Weekly Team Update
"What's going on and what to expect"
(Newer and current stuff is in big print at the top of this page)
(General information that always applies is down the page in smaller print)
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Last Updated: May 10th, 2021 (First 3 things are new and next 4 are still very new)
**Current wrestling season news: We have been practicing 3 days a week after school and we really need more people to attend these practices. In order to practice, each wrestler must get tested for Covid the week before they start practicing. I was originally going to stop practices just before finals but things changed. USA Wrestling is going to host a folkstyle state championships in Roseville on June 4th and 5th. HERE IS A LINK to the main page of the tournament with links for information and registration. This tournament has brought out interest from some of our seniors (and others on the team) so we will train 5 days a week right up to this tournament. I've also been talking with the Roseville coach to possibly hold a joint practice together so our wrestlers can get some live wrestling against another team prior to this tournament.
** ATTENTION SENIOR PARENTS!!!! I'm working on a celebration for our seniors (even if they could not wrestle this year but wrestled last year). Please email me @ so I can put you on an email list for the details of this event.
**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.
Jennifer Page and Alex Hedrick with their
U.S Open Championship Plaques!
**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!
**We have started wrestling practice: We are going to practice for the next 5 weeks (6 weeks left of school), take a break, and then pick things back up in the middle of June for a summer session. If your child plans on wrestling next year they need to come out for this season AND the summer season. We missed a lot of wrestling this last year and we need to take advantage of every practice we can get. There are some offseason tournaments in the work as well so hopefully we can get to some of those during the summer. If they are playing a different sport right now that is fine, just have them come out when it finished or during the summer season.
**SENIOR PARENTS! Can you (or your wrestler) please email me an action photo of them wrestling ASAP? Thank you.
**We are approved to start holding wrestling practices next week (4/19) with prerequisites: There are a lot of limitations with wrestling right now but this is a positive first step. I just heard the news this week and announced it to the wrestlers on our Google Classroom page immediately. In order to start wrestling practice next week, each wrestler must pass a Covid test this week (testing negative is passing in case Mike Lee is reading this). There will be a free, mandatory test at Bella Vista on Friday, 4/16, in the Small Gym Annex at 3:30 pm. Each wrestler will show up, swab their own nose with assistance from an adult, and then they are done. I need to submit a roster to our Athletic Director prior to the testing so I need to know who is planning to start practice with us next week. I've had multiple students sign up already and I've started a list, but I know there are more out there.
**What wrestlers should expect at practice: I'm treating this spring similar to how we usually have spring practices. We will explore a variety of techniques and strategies for each wrestler and then I will work with each person to help him/her find their own path of what they like and don't like (and way more than that). The team will have also work on some new "team" technique/strategies and we will work on the mental side of sport. Practices will be less intense than a regular season practice but we will still wrestle live and have a lot of fun.
** What to expect this season: Honesty and transparency are important to me so here's the reality of this year. The CIF canceled all playoffs and we have been relegated to only having dual meets with other teams in our league. After a lot of discussion with the other coaches in our league, only a couple of teams would be able to field a team and a live match would still not be guaranteed at a dual meet for a BV wrestler. Because of all of this, the coaches in the league voted to not have official dual meets this year. In order to adjust to this I've made plans with Roseville to hold some scrimmages with them. These will be informal practices and our wrestlers will be able to compete against kids close to their own skill level and weight class from Roseville. We have no official dates yet and Roseville just started practice last week. We start practice next week and I will not have our wrestlers scrimmage until they are physically fit enough to do so. I've also had inquiries from many of the top teams in our section to hold official dual meets against them through our offseason club team. I asked our principal and athletic director how to navigate that if that's something our wrestlers want to pursue and I will let you all know the response when I hear it.
**Masks: I was notified today that all wrestlers and coaches will be required to wear a mask the entire time they are at practice. Trust me, whatever you are thinking right now, I've thought the exact same thing. Honestly, I don't know if it's safe for kids to wear masks at practice and I'm going to explore the specific requirements of this rule (I will follow all requirements and not break the rules). Wrestling is a martial art and it is a combat sport. I push the kids to their limits and then give them specific techniques on how to train their mind to push through those breaking moments despite what their brain is telling them. I'm venting here, but there are a lot of safety issues about wearing a mask during those bouts of exhaustion, during those exchanges were a wrestler can catch a finger in a mask, get a mask wrapped around his/her throat, and a lot more. I'll let you know what I find out.
**Mental Health and Benefits of participating this spring: Regardless of anything that happens this spring, 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.
**Summer Wrestling: We should all plan on wrestling through the summer. I am working on a schedule but we will take a break at the end of the school year and then probably host 2 practices a week throughout the summer. In addition to that, the Sacramento Area Wrestling Association (I'm a board member) is planning on hosting some special tournaments this summer which will be a great opportunity for our team to get some matches in during the offseason. Stay tuned for details about the summer.
** Congratulations to 2019 Bella Vista graduate, Yelena Makoyed, for winning the NCAA Championships in women's wrestling this past weekend! Yelena only started wrestling as a freshman in high school and then became a 3x state medalist and a 2019 CIF State Champion. Yelena is now wrestling for North Central Illinois and finished in 2nd place in the NCAA championships as a true freshman last year. As a true sophomore, Yelena dominated her opponents and won every match by technical fall or by pin. Yelena is also her university's first ever national champion in wrestling! Pretty awesome. As an NCAA champion, Yelena is now qualified for the Olympic Trials that will be held on April 2-3. HERE IS A LINK TO AN ARTICLE about Yelena's championship journey (from her team's wrestling website).
