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Weekly Team Update

Last Updated: 2/18/24 First thing is new

**Congratulations to our Masters champion and medalists! Gianna DiBenedetto became a 2x Masters Champion over the weekend.  Maria Alves finished as an 8th place medalists and Elias Castaneda finished as a 7th place medalist!  I'll post tournament summaries tomorrow.  

**Tournament summaries are in progress...

**CONGRATULATIONS TO YOUR 2024 CVC LEAGUE CHAMPIONS! I'll update the website tomorrow, but we are officially the 2024 CVC League Champions.  We went 6-0 in league dual meets and then we took first place in the league tournament today.  We also qualified 12 wrestlers to the section championships (with 1 alternate).  We train year round and put in a TON of work and all of that work is showing.  Every person in our program played a roll in this championship; every kid and every parent/guardian. Thank you.  Also, if you see my wife or kids please thank them for supporting the BV wrestlers and program.  There's a lot going on behind the scenes and I couldn't do this without my family's support.  We aren't done.  Sections are next Saturday, then Masters, then State.  The coaches are working on an offseason 2.0 this year and I will post that information around the banquet time.  

**The JV Season is over:  The JV team's season is over and they can now go out for a spring sport.  They need to turn in their washed singlets, backpack/bag, and anything else they checked out from me.  They can bring it to me in my classroom.  Please get this taken care of ASAP; it sucks having to hunt people down.  If they want to keep wrestling, they are invited to the practices this week so they can kind of get the feel of the varsity postseason. I'm also taking $100 donations for the hoody, shirt, and sweatpants if the kids want to keep them.  If there is a financial burden I will have the wrestler help work off the costs by helping me clean mats, set up for the tournament on March 23rd, working that tournament, and helping clean up. We will have our banquet probably on the 2nd week of March.  

**Community Service Requirement Just a reminder that every BV wrestler is required to volunteer 2 nights at the Kids Club Practices.  The younger kids love it and it's very helpful for our high school kids to go and help out/teach the younger kids.  These practices are at Carnegie HS.  1st - 3rd grade practices on Monday/Wednesday nights from 5:30 - 6:45 pm.  4th - 6th grade practices on Tuesday/Thursday nights from 5:30 - 7 pm.  I will give community service hours for this. This is also great for college applications. 


**I love this team and I can't say it enough.  The past 2 weeks have been absolutely hectic with our schedules/workload and every single athlete/coach in our program has shined.  Stressful moments filled with adversity will usually test the true character of individuals and we've definitely been tested.  I can't express how proud I am of where we are as an entire program.  From the kids club and their coaches, to Carnegie and their coaches, and all the way through our high school teams and our coaches.  Thank you for trusting in me and my vision and my core values for our program.  Even though I haven't updated the "BV CORE VALUES" page in a couple of years, I still let those 5 values guide our actions.  Grit, Resilience, Commitment, Integrity, and Gratitude.  


**THANK YOU Shirley Marlatt and Kathi Rutherdale for running the snack bar and organizing everything for me.  Their kids already graduated and they are still spending all this time to help our program

**THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! This past weekend was a HUGE success and this fundraiser would not have worked without all of your help. I appreciate you more than you know.  We had numerous families helping everywhere, all of our BV wrestlers worked all weekend without complaint (more on that in the next paragraph), the Carnegie wrestlers worked the Sunday tournament, we had numerous BV wrestling alumni volunteering , and we even had a lot of our wrestling alumni parents volunteering their time.  This weekend went as good as it could have possibly gone.  I've been involved with wrestling for a very long time and tournaments are often times a reflection of the type of culture that takes place within a program.  I am so proud of our BV family this past weekend and how our program represented itself.  We made ourselves look really, really good.  I had compliments from numerous coaches and parents about how our tournament operated and how organized it was.  I can't thank every single person by name but here are a few: Shirley Marlatt and Kathi Rutherdale took charge with our snack bar and I never had to do a single thing in the weeks of preparation except say yes to everything they wanted to do. They got WinCo donations, the food trucks, organized everything, etc.  Thank you!  Mike Marlatt picked up the U-Haul for me on Friday and Sunday, drove back and forth to Barrett, Casa and Carnegie multiple times, and returned the truck.  So grateful.  Usually, I'm the one doing the U-Haul and Mike freed up a ton of my time so I could help in other places. Coach Nishimura and Coach Hovis supported me all weekend and took care of a ton of tiny, little things for me that saved me a ton of time. Hovis organized every table, every ref, and was working the entire time.  Frank Castaneda was on the floor, in the action, helping deal with parents, kids, wrestlers, helping tables, etc.  Tough job.  Aaron Keough romed everywhere and helped everywhere.  We had parents at tickets, shirts, snack bar, crowd control, checking wristbands, and way more.  I can't thank you enough.  Thank you.  Dana Smith (Carnegie coach) helped a lot behind the scenes and was an amazing help.  I also could not have done this past weekend without the full support of my wife and daughters.  I have so much love and support and encouragement from my girls, which allows me the freedom to focus so intently on coaching.  Shelby was helping me all week with tasks and other behind the scenes items. If i missed your name, it's not personal.  I'm exhausted. Anyway, THANK YOU!  I also made a lot of notes on how to improve it for next year.  Please feel free to email me with any suggestions or ideas. 

