't realize how difficult it is to wrestle so many matches in so many days."
Sanborn had only seen one of his fellow wrestlers at La Cañada make it to Masters in his four years. He said just being able to compete at Masters was a great ending to his senior season.
"It really showed that all the work I've put in over the years had paid off," Sanborn said. "I remember standing on the fifth-place spot at CIF [Inland Division Individuals] and I'm thinking, 'This is cool. Going to Masters isn't something most wrestlers get to do.'"
The CIF Southern Sections Masters Meet served as a conclusion to a dominant season for La Cañada wrestling. The Spartans went undefeated in Rio Hondo League, winning a league title, made it to the second round of CIF Southern Section Division VI Dual Meet and sent 10 wrestlers to CIF-Southern Section Individual Wrestling Divisional Championships.
"This is one of the better teams I have been apart of," Sanborn said. "There was a lot of talent and pretty much everyone on the team loved and was really dedicated to the sport."