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Weekly Team Update

                              "What's going on and what to expect"

Last Updated: 6/3/23 (First 2 things are new, next 4 are newer)

**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.  


**Budget Update: After 2 years of no fundraisers due to Covid we started this season almost $5,000 in debt.  We seriously had negative money and still had to pay for the season.  We have to pay for every single tournament we attend (usually around $400 per tournament x varsity boys, varsity girls, JV boys, and JV girls), uniforms, warm ups, shirts, coaching stipends, TONS of hotels, travel expenses, and more).  We usually spend about $12,000 per season.  Well, after all the money we spent this season and money earned after fundraisers we are sitting right around $13,000 dollars in our account right now!  Thank you so much for all the help this year.  Wrestling for BV is free and I only ask for help at the fundraisers to pay for our team's expenses so thank you for all the help this year.  Next year we will only have 2 big fundraisers (a tournament in January and a tournament in April).  That's it.  Also, I'm going to be ordering a lot of apparel this summer, more singlets, warm ups, etc., because we can finally afford it again!  I'll keep you in the loop.  We will also do a team store at one point (probably in the fall so we can get clothes out before the season starts).  



**Monday Night Wrestling Practices: There will be Monday night practices every Monday (they already started) until the end of summer.  Practices are at 6:30 pm and end by 8 pm.  These practices are at Carnegie in the wrestling room (A1).  Ryan Luttrell will be running these practices and I will be there when I can.  Coach Luttrell runs our 4th - 6th grade program and he is an amazing coach.  Ryan wrestled for Vacaville High School and then wrestled at Cal Poly. We have a lot of wrestlers who should keep on practicing and I HIGHLY recommend that all of our wrestlers attend these practices when possible.  Coach Luttrell also has an email list and sends out notifications about practices so it's important to add yourself to that email list when possible.  Here is his email


**Summer Wrestling Update: I'm finalizing our summer wrestling schedule and it's almost done.  We will most likely have practices in the Carnegie wrestling room on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 am - 10:30 am (unless the wrestlers want to go earlier).  Morning practices are best because it doesn't ruin the day. We will most likely start on June 13th and finish at the end of July

**Team Wrestling Camp at Ponderosa High School June 20,21,22: I paid for our team to attend the Ponderosa Team Camp.  All high school wrestlers need to attend this camp (incoming freshman are allowed to attend).  This is a 3 day camp on June 20th, 21st, and 22nd and it is free for our wrestlers.  There will be technique in the morning (9 am) and then matches in the afternoon after a lunch break (1 pm).  The mat time during this camp is invaluable and we get to compete against wrestlers from all over the state, Oregon, Utah, and Minnesota.  


**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. 

**Off Season Although I encourage our wrestlers to play multiple sports, I provide year round training for our wrestlers.  We will take a month off at the end of the season, and then I will do 6-7 weeks of practice for our spring training session.  These are only 2 days a week and a lot more slow paced than the regular season.  I do a lot of teaching during these practices.  These practices are optionally mandatory for every person not playing another sport.  Every wrestler that buys into our offseason program makes tremendous improvements during that time and are WAY BETTER AT WRESTLING when the next season begins.  Every person with success on our team this year did a full offseason last year.  Please support involvement in this. After spring, we take some time off and then we go 2x a week during the summer, in the mornings.  Then we take some time off in August and do a fall season starting in September

**Ponderosa Summer Team Camp.  Information is below.. This is a free team camp in summer that is mandatory for our wrestlers unless they have requirements that conflict with this due to another BV sport.  The team will pay for this from our fundraising.  Incoming freshman are allowed to wrestle...  Please read the importance of the offseason a few sections below.  








**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.  

**Progress Report Grades Came Out Last Week and I'm kind of pleased to report that we only had 1 wrestler who is academically ineligible (out of 35).  Although that's good news, it's not good enough for me.  The wrestlers are STUDENT-ATHLETES.  Student comes first.  I'm a teacher on campus and I emphasize the importance of academics, learning, grades, good behavior, and more.  I'm not mad at the kids with good grades for the 1 person; i'm very proud of them.  The official semester grades come out at the beginning of January.  If someone is ineligible at that time, they will miss most of January.  Just to be transperant, "Having to do homework" is not an excuse to miss practice.  The wrestlers are learning life skills and time management is a very important life skill.  No wrestler has so much homework that they will have to work from 3:30 until bedtime to complete the assignments.  