**THANK YOU CURRENT BV WRESTLERS and alumni: Our wrestlers were total troopers all weekend long and represented Bella Vista extremely well.  I love this team so much. On Friday, we all moved mats from Casa Roble and Carnegie and ended up having to take multiple trips.  Our wrestlers worked all weekend on the tables, cleaning, refereeing, and more.  We moved mats on Sunday as well and we still need to return a mat to Barrett on Tuesday before practice and they are taking care of that for me.  It was so nice to sit back and watch our wrestlers operate.  I had a TON of compliments on the refs, the organized table workers, and more.  These were from respected, veteran coaches who know a good tournament when they see it.  Our culture on our team is so positive and strong.  I didn't hear one kid complain about one thing all weekend; they kept offering to help more and more.  I love this team.  We also had a lot of wrestling alumni show up and work tables and ref!  So cool.


**Happy New Year and Welcome back! We are officially in back half of our season.  January is a grind, but a lot of fun.  We host our big fundraiser, we have senior night, pictures, duals, travel, and the team playoffs begin (1 day dual meet tournament). Thanks for reading and just stay tuned for weekly updates.  Just so you know, I've been telling the kids all season how important it is to take care of their physical and mental health.  I talk details almost every day at practice, and some of the things that I say is how they have to get 8-9 hours of sleep a night, they need to stray away from fast food, chips, candy, and soda and go towards healthy nutrition (including lots of water every day).  They are supposed to make their bed every single morning, so you can show them this and remind them.  They need to get their homework done every day, not be late to class, do their work in class, stay present, and absolutely no vaping, drugs, alcohol, or tobacco.  We work way too hard to let those negative things take away all our hard work.  This takes a lot of discipline and helps perpetrate other healthy habits in their life.  Going to school, practice, and competing is hard enough.  Adding in any of those negative things just inhibits each person's ability to have an optimal performance in their every day life.  We can't do both.  It's one or the other.  I spoke about this at the parent meeting, but I do follow the school rules for our athletes in regards to all those things.  Anyway, back to being positive, our team has been doing a great job on focusing on their physical and mental health and I love this team so much.  


**JV Boys and Girls This week: Both teams will be at the Vista Del Lago High School girls wrestling tournament/JV boys wrestling tournament.  Everybody needs to be at Vista Del Lago High School by 6:40 am.  Weigh-ins begin at 7 am and wrestling begins at 9 am.  I believe they will pool the boys and put the girls into brackets. This tournament is on Saturday, 1/6/24.

**Varsity Boys This weekend: The varsity boys will compete in a 2 day tournament at Escalon High School this weekend (1/5/24 - 1/6/24).  We are only allowed to bring 1 wrestler per weight class.  I will establish the varsity line up by Tuesday morning's practice.  We need to be at Escalon High School by 6:30 am on Friday morning, so drivers need to hit the road around 5:00 - 5:15 am.  Weigh-ins begin at 7 am and wrestling begins at 9 am.  We will stay at a hotel on Friday night.  After everyone is finished wrestling on Friday, we will go to our hotel.  We are staying at the Hilton in Manteca (180 Northwoods Ave Manteca CA 95336 US).  This is right in a hub of a bunch of restaurants and a store so the kids will be able to grab dinner on Friday night.  We have them in bed early.  On day 2, we get to Escalon High School by 6:30 am and don't return to the hotel.  Weigh-ins are at 7 am on Saturday and wrestling begins at 9 am.  If you want to try and get a room with the team, you can contact our travel agent, Katrina Ferland, who is amazing and takes care of us ( We will go home at the conclusion of the tournament on Saturday night.  The only charge i ask is for kids to pay $20 cash for their hotel rooms to help offset costs. There is a little free breakfast at the hotel so we have the kids load up on food and bring it to the tournament to eat after weigh-ins on Saturday.  Last year, Shirley Marlatt suggested to bring some plastic containers instead of trying to bring it in a car and to the tournament on the cheap little paper plates the hotel provides.  So each kid should plan on bringing something like that. This tournament runs a little differently.  On day one, the wrestlers are put into pools of 4-5 wrestlers where they wrestle each person in that pool.  On day 2, they are put into a bracket based on their record on day 1.  If they go 4-0, then they are in a bracket with all the kids who went 4-0.  Day 2 is a double elimination bracket.  If someone goes 1-3 on day one, then they are put into a bracket with kids who went 1-3 on the first day.  It's great because we get a lot of matches in 2 days and then we are matched up with kids close to our skill level on day 2.  Both days are long days and the gym is crowded so maybe bring a pop up tent and some chairs to hangout outside.  The varsity line-up will be set by Tuesday morning, so the kids will have plenty of time to make plans.  


**No dual meet this week


**Practice Schedule through 1/8/24 has been posted Please read through this.  I'll update more tournament details of January when January hits.  Everybody needs to be at every one of these practices.  We take that short break to give the kids a physical and mental rest from the grind of the season.  They do, however, still need to hit the pavement and get runs in on 4 of the 5 days we are off.  

**Finals are this week

Part of being a student-athlete is being able to balance school and sport.  I'm giving ample time for the students to get homework/studying done this week AND make practices.  The bell schedule is different this week so please read through the practice schedule for the week.  On Monday, 12/18, we can't get into the Atrium until 5 pm so the wrestlers need to use the time after school to study/get homework done, go to practice, and then finish any work they have after practice.  

**Dual Meet at home against Roseville this week 

The wrestlers will have 3.5 hours off after school before they have to meet back up at 4:15 for set up.  This should be a close dual and a fun night.  Roseville beat us by 2 points last year and returns most of their team.  We will have the school band in attendance for the dual and we invited the Jr. Broncos wrestling team to show up and support the team.  I will have a section roped off for the Jr. Broncos.  Weigh-ins are at 5 pm, wrestling starts at 6 pm.  We start with JV/girls and then do a varsity dual.  Expect the dual to finish around 8:30 pm ish.

