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Weekly Team Update

Last Updated: 6/13/24 First 3 things are new (2 and 3 are very important)

**We've had a great first 2 days of summer practices!  We have high numbers and we have some kids who are attending multiple camps already.  Good work, Broncos.  Putting in time during the summer is one of the best possible things our wrestlers can do in order to improve at wrestling and do better next season than they did last season.  It's all about the process.  

**Important information about the next 2 weeks:  As you may know, Coach Smith (Carnegie) and I host a San Juan Unified Middle School camp each summer.  We canceled it this summer due to Coach Smith's health (he's doing awesome btw, and will be back to teaching and coaching full time next year).  However, the district forgot to cancel this and there are 34 kids signed up.  I don't want to disappoint those kids so I'm going to coach these sessions, but I can use some help.  In each of the past summers I've had the HS kids come help as camp counselors.  This is a great way to give back, to acquire community service hours, and to help the college application process.  We are going 8 days this year.  Monday - Friday (June 17-21) and then Monday - Wednesday (June 24 - 26).  These are at Carnegie from 9 am - 10:30 am.  I will be there at 8 am on Monday to move mats, and I can definitely use some help.  If any wrestler or family can help with the mats, I would greatly appreciate it.  I can also use help from the high school kids each day (except 3 days - info in next session).  I literally found out last night that I'm still hosting this.

**Ponderosa Team Camp next week (June 18, 19, 20).  We will meet at Ponderosa High School at 8:30 am on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of next week.  Plan on being there until 3 pm ish each day.  Tuesday morning is technique, a quick break, and then we have dual meets.  Wrestlers need to pack food, lunch, drinks, and wipes for the day.  Wednesday will be dual meets in the morning, a lunch break, and then more duals in the afternoon.  Thursdsay is the same as Wednesday, although they might do a mini tournament like they did last year.  This is an AWESOME opportunity to get some matches in during the offseason.  We want to wrestle and we need to "feel" of these good wrestlers.  This is for BV wrestlers only (incoming freshman are allowed and should attend).  This is free for our wrestlers because of our fundraising.  There will be teams from San Diego, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, 2 teams from Colorado, and a team from Fresno.  Awesome opportunity to practice our skills!  Here's the conflict: I will be late on each day because of the Carnegie camp (I found out last night this is still on, or else I would have changed a lot of things). Our kids won't help with the SJUSD middle school camp these 3 days, unless they are new or can't attend all day at Pondersoa.  OUr kids need to be at Ponderosa.  I'm working on making sure we have a coach there early each morning.  I'll be there as soon as I can each day. This is a really fun camp and we usually make huge improvements at this camp.  



**Congratulations to our graduating senior wrestlers.  It's been an honor coach them and to be a part of their lives.  We wish them all the best of luck in life!  We will see everybody else on June 11th at 9 am at Carnegie middle school for our first summer practice.  


**Summer Schedule.  We will be practicing on  Tuesdays/Thursdays from 9 am - 10:30 am at Carnegie from 6/11/24 - 7/30/24.  We also have a team camp at Ponderosa High School on June 18 - 20 (9 am - 3 pm ish). Everybody will be at the team camp at Ponderosa and it is free for our wrestlers.  There will be no practices at Carnegie that week.  


**Thank you for helping at the spring tournament: We had over 700 kids compete at Bella Vista on 3/23 and the tournament went as smooth as it can possibly go.  This would not have worked so well without all of the help from our awesome wrestlers and the parents/families who helped.  Huge thank you, once again, to Kathi Rutherdale and Shirley Marlatt for organizing our snack bar and helping with a ton of other things behind the scenes.  Our fundraisers are done until next season!

**Cornhole Tournament fundraiser was awesome and a lot of fun.  Thank you to the people who helped in any way.  Carnegie wrestling and BV wrestling each raised over $1,000 and Carnegie got a $10,000 donation from Ryan Luttrell.  Plus, we had a lot of fun and made some great connections with alumni and Fair Oaks.  Everybody who attended said they will be back next year and they want us to do this more than once a year.  Not sure about that part but this will definitely turn into an annual event for our programs.  We are planning on growing it even more next year.  


**Sign Up Genius to help volunteer at our offseason Tournament on March 23rd.  This tournament is less hectic than the January tournament and there are staggered start times so it should be less crowded as well. Should be.  We will have BV kids working tables, wrestling in the tournament, and helping set up/clean up.  Any shift you can help with is greatly appreciated.  It's really difficult to get help during the offseason.  Last year, we had about 12 kids and their parents do EVERYTHING for us and it was really challenging.  I know we can do better than that this year.  HERE IS A LINK to the Sign up Genius.  We will set up immediately after school on Friday, 3/22 and we will be done around 5 pm on Saturday, 3/22.  Thank you.  

**Offseason Practices begin on Monday, March 18th from 3:45 pm - 5 pm.  These practices will be on Mondays and Wednesdays with a lot of teaching and less intensity.  I will be at almost every single SAWA (Sacramento Area Wrestling Association) tournament this spring.  I highly recommend our wrestlers attend these tournaments and get some mat time in.  HERE IS A LINK to the spring SAWA schedule.  These tournaments have home weigh-ins and high school kids usually don't start before 11 am so they can have a morning and show up later.  All those details are on the website. We are hosting a SAWA tournament on 3/23/14 and will need to get mats and set up on Friday, 3/22.  PLEASE help with this fundraiser.  Everything is free in wrestling because of our Fundraisers.

**Corn Hole Wrestling Fundraiser for Bella Vista and Carnegie on 3/16 at 2 pm at Del's Pizza in Fair Oaks.  I posted a picture of the flyer below.  Hurry and sign up and have a great team.  If you would like to sponsor a board or donate that would be even better.  Carnegie already received a massive donation of $10,000 from Avanti Builders so they can buy a new mat this offseason.  Pretty incredible.    































**Congratulations to Gianna DiBenedetto for finishing in 3rd place at the CIF State Championships!  Gianna finishes her BV career as a 3x state medalist (her freshman season was canceled due to Covid).  Gianna had a tough loss in the semifinals to a girl who is ranked #7 in the nation (Gianna is #15) and then Gianna had to wrestle in the consolation semifinals 30 minutes later.  Most wrestlers crumble in that situation but Gianna showed her true heart and character and won that match to get into the 3rd place medal match.  The 3rd place match finished regulation tied at 1-1 and ended up going into double overtime where Gianna won.  It's nearly impossible to put into words to explain how challenging this would be for a wrestler in this situation.  Once again, Gianna found a way to end and capped an amazing high school career for Bella Vista Wrestling.  Gianna is planning on wrestling in college and she is getting recruited by numerous colleges.  


**Stay tuned for a banquet date: I'm looking mid-week in March and I need to hear from the award company to make sure everything can be delivered on time.  I'll post on here within the next couple of days and post on the wrestlers' Google Classroom page. 

**Offseason Practices begin on Monday, March 18th. We will take the next 3 weeks and then start practicing 2x a week after school.  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.   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 March 23rd.  Our high school kids will work tables and wrestle in the tournament on March 23rd 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 22nd (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. 


**We are hosting a spring Tournament on Saturday, March 23rd This is our last fundraiser of the year and it is really challenging to get wrestlers to help work.  We will need every available BV wrestler and parent to help work this tournament.  I will speak about this at the wrestling banquet. 

**The Season is over:  The 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. 

**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.  


**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.  


**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. 











**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.  


** 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.  



**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.  





**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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