**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.  

**Checking the website: The most important thing for you to do is to start checking this website regularly.  I typically update this website every Sunday night.  My family knows the drill.  I spend 2-3 hours on Sunday night at the table on my laptop sending this information to you.  You are more than welcome to call or text me with any questions, AFTER you have read the website.  When I do this correctly, I get zero texts or calls and all the communication is crystal clear.  When I mess up, I get a ton of texts, calls, and emails.  I am a busy boy.  In addition to teaching and coaching all day, I'm a husband and a father to 2 daughters (you can read my bio on the left).  I also run our kids club practices on Tuesdays and Thursdays - those go from 6-745 pm for me every Tuesday and Thursday.  Please check this website late Sunday night or Monday throughout the day.  I'll often update information as the week progresses and things change.  


**Reserving Hotels Katrina Ferland, an AMAZING travel agent, has been offering her services to Bella Vista Wrestling for free for about 20 years straight now.  I had my annual communication with her already and she took care of booking hotel rooms for our girls teams and boys teams for all our overnight tournaments in the season, and during the postseason.  These are varsity tournaments only, and I might add 1 more overnight stay for in-season girls.  If you think you will have a wrestler at one of these tournaments and you want to stay overnight at the same hotel as the team, then Katrina has offered to book for you.  She usually has some good rates.  In addition to that, she's a legit travel agent and if you are ever in the need she is the perfect person for you.  Here's her email: 


**Please have your wrestler join the Google Classroom page: I send direct information to the team on the Google Classroom page.  HERE IS A LINK TO THE PAGE .  Here is the code to join: jbh3ezj


**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.  


Just so you know, Covid has taken away our last 2 years of fundraising.  You read that right - we haven't had a fundraiser in 3 years.  Last season (January 2022), I found out at the last minute that we would have to cancel our annual fundraiser and I did not have a backup plan because everything looked good until 2 days before our event.  it's no secret that we are financially running on fumes right now.  Having said all of that, I still want wrestling to be free for every single BV wrestler. I have been working on setting up multiple fundraiser this year in order to get us through this season.  Our fundraisers are mentioned below


Fundraiser #1: Heather Ford (Emma's mom) has organized a fundraiser for us to start the season.  We are waiting for official approval of facility use on November 12th and I will let you know as soon as that is confirmed.  This might seem odd to you, but it's a mattress fundraiser.  We set up all sorts of different, brand new mattresses (at a discount with a portion of each sale going to BV).  If we hit a quota we get a bonus.  The wrestlers will set up from 7-9 am and clean up from 5-7 pm that day.  Details will follow, but this has done well for other schools recently. 


Fundraiser #2: I am also working on creating a donation QR code where each family member, grandparent, aunt, uncle, friend, supporter, etc., can scan the code and make any sort of donation they want. This is an official program that our school is using and it's called My School Bucks.  


Fundraiser #3: This is our big fundraiser and I need every wrestler in attendance for the entire weekend.  This will be on January 13th, 14th, and 15th, 2023.  Details will follow and I will have sign ups for parents to help.  We host a middle school tournament on Saturday and then a youth tournament on Sunday.  


** 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 the controllable:  Just remember that we can't control the things that happen to us, but we can control how we respond.  If you identify your own values, which are stronger than goals and guide your actions and behaviors, then you will act in accordance to your values.  Try and make the best out of this and act in ways that you want to remember this moment in your life.  Think about what that looks like (how you want to remember this moment in your life) and do it.  


**Congratulations to our All-Metro Wrestlers: After taking a few years off, the Sacramento Bee got back to choosing the All-Metro wrestlers for our region; the best of the best.  Bella Vista had 6 All-Metro wrestlers!   Congratulations to Dylan Maples, Carson Lee, Vince Olivera, Bryan Henkel, Emily Alderman, and Meadow Titus for being named All-Metro.  This is a true honor and is something that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.  I didn't want to mention this, but just so you know, I was also named the All-Metro coach of the year for the Sacramento area by Sacramento Bee.  I couldn't have done it without all of the support from Toby Harris, Jake Briggs, Pete Hedrick, Abby Chufar, Mike Lee, Julian David, Mike Nishimura, Matt Vigna, Dana Smith, Nelson Lund, and everybody else involved in our program.  Thank you.  I am truly honored.  