**Varsity boys are off this weekend for the holiday weekend

**JV Boys are off this weekend for the holiday weekend


**Girls are off this weekend for the holiday weekend

**Week 4 Tournament Summaries have been posted. 

**Gear has been distributed I provided sweats, a hoody, a t-shirt, a singlet, and a bag for every wrestler.  FYI, the singlet needs to be returned at the end of the season.  Normally, I make kids return the warm ups but I'm giving the option for kids to keep the gear this year.  I'm still trying to figure out a fair price, but it would be as price for the hoody, sweat pants, and shirt.  I am being transparent here, and I will have to verify, but I think the hoody was $45, the sweats were $40, and the shirt was $25.  I'll probably just offer everything at $100 if you can afford it. The team loses a little money on that but it's not about profit.  If not, you can still return it (clean) at the end of the season.  Better yet, you can have your wrestler make a deal and work off the price.  I will put something together, but it will be something like mopping the mats every single day, setting up the mats, organizing the annex room, running errands, being my go-to person, etc.  All year long.  That's a tough job so don't apply lightly.  I'll put something official together ASAP.  

**Thank you for attending the parent meeting! That was a lot of fun.  We had 60 parents show up and even had parents on their 3rd BV wrestler in attendance (along with many other special people that I mentioned in person).  If you would like to call about girls wrestling not receiving a coaching stipend, Ron Barney is the director of Athletics for the SJUSD.  We've been a CIF sport for over 10 years now but no stipends.  We still pay our girls wrestling coaches out of the money that we have to fundraise on our own.  Girls Flag Football is in their first year and the district provided stipends to their team this year (not taking away the great work those coaches and athletes are doing).  I took a screenshot from the district website on how to contact Ron Barney.  Thank you!  









**Driver Chaperone Information: There are 3 parts to this. 

1. You fill out a"Volunteer Personal Automobile Use Form" (I will have physical copies of this form at the parent meeting.  If you miss the meeting I can email you a copy of the form). You will turn this form in to the Principal's secretary, Darcie Mahlke.  You can have your kid give it to me and I will give it to her.

2/3. We will also need a drivers lic. and a copy of their insurance declaration page.  In addition, they need to fill out the district’s volunteer google form -

Not too bad.  

**Varsity vs. Junior Varsity: Every single person on the team has the opportunity to be on the varsity line up for the week. FYI, this year there are new weight classes.  Here are the new boys weight classes for the next few years

106 pounds 113 pounds 120 pounds 126 pounds

132 pounds 138 pounds 144 pounds 150 pounds

157 pounds 165 pounds 175 pounds
190 pounds, 215 pounds, 285 pounds

Here are the new Girls Weight Classes for the next few years:

100 pounds 105 pounds 110 pounds 115 pounds

120 pounds 125 pounds 130 pounds 135 pounds

140 pounds, 145 pounds, 155 pounds
170 pounds, 190 pounds, 235 pounds


** Grades: School is more important than sports, which is why "student" comes before "athlete."  I'm a teacher on campus and there is no excuse for any of our wrestlers to not be academically eligible.  It takes a lot of discipline to establish positive habits in regards to finding a way to optimally thrive in school while simultaneously thriving in sport.  This is one of the life skills that I'm trying to develop as a coach.  Grade checks to start the season came out about a month ago and there will be updated grade checks (progress reports) in a week or so.  By the way, I do NOT excuse an athlete from practice because they have homework.  Practice ends no later than 5:45 every night and nobody is doing homework, nonstop, from 3:30 - bedtime.  No culmination of teachers assigns that much homework.  If they do, then please tell me and I will work with those teachers.  

**Mandatory Community Service Every BV wrestler is required to volunteer at least 2x this year at one of the kids' club practices.  I run the kids club (after the high school practices) Monday through Thursday nights at Carnegie.  We always love when the high school kids come in and help out and I'm making it official this year.  I will provide community service hours for this work as well.  This helps the younger kids build connection, our high school kids get to volunteer and help coach (and learn by coaching), etc.  There are a ton of benefits to this.  I will set up official information next week.  This week is our first full week of kids club.  




**Traveling for this year: We have an amazing travel agent who offers who just booked all of the hotel rooms for our entire season, for free.  Katrina Ferland had a son wrestle for us years ago and still helps us out every single season.  She's amazing to work with and all she asks for me to do is to put down her website.  She will also speak at the parent meeting about booking hotels for the team.  HERE IS A LINK to her travel website.  If you want to book a room in any hotel that the team is staying in this year just contact her and she will provide you with the best rates.  You should use her to help you with future travels as well.  




**Just in case you missed this, I prioritize my communication to the wrestlers via Google Classroom now (in addition to in person communication):  I've been communicating with the wrestlers via Google Classroom for the past couple of years.  This is a lot better because the wrestlers will get notifications on their phone (instead of checking a website) every time I make an announcement.  For the new wrestlers, here is the code to join "jbh3ezj" The BV wrestlers all know they are required to be on the page. Recently, I had one of our supporters email me and ask why I hadn't updated the "wrestlers" portion of the website in a while and I told him about Google Classroom.  Please help me with this and make sure that your wrestler is part of the Google Classroom wrestling page and that they have their notifications turned on for the page.


**Congratulations Class of 2023!  I love this group of humans!  They went through quite a bit in their past four years and finished stronger than ever.  To start, they had Covid hit when they were freshman.  As sophomores, their wrestling season was canceled due to Covid.  Despite all the adversity, they responded amazingly well.  This group represents the very best in human beings and I know that each person will make a positive impact on our world.  Every single BV wrestling alumni will always have an open invitation to come back to our room, duals, etc.  As long as I'm around, anyway!  On that note, I am working on some projects this summer with the goal of getting our wrestling alumni more involved with the program, recognized, etc.  Stay tuned because I might ask for some help.  