**SENIOR PARENTS/GUARDIANS! Please email me at or text me at 916-521-4354 so I can have an accurate list of all of our senior wrestlers (I have a list, but I want to make sure I include everybody). I'm putting something together for them and I want to show up to your house and take a photo with you and your wrestler for a senior night type of thing. Even if we have a season, we will not be allowed to have a true senior night and I want to make sure we make it happen in our own way. Thank you!
**Website has been updated for 2020 Alumni who made our "Hall of Fame" or "Past Greats" pages: I just updated our "Hall of Fame" part of the website where I added 2020 grad, Emily Alderman, because she was a multiple-time state medalist. I also added 2020 grads, Dakota Gutierrez, Tyler Maples, and Vince Olivera to our "Past Greats - Masters Medalists" section because they were all state qualifiers. Please don't hesitate to read about our 2020 grads and/or all of the other BV alumni who made the website.
**BV Wrestling Slide Show of the 2019-2020 Wrestling Season: Greg Willey put in a ton of time to make this slide show and used photos captured by Dr. Martin, who also spent a ton of time editing the photos. HERE IS THE LONG VERSION... and HERE IS THE SHORTENED VERSION
** Scronco Wrestling Podcast: In case you didn't know, Coach Smith (from Carnegie) and I started a podcast about a year ago. In our most recent episode, we had the honor and privilege to interview Ralphene Lee. HERE IS A LINK TO THE EPISODE ON YouTube. HERE IS A LINK IF YOU WANT TO LISTEN ON APPLE PODCASTS. Ralphene has been heavily involved with Bella Vista wrestling since 1962 and still attends all of our dual meets and most of our tournaments. She was also our honorary coach this past season and sat in the corner with me as we coached the dual meet together (she also gave a great speech to the wrestlers at practice the day prior to that dual meet). Ralphene's late husband, Charlie Lee, was the Head Coach for Bella Vista from 1962-1984. Charlie coached 6 state champions and 26 overall state medalists. Charlie was named Scholastic Magazines "National Coach of the Year" in 1979. He had 5 section championship teams. Six teams finished in the top 5 at the state meet, 3 of which were state runner-ups. His overall dual meet record as a coach was an amazing 242 - 28 - 1. Charlie was elected to the California Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2001 and elected to the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2017. Ralphene was also elected into the California Wrestling Hall of Fame.
**Team Values If you haven't taken the time to read through our team values this might be the time to do it. I copy and pasted our Gratitude value, which I find more relevant than ever (I put these on the website a year ago - way before Covid).
We recognize that our ability to wrestle for Bella Vista is a very small window in our overall life, and we are thankful for the opportunity that we have – right now. We are grateful for our health, our family, our ability to practice, our coaches, our teammates, our school, and for the ability to compete. We see our opponents and officials as a gift, because without them, there is no competition and no way to measure the effort we have put in or to test our growth from the effort in training. Our appreciation for each opportunity is sincere and we do not take these things for granted.
**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.
**Banquet has been postponed due to the Corona Virus shutting our school down for 4 weeks.
**BV Wrestling Alumnae Success! Over the weekend, Alex Hedrick and Yelena Makoyed competed in the Women's NCAA Championships. Both girls were seeded #2 in the tournament and both girls made the finals! Yelena finished in 2nd place as a true freshman! Alex Hedrick battled in the finals and won by fall, which made her a national champion! If you haven't noticed, Alex's dad is our girls' coach. Congratulations to both girls.
**Congratulations to Emily Alderman for her 5th place finish at the California State Championships! This is Emily's 2nd time as a CA state medalist!
**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.
Commitment Now that wrestling season is here please do not have your wrestler miss practice or competition. One of our team values is "Commitment," (the values page will soon be added) which means we all need to commit to this team and to ourselves. If your wrestler is going to miss a practice or competition please contact me ahead of time. Missing practice hurts the athlete and hurts the team. Please do not schedule vacations during the season. FYI, we will not practice on Thanksgiving or the day after Thanksgiving. We also take the first week of Christmas break off (December 23 - December 29) and we are back to the grind on December 30th. Family comes first for me, so family emergencies obviously take priority.
Episode 3 of the Scronco Podcast is up! If you haven't listened before, Coach Smith (Carnegie) and I are on there and have 3 sections for each episode. The first part is us giving an update on things going on with the team. Part 2 is us explaining one of the mental approaches we are using with your kids (this episode is on developing a growth mindset versus a fixed mindset). We both got our masters in sports psychology and are applying a lot of that information to your children. This is an opportunity for you to hear from us about what we are teaching your kids (instead of trying to hear it from their mouths). The last part is an interview and in this episode we interviewed Bella Vista's principal, Dr. Darrin Kitchen. We are officially on Apple Podcasts now. HERE IS A LINK TO THE 2ND AND 3RD EPISODES OF THE PODCAST
**Varsity Parents: Katrina Ferland is currently looking at hotels for our season and beginning to book them. She generally books 2 extra rooms for parents traveling with the team. Katrina is booking all our stays for this season. Please
**FYI - Kathy Valerga (ex-BV parent) of Farmer's Insurance has donated $2,000 to BV Wrestling this week. It's a Farmer's Insurance program they do with schools. Obviously we are very grateful for their generosity to our program. If you have any insurance needs contact Kathy at (916) 792-0688.
**FYI - Becky Lund and Nelson Lund (ex- BV wrestler) are local residential real estate agents. They have a standing offer that if anyone connected to Bella Vista wrestling (aunt, uncle, cousin, neighbor, co-worker, etc) gets them a referral for a person in the market to buy or sell a home they'll donate $500 to BV Wrestling. So if everyone on the team can simply move from one home in our attendance area to another we can make a lot of money - SMILE. Seriously, if you ever come across someone who's in the market, give them Becky's (916-531-7124) or Nelson's (916-704-5101) number and have them say "I was referred to you through Bella Vista Wrestling".
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.