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The Oracle

The Student News Site of Henry M. Gunn High School

The Oracle

The Student News Site of Henry M. Gunn High School

The Oracle

New wrestling coach Jorge Barajas prepares for 2023-24 season

New+wrestling+coach+Jorge+Barajas+prepares+for+2023-24+season
Vivian Studdert

This winter season, the wrestling team will train under a new head coach, Jorge Barajas, after former coach Braumon Creighton’s contract was not renewed for the 2023-24 season. The team will be competing in the upper division of the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League after an undefeated season last year. Amid these changes, however, Barajas is a friendly face: He was assistant coach for a short period of last year’s season, and many of the upperclassmen are already familiar with his coaching style and presence in the wrestling room.

That being said, the team does expect some changes. Co-captain senior Mihlaan Selvaretnam noted that the differences in Barajas’ and Creighton’s training styles may impact the integration of newer wrestlers onto the team.

“With Jorge, we drill a lot more instead of just learning the technical skill,” Selveretnam said. “(This season) is going to be a little different, and (the captains) might need to help out a little bit more. But besides that, I think it’ll all be okay.”

Fellow co-captain senior Myles Stoltz echoed that, despite differences, he’s not worried about Barajas’ coaching — and believes that some of the differences might actually prove to be improvements.

“I think the main differences we’ve seen are that he’s quite a bit younger, and in some ways, that helps,” he said. “He can relate to you a lot more and give more advice, even (advice) not about wrestling.”

Some team member, however, have mixed feelings and concerns about whether they will be able to maintain their technical skill or perform well against other teams in SCVAL’s upper division. Teams who place low in their divisions may be moved down, and the possibility of that happening worries some wrestlers. Others are concerned that the current coaching staff isn’t large enough to handle the number of new members on top of continuing to help older members improve.

Barajas is not concerned about the technical skill level of the wrestling team.

“We have a lot of varsity (members) from last year who are really helping out the new team, and a good amount of new members that are willing to put in the effort to be good at wrestling,” he said. “I’m confident in our team that we have the ability to wrestle against those teams (in the upper division). Our talent level is right up to par, if not better than, some of those schools.”

Barajas also stressed the importance of being not just a coach but a mentor, and how those two roles may clash at times.

“You want to be able to be the leader for them, but also for them to have an outlet where they feel comfortable talking about things that might be happening in their lives — not just wrestling,” he said.

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About the Contributors
Becca Wu, In-Depth Editor
Senior Becca Wu is an editor of In-Depth, The Oracle's newest section. Outside of staff, she enjoys dancing with the Gunn Titanettes and watching horrible reality dating TV shows.
Vivian Studdert, Sports Editor
Vivian Studdert is a senior and a sports editor for The Oracle. Outside of school, Vivian enjoys reading, swimming and traversing the supermarket.
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