**Summer wrestling starts June 13th.  We will be practicing at Carnegie from 9am - 10:30 am every Tuesday/Thursday of the summer except for week 2.  On June 20th, 21st, and 22nd, our team will be at Ponderosa for a team camp.  This is free for our wrestlers.  There will be technique sessions in the morning and then dual meets in the afternoon.  Our kids will get a lot of matches against a big variety of kids ranging from beginner to advanced.  This mat time is invaluable.  I seriously can't explain how beneficial these matches are for each wrestler.  Please plan on attending this camp.  We get there at 9 am, have lunch after technique, and then wrestle until about 3 pm ish.  After the camp, we return to Carnegie for the rest of the summer.  Every Tuesday/Thursday morning.  Please plan on attending these sessions.  


**Awesome BV Wrestling Alumni News: 2019 BV grade, Yelena Makoyed, was just named the NCAA Women's College Wrestler of the Year!  Absolutely amazing!  Congratulations to Yelena.  In case you don't know, Yelena first starting wrestling as a freshman at Bella Vista.  Yelena fully committed to the sport and finished her high school career as a 3x state medalist and California state champion (3rd, 2nd, 1st).  1 year later, Yelena finished in 2nd place as a true freshman in the NCAA Championships.  Yelena went on to win the next the NCAA championships to finish as a 3x champion and 4x finalist (2, 1, 1, 1).  This year, Yelena absolutely dominated the the competition and won the equivelant of the Heisman Trophy for women's wrestling.  HERE IS A LINK to an article about Yelena's award.  


**THANK YOU FOR HELPING US RUN A SUCCESSFUL OFFSEASON TOURNAMENT TODAY! Bella Vista hosted its first Sacramento Area Wrestling Association (SAWA) spring tournament today after many years off.  I didn't realize how difficult it would be to get help during the offseason but a lot of people stepped up big time and we could not have done it without them.  Thank you to Shirley Marlatt and Kathi Rutherdale for taking charge and running the snack bar for us today.  Shirley also put together the sign up genius and both girls helped with a lot of other tasks behind the scenes.  It's very nice to not have to worry about the snack bar at all.  Thank you to Vic Jesus and Ken Olivera for running the gate ALL DAY LONG.  These were the only 2 that signed up to work and they put in more time than I asked from them.  Also, I have some amazing humans that I get to have as assistant coaches.  Aaron Keough and took time off work on Friday to help us move mats from Carnegie and all 3 of his sons worked extremely hard all weekend to help us out.  Chuck and Beau are in our kids club but they are basically already part of the high school team.  Hayden Hovis tackles every single task that I ask of him without hesitation and he was helping everywhere this weekend.  We had a lot of kids help on Friday and Saturday and I'm sure I'm forgetting some, but Vince Nguyen, Justin Nguyen, David Nguyen, Katelynne Hall, Javier Farfan, Jaharie Osborne, Aiden Jaeger, Jorden Watson, Jared Watson, Myles Casillas, Robby Jansen, Emma Ford, Greenlea Record, Max Keough, Ben Jesus, and Frank Olivera.  Most of them wrestled matches as well!  We will now take spring break off and then resume our spring practices on Mondays/Wednesdays after school when we return to school.  

I also want to thank my wife and daughters for helping today.  They knew we were short staffed and showed up to help in the snack bar and everywhere else that was needed.  Going straight into the offseason after a loooooong high school season is tough and I could not do this without the support of my wife, Shelby.  She knows this is all for the kids and she still supports me after all of the time that I put in.  

**CONGRATULATIONS TO 2023 CALIFORNIA STATE CHAMPION, GIANNA DIBENEDETTO!!!!!!! Gianna wrestled absolutely amazing all weekend in Bakersfield and took home her first state championship.  Gianna joins an elite club of state champions for Bella Vista and will be in our record books forever.  

**Offseason Wrestling!

There's no secret formula in wrestling.  The people who are winning matches at Masters and State are the ones who are training hard during the offseason. We have to put in the work in order to reach our goals, and we will put in the work.  After the state tournament this week, we will take about a month off to rest our bodies and minds.  After the well deserved break, we will start our spring season on Monday, March 27th.  Practices will be on Mondays and Wednesdays from 3:45 - 5 pm.  We will also send as many wrestlers as possible to the Sacramento Area Wrestling Association (SAWA) tournaments during our spring season.  There are 8 spring tournaments this year and Bella Vista is actually hosting one of them on April 1st.  Our high school kids will work tables and wrestle in the tournament on April 1st at Bella Vista.  SAWA tournaments have home weigh-ins at practice and staggered start times for high school kids.  Usually, the high school kids won't start before 11 am (or noon) so they can sleep in and they don't have to show up for weigh-ins at the SAWA tournaments.  I'm a board member of SAWA and I will be at most tournaments this year.  These tournaments are fun and laid back and our kids just focus on practicing their new moves/skills and get mat time, which is invaluable.  Practices in the spring are very mellow compared to in-season practices and I spend a lot of time teaching new moves, strategies, etc. The spring session will run for about 8 weeks and will probably end on May 24th (we don't practice during spring break).  After our spring season ends, we take about another month off and train in the mornings throughout the summer.  Summer wrestling will start mid-June and will be 2 days a week in the morning at Carnegie.  We usually practice from 9 am - 10:30 am ish in the summer but I will ask the kids what times they want to practice.  I'm also working on securing the weight room for the kids who want to lift at BV in the summer.  More details about that will follow.  In addition to summer practices, which are very mellow with lots of teaching, I take the team to the Ponderosa team camp in June where we get a little technique and a LOT of matches.  These matches give our kids a tremendous amount of mat time that is crucial to develop during the offseason.  I think all of our Masters qualifiers this year were at Ponderosa and most of them got between 16-20 matches.  Trust me, the only way to get better at wrestling is to wrestle (practice and compete, then practice more and then compete again in order to measure improvement).   If you look at every single wrestler in the history of Bella Vista who has either qualified for state or medaled in the state tournament, they committed to our offseason program, which had a direct correlation to their postseason success.  Regardless of what level your wrestler was at this past season, they will see tremendous growth in their wrestling if they commit to our offseason program.  We don't have much time to slow down and teach skills during our high school season, but we take care of all of that in the offseason. Having said all that, I want to make it clear that I encourage every wrestler to participate in multiple sports at BV. If they are on another team and there are official practices for that team, they need to fully commit to that team and the coach's requirements. 