** Workout Tip:  Although gyms are closed and our campus is closed, every single wrestler should take this time to build their physical strength.  Pull-ups and push-ups are workouts that every person can do and they are probably some of the best workouts that help with wrestling.  I know that Carnegie has an outdoor pull-up bar, Bannister Park has an outdoor pull-up bar, and so do many other areas.  I recommend that each wrestler does a pyramid routine to continuously improve their strength.  Start with 1 pull-up, then do 5x as many push-ups.  Then do 2 pull-ups and 5x as many push-ups.  So, pull-up sets go 1, 2, 3, 4, etc. until they reach their max, and then they work backward from there.  If a person maxes out at 5 pull-ups, they will do 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 pull-ups and after each set, they will do 5x as many push-ups, which will be 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 20, 15, 10, 5.  If they can do zero pull-ups then having a family member (because of Covid) hold their ankles and help them up is what they need to do.  Doing push-ups on their knees is acceptable as well if that's necessary.  

**I Don't Have Much to Say accept to let you all know how much I appreciate you.  Thank you for taking the time to read this every week and thank you for everything you do for our program.  I can only imagine how crushing it would have been for us if the Corona Virus shut everything down during our wrestling season.  I'm so grateful that we got to finish our season and that our fundraiser was a huge success.  I still haven't received all of my bills yet, but it looks like we made around $16,000 profit during that one weekend.  If the virus had shut everything down just a couple months earlier, we would have been scrambling to fundraise for next year.  Anyway, I hope you all are doing ok and please do not hesitate to email me!  Although I prepared for a huge offseason, there will be no wrestling until we get the all-clear from the district.   

**Just Checking in on All of You: These are tough times, at so many different levels...  I miss all of my wrestlers, their families (you), my students, and colleagues a lot.  I do, however, have a lot of gratitude for the things I have right now.  Things could be a lot worse.  I have my family, food, shelter, the river, electricity, books, wifi, and way more.  If you are stuck at home, please tell your child that I told them they have to get up in the morning, take a shower, and get dressed for the day.  I would also like them to make a list of things they would like to accomplish the following day just before they go to bed every night.  I would like them to limit their screen time, but not cut it out altogether.  I want all of my wrestlers to try and get some exercise in at least 5 days a week by running, riding bikes, walking, doing a workout routine at home, or anything else that gets their heart rate up.  Getting outside for some sunshine will help a lot.  Getting a family walk in without phones is also a very healthy way to savor the small things in life, which builds gratitude.  I would love to hear from you and my wrestlers, so please do not hesitate to email or text me to check-in.  I've been reaching out to people but it's tough to catch up with everybody.  

** Corona Virus Update # 3 (3/21): As I mentioned last week, this is a fluid situation and we will continually adjust the best we can.  As of now, California is on lockdown and I really want to encourage all of you to stay safe and keep your distance from others.  We can still socialize through technology and an old fashioned phone call, but we should keep our distance from others.  In compliance with everything, the banquet is postponed indefinitely and so is our offseason.  I have no idea when we can get back on the mats and see each other and I hope that all of you are safe and doing well.  I'd like to recommend that each wrestler goes back and watches his or her matches from this previous season so that he/she can critique each match for things done well and things to improve upon.  All of the wrestlers can also pick up on specific skills that they improved upon throughout the season (set ups, finishing a single, defense, movement off the whistle from bottom, breakdowns, leg rides, tilts, etc.  Anything).  Ask your wrestler to see if he or she can notice the steady improvement throughout last season...  Just so you know, I also have some League Champions t-shirts ordered that I planned to distribute at the banquet and some other awards for the wrestlers.  If your child won an award, I will most likely mail it to your or drive by your house and drop it off.  If I have to, I will hold the League Champion t-shirts until we can all see each other again.  Stay safe out there!  

**Corona Virus Update #2 - This situation is changing rapidly, and since my last post a few hours ago, all the schools in Sacramento County have been shut down for the next few weeks.  This means that we cannot have our banquet on March 30th.  In fact, I received a notification that my reservation for the banquet has been rescinded.  We will not be back at school until after Spring Break, 4/13/20, so I will either postpone the banquet until we are back in session or find a park or restaurant to have our celebration. I want to be as safe as possible and I will follow all of the suggestions of our state and district with this.  Just like I mentioned earlier, the spring wrestling season has been postponed until we are cleared by the district.  Stay safe out there.  


**Do me HUGE favor please: Wash and turn in your wrestling gear to Coach Lane in his classroom (Eye-6) the next week.  Put the singlet in a zip lock bag with the wrestler's name in sharpie on the bag to turn in.  Even better, sharpie the size of the singlet on the zip lock bag too if you can read the size on the tag.  Tracking down kids on campus for the next couple months trying to get uniforms back is zero fun and time consuming, please help me here and do this right away.

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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