**Bakersfield Recap: The final 2 wrestlers on the team went down to Bakersfield on Wednesday for a long, grueling 3 day wrestling tournament.  You read that right, the state championships are a 3 day tournament.  3 weigh ins, and 3 days of competition against the best wrestlers in CAlifornia.  We have a true state championship (no divisions) and the most high school wrestlers in country, so this is truly the toughest state tournament in the nation.  After driving to Bakersfield on Wednesday, we got a workout in Wednesday night at the arena.  Thursday, Emma Ford and Gianna both had 2 matches each and both went 2-0 on the first day.  Both girls looked awesome and dominated their opponents.  On Friday, the girls were in the quarterfinals.  The winner of the quarterfinals is an automatic medalist and the loser will still have to win another match to medal.  These matches are very exciting.  Gianna won this match 17-0.  Emma ran into a hammer and lost.  On day 3, Gianna was in the semifinals against a girl who had pinned her just 2 months ago at a tournament in Los Angeles.  Gianna game planned right and her head was in the right place and she dominated the match and won 10-3.  Emma was in a round called the "Blood Round" by the wrestling world because the winner medals and the loser is done.  Emma lost 2-4 and almost had a takedown in the closing seconds but fell just short.  Only a sophomore, Emma is already planning on fully committing to the offseason, lifting, and doing everything she can to get better for next year... After her semifinals match, we had about a 5 hour break until we had to be back in the arena.  Gianna took a great nap and then came back and got to work.  We got on the floor and there were only 2 mats laid out inside of a 10,000 seat arena; 1 mat for the boys finals and 1 mat for the girls finals.  By the time the finals started, there were almost no empty seats in the 10,000 seat arena.  The atmosphere was electric.  Most wrestlers would crumble in that type of setting, and you don't know what that's like until you are there, but Gianna didn't change a thing and came out the exact same way she does every single match.  G dominated the match and won 10-0 to be a state champion!  She earned that from years and years of nonstop training, hard work, being coachable, competing, dealing with setbacks, adversity, etc.  G will put in another huge offseason this year and will be even better next season!  

That concludes another season of Bella Vista wrestling.  We definitely had some highs and some lows and everything in between this year.  I LOVE the kids on this team I wouldn't coach if it was not so rewarding.  We are taking a little break and then starting back up for our offseason training at the end of March.  I'm going to go play with my kids now.  See you at the banquet.  

**Spring Sports If your wrestler is going out for a spring sport please do not stress about them missing the beginning practices; they will have a fair chance to make every team after wrestling is finished.  Spring coaches know this and our wrestlers are not even allowed to go out for a spring sport until wrestling season season is finished for them.  If a wrestler attempted to quit so they could try out for a spring sport, they wouldn't be able to practice, anyway, until wrestling was done.  Plus, that would be a bad look for the athlete in the eyes of the spring coach.  Coaches love multiple sport athletes and spring coaches love wrestlers. 



**THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! This past weekend was a HUGE success and this fundraiser would not have worked without all of your help. I appreciate you more than you know.  We had numerous families helping everywhere, all of our BV wrestlers worked all weekend without complaint (more on that in the next paragraph), the Carnegie wrestlers worked the Sunday tournament, we had numerous BV wrestling alumni volunteering , and we even had a lot of our wrestling alumni parents volunteering their time.  This weekend went as good as it could have possibly gone.  I've been involved with wrestling for a very long time and tournaments are often times a reflection of the type of culture that takes place within a program.  I am so proud of our BV family this past weekend and how our program represented itself.  We made ourselves look really, really good.  I had compliments from numerous coaches and parents about how our tournament operated and how organized it was.  I can't thank every single person by name but here are a few: Shirley Marlatt and Kathi Rutherdale took charge with our snack bar and I never had to do a single thing in the weeks of preparation except say yes to everything they wanted to do. They got WinCo donations, the food trucks, organized everything, etc.  Thank you!  Krista Holmes and Vic Jesus ran weigh-ins for me on Friday night, stayed late, and then they were both back to school at 5:30 am the next day and worked all weekend.  Mike Marlatt picked up the U-Haul for me on Friday and Sunday, drove back and forth to Casa and Carnegie multiple times, and returned the truck.  So grateful.  Usually, I'm the one doing the U-Haul and Mike freed up a ton of my time so I could help in other places. Coach Nishimura and Coach Hovis supported me all weekend and took care of a ton of tiny, little things for me that saved me a ton of time.  The Casa Roble wrestling coach, Rene Delgado, worked with me every day over the past 8 days to prepare to run the tournament online (my first time).  Friday night, after weigh-ins, Rene and I stayed at Bella Vista until 12:45 am setting up the middle school tournament online.  Then we were both back at BV 4 hours later at 5 am.  Yep, you read that right.  Dana Smith (Carnegie coach) helped a lot behind the scenes and was an amazing help. My mom worked the tournament all weekend, she helped pass out medals on Friday and Sunday, and other little things (my mom has been working wrestling tournaments for the past 34 years so she's great to have around.  Plus, I get the bonus of hanging out with my sweet, amazing mom all weekend).  As you can tell, this past weekend was a total team effort and every person's contribution played an important role in solving the confusing puzzle that takes place when running a tournament.  I also could not have done this past weekend without the full support of my wife and daughters.  My wife is a prime example of the optimal head coach's wife.  I have so much love and support and encouragement from her, which allows me the freedom to focus so intently on coaching...  Anyway, THANK YOU!

**THANK YOU CURRENT BV WRESTLERS: Our wrestlers were total troopers all weekend long and represented Bella Vista extremely well.  I love this team so much. On Friday, we all moved mats from Casa Roble and Carnegie and ended up having to take multiple trips.  Luckily, our girls basketball team canceled varsity practice in the small gym to help us out and we set up the small gym at 6 pm (instead of 8:30 pm).  Our team had to do some training on how to operate the Chromebooks mat side during the tournament, and then we waited for the boys varsity basketball game to finish.  As soon as the game ended, everybody got to work and did not stop working to set up the gym until it was beautiful and ready to go.  I think we finished around 10:30 pm, which isn't too bad considering that we had to wait so late to start. On Saturday, everybody showed up with an eagerness to help anywhere they could.  Honestly, that eagerness to help came from every wrestler at every single moment.  I'm so proud of these humans.  Anyway, our team worked the tables, refereed, cleaned up, helped with the snack bar, helped move things, and way more.  I had a lot of compliments about how well our wrestlers operated and how well they refereed from the coaches in attendance.  I did, however, just get an email from a parent telling me how her son had his opponent pinned for 5 seconds and the BV wrestler referee missed it and I should fix that problem.  True story.  I'm waiting 24 hours to respond.  Sunday was the same awesomeness as Saturday.  At the end, every single person cleaned up, rolled up mats, went to Casa and Carnegie, and flat out worked their butts off after a long, exhausting weekend.  Most people would crumble with all that discomfort but our wrestlers were able to focus on the task at hand instead of focusing on the pain.  In addition to all the help, I put Nathan Gregory in charge of refs in the large gym and Austin Carroll in charge of refs in the small gym. These guys are our team captains this year and they killed it!  Gianna DiBenedetto, Vince Nguyen, and Katelynne Hall each were in charge of a varsity mat on Saturday, which was a very important job and I felt very good about having those 3 there.  I've always been hesitant about delegating such important responsibilities to our wrestlers but these kids put my mind at ease and took care of everything for me.  Thank you! 




**Skin issues: PLEASE do not allow your wrestler to practice or compete if they have a contagious skin issue.  I always forget to mention this on the website until we have to deal with it. Although we work very hard to clean our mats every single day and we take care of our hygiene, some other schools do not.  We usually do not have skin issues until we compete against other schools.  Just so you know, I provide a proactive wrestling foam to each wrestler before the start of practice/competition.  This is designed for wrestlers to help prevent skin infections.  We also clean the mats every day with a wrestling specific cleaning solution.  I tell every wrestler that the first thing they have to do when they get home after practice is to shower.  They can't wear the clothes they had on during practice until the clothes have been washed.  In addition to that, every wrestler goes through a groom check before every single competition where the referees check to see if someone has a skin infection.  If they see one, they will not allow that person to wrestle.  Despite all of that, skin infections still happen in wrestling.  The most common ones in wrestling are ringworm and impetigo.  Ringworm is pretty much the same thing as "Athlete's Foot," but on your body.  It will appear as a red circle or half circle and will be very itchy.  This is very contagious but it is not harmful or dangerous.  Most ringworm can be treated with an over the counter anti-fungal cream, but I would recommend talking to your doctor (I'm not a doctor) for treatment.  Impetigo almost always happens on the face or neck but it can happen anywhere on the body.  Based on my experience, impetigo usually happens after a scratch, mat burn, or any open wound happens during wrestling.  At first, it looks innocent and then it starts spreading and is itchy and contagious.  Impetigo looks like blisters and it is not dangerous, but it needs to be treated with medicine from your doctor.  The sooner any skin infection gets treated the sooner it goes away.  Please do not hesitate with treating skin infections.  If any wrestler/parent has a question about something on their skin the BV coaches will help take a look and help you navigate what to do next.  Some kids get embarrassed so they don't say anything until it's too late.  There's nothing to be embarrassed about; it happens to everybody.  


**Varsity Line-Up Any wrestler can contest for a spot on the varsity line up - if they are at practice.  We had a lot of wrestlers skip practice this past week without telling me ahead of time. If you look under our team rules there are a lot of details about being able to represent Bella Vista.  It should be an honor to represent Bella Vista and I put a lot of stock into that.  I don't allow people to compete for us if they are halfway committed; even if they are an all star.  TBH, they wouldn't be an all star if they were halfway committed.  Having said that, it's not ok for wrestlers to skip practice.  It's not healthy or safe for them.  It would be dangerous for me to put a wrestler in the line up who hasn't been at practice.  If I have 3 kids on the team who are committed to the process the coaches have laid out for them, live in accordance to our team values, and do their best every single day, that's ok with me.  I only want kids who can represent Bella Vista in its true capacity.  By the way, we have a TON of those kids on our team right now and I love them so much and I am working so hard for them.  Anyway, on Monday's practice this week I am going to ask what weight class each kid wants to go at the dual and at Vacaville.  I will have challenge matches on Monday (and Tuesday if necessary) to determine our starting lineup for the week.  Once the line up is made, the wrestlers is committing to everything required of them that week.  

**Financial Costs of Running a Typical Wrestling Season:  Before you read through any of this, I want you to know that wrestling at Bella Vista is free for each wrestler.  We only ask that each wrestler, along with their parent(s), guardian(s) and/or family, helps with our fundraiser(s) to offset any sort of financial requirement... 

Historically, our program has only done 1 fundraiser a year, which is 1 weekend in January.  We usually profit enough from our annual fundraiser to pay for our entire season and have some extra money for our emergency fund.  Just to be transparent, it costs around $15,000 dollars to run our season - every year.  We are almost 100% dependent on our own fundraising revenue in order to pay for our season.  The school only pays for the refs at our home dual meets and the district pays for 2 coaching stipends.  We are 100% on our own after that.  Having said that, our district has still refused to pay a stipend for a girls' wrestling coach, even though girls wrestling has been sanctioned by the CIF since 2011, they have their own tournaments, playoffs, and state championships.  We have 2 girls coaches and pay each of them a full stipend each year from our own fundraising profits (thousands of dollars).  Coach Nishimura deferred his stipend last year to save the team money and Coach Hedrick took half a stipend to save the team money as well (he only needed gas money reimbursement because he lives in Pollock Pines).  In addition to girls coaching stipends, we also pay for a 3rd coaching stipend for the varsity assistant coach (in addition to our JV coach).  Hotels are one of our biggest expenditures, and having a successful girls team along with a successful boys team adds on to that.  Here's an example - last season we had 11 boys and 5 girls qualify for Masters.  We had to get hotel rooms for all 16 of those wrestlers and separate the girls and boys, along with the coaches, for 2 nights.  That adds up (6-7 rooms around $150 per night at minimum, before taxes, for 2 nights).  Then we went to the State Championships in Bakersfield the following weekend and had 1 boy and 3 girls qualify.  We had to get separate rooms for boys and girls, and get rooms for the coaches.  The state championships are 3 days, so we had to pay for 3 nights for each group- all from our own fundraising.  This is all with no financial help from the school or district.  In addition to all of that, it's usually a $300 - $450 entrance fee to pay for each team to compete in a tournament.  We have a JV team, a varsity boys team, and a varsity girls team - all 3 are usually competing on a typical weekend and that adds up.  I also provide singlets, warm ups, new shirts, etc., for our wrestlers (more money).  Our 2 varsity teams also travel a lot during the regular season and need hotels.  Sorry for the long explanation but there's a lot that goes into a season.  


** FYI, I am officially the CVC League Commissioner for wrestling: Mike Lee, the former head wrestling coach at BV for 25 years, held this position for a very long time.  As soon as Mike retired from coaching, the Roseville coach took the position (Doug Ash was the head wrestling coach at Roseville for over 20 years).  Doug was great but he officially stepped away from wrestling at the conclusion of the 2022 regular season.  The Central Valley Conference needed a new person to represent our league for wrestling at the section level, in addition to, organizing/handling league business, enforcing by-laws, and way, way more.  To be honest, I reluctantly volunteered myself for this position after I interpreted what it would be like to have the other coaches in our league fill that position (wink).  My first role as league commissioner started with the CVC  league tournament, but I finally received an email from our section office tonight that officially confirmed me as our league commissioner/representative.  This has very little to do with you, but I figured you would like to know.  

**Congratulations to our 2 STATE MEDALISTS - Amaya Yoshizumi placed 6th in the state championships and Gianna DiBenedetto placed 7th!  Amazing!

**CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR GIRLS TEAM FOR FINISHING IN 2ND PLACE AT THE SJS MASTERS CHAMPIONSHIPS! A true accomplishment. This is the best finish in our girls' team history!


** Congrats to the 4 BV wrestlers who qualified for the state championships: Senior Elijah Shaw got 4th place, Freshman Emma Ford got 3rd place, Senior Amaya Yoshizumi got 2nd place, and Sophomore Gianna DiBenedetto got 1st place.  

**Spring Sports I know that spring sports are beginning their preseason practices right now and I want you all to know that our wrestlers are cleared with the coaches who coach spring sports to miss the preseason practices.  Our wrestlers will have zero negative actions against them for being on the wrestling team and finishing their season.  In fact, if a wrestler quit the season at this point of time they would not even be allowed to go out for a spring sport until the wrestling season was concluded.  All the spring sport coaches make adjustments for this and they favor wrestlers.  Who wouldn't want a wrestler to come out for their team after a grueling wrestling season?  

**SO MUCH recent success for our BV wrestling alumni and current girls:  Within the past few weeks Jennifer Page won the Pan Am Championships in Guatemala and then wrestled in a tournament in Poland less than 2 weeks later and lost a close match in the bronze medal match.  Yelena Makoyed wrestled in the Junior (20u) Pan Am Championships outside of Mexico City a week ago and took first place.  Amaya Yoshizumi wrestled in the Folkstyle State Championships on the Saturday in between Finals and took 1st place!  I know I'm forgetting some stuff and I'll update as soon as I fact check.  I'll also be updating our Hall of Fame page for our alumni and all of their accomplishments.  If you have not checked out the Hall of Fame section, please do.  We have a long, rich history with our wrestling program.  

**More wrestling accolades for Bella Vista wrestling alumni! The section directly below this describes the success of Jennifer Page, Alex Hedrick, and Yelena Makoyed at the Olympic Trials that happened less than a month ago.  Since then, these girls have been busy and successful!  Alex Hedrick and Jennifer Page won the U.S. Open (national championships at the highest level) on April 30th.  This was Jenn's 4th U.S. Open title and Alex's 2nd U.S. Open title.  Absolutely amazing!  A week later, in a different state, Alex, Yelena, and Emily Alderman competed in some World Team Trials for their age divisions.  In the Junior Division (20 and under) Emily went 3-2 and Yelena made the finals and lost to a rising star who was a runner up at the Olympic Trials.  The following day was the U23 world team trials and Yelena made the finals again, against the same girl.  The finals matches at Trials tournaments are always best of 3 and in the previous day Yelena lost by technical fall both times.  A day later, Yelena won the first match and then lost the next 2 matches by a small margin (major improvements).  Meanwhile, Alex Hedrick won the U23 World Team Trials and will represent the United States at the U23 World Championships in Serbia this summer (Yelena is an alternate at 2 different age divisions).  We are proud of all of these women and they continue to impress us with their grit, resilience, commitment, integrity, and gratitude throughout all of this. 


**Before all of the high school wrestling news, I want to congratulate our 3 Bella Vista Wrestling alumni for their success at the Olympic Trials last week: Jennifer Page, Yelena Makoyed, and Alex Hedrick. I don't think there's another high school in the country that produced 3 medalists at the Olympic Trials.  This tournament is by far the toughest in the country.  The level of wrestling is way higher than the NCAA Championships and it's tougher than all other national championships.  In addition to that, there are only 6 weight classes instead of 10, so all of the best wrestlers filter together, which makes competition tougher than ever.  Alex Hedrick and Yelena Makoyed both finished in 4th place, which is absolutely amazing and something to celebrate.  Jennifer Page finished in 3rd place and made the National Team again.  Top four in the nation at the highest level of wrestling is OUTSTANDING and it's tough to describe how much of an accomplishment that is.  If you've been around any of these 3 women then you know how hard they work, how nice they are, how much integrity they have, and how much grit, resilience, and commitment they possess.  Jennifer trains with Cael Sanderson at the Nittany Lion Wrestling Club (Penn State), Yelena trains at North Central Illinois, and Alex trains at every possible spot she can find (MMA gyms, Simon Fraser University, the grass, etc.). I am very proud of each one of them and I'm lucky to have coached all three of them (as an assistant coach) when they were at BV (Jennifer was a junior when I did my first stint at BV as an assistant coach about 12 years ago).  To be honest, Mike Lee deserves the most recognition for the development and early success of these women.  Mike built an amazing program with positive coaches at all levels within the BV program.  I know for a fact that all three of these women had positive experiences during their time at BV and that there were many coaches who played an important role in their development.  Without the program that Mike built and the coaches that he hired, the recent success of these 3 probably would not have happened.  I'm so proud of what Jennifer, Yelena, and Alex accomplished and I know there's more to come.  Go Broncos! 

**Mental Health and Benefits of participating this summer:  I truly believe that being a part of the wrestling team, attending practices, and engaging with other wrestlers and coaches in a structured format will have a positive impact on the mental health of each wrestler.  I love every single wrestler on this team and I've been away from them from so long that I haven't been able to fully play my role as a positive role model in their life.  This is a great opportunity to exercise, have fun, spend time with friends, and have a coach help them with all things in life.  Going back to school has been great for most kids/teachers, so I only predict that wrestling will be great as well.   

Control What We Can Control It is crucial that we control the things that we can control in order for each person to have optimal performance.  One of these things is hygiene.  Please have your wrestler establish the habit of showering as soon as they get home.  We take a lot of preventative measures to ensure that our wrestlers don't develop any skin infection, including putting on some wrestling specific foam before each practice and mopping the mats before each practice.  Typically, we don't see any skin issues until we have our first competition (because other schools are not as aggressive as we are with hygiene), but we need to be on top of that.  The other thing is to get our wrestlers to get 9 hours of sleep each night, get their homework done each night, and to develop a healthy diet.  There is a great nutritional guide on our website for each wrestler, but in general, I would recommend vegetables, fruits, to drink lots of water so they are hydrated for practice, to scale back on sugar and soda, and to scale back on fast food.  Eating right will give them better energy for school and for wrestling.  This might be obvious to all of us but our wrestlers are students first, which means they must make the effort to stay on top of their grades.  Without a 2.0 they can't wrestle.  It takes a lot of discipline to be successful in school, in wrestling, and with their physical health all at the same time, and if they can do that, then they are developing a really positive skill that will last them for the rest of their life.  


FYI - Bella Vista Wrestling has a very rich history and tradition; a lot of state and national level champions have come out of our program.  These people still very much pay attention to how our program is doing, so much so that there is a fan page on Facebook.  If interested in following this, just look for "Bella Vista Wrestling Fan Club".

Team Doctor (Dr. Randy Martin) phone number if needed; please be aware of the time of day and seriousness of the call when trying to reach him.  He is kind enough to help our team, we don't want to be a stressor to his offer.  (916) 834-8820


  • If you are a varsity parent, the team will be staying at hotels booked by our travel agent Katrina Ferland. You will want to call her and book your own room at the same hotel for trips that you will be attending. Katrina's number is 765-1190 or email

  • If you've got a wrestler that would like to become a top wrestler, go to "Wrestlers" on this site under "You want to be a champion wrestler". It all starts there! Then continues on with a lot of time, effort and energy towards being the best.

  • Scholarship Requirements: Division I schools now have new high school core classes that must be taken to be eligible for scholarships, they are as follows: 4 yrs English, 3 yrs Math (Algebra 1 or higher), 2 yrs Natural/Physical Science (one lab), 1 yr of additional English/Math/Physical Science, 2 yrs of Social Science, 4 yrs of additional core courses (any of the above areas or foreign language, non-doctrinal religion/philosophy).

  • If you have general questions, or want to let me know that your wrestler will be missing practice, email me at

  • Tax Write Off: If you have a prize to donate, or have gotten a prize from a company, I have a letter with our tax exempt ID# on it that can be used to "write off" the donation for tax purposes. Just email me that you need the letter and I'll get it to you.

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