Wrestling team maintains stronghold on WCAL


Erica Bigler

Michael Bigler ’20 celebrates his win with coaches Tony Tran ’02, Zack Contreras ’13, and Jose Herrera.

Jack Calonico ’19, Staff Reporter

Michael Bigler ’20 took home the7th place medal in the CIF Boys State Championship, making him the first junior to medal at statefrom Riordan and the city of San Francisco.


Bigler was very excited about his placing. “It felt amazing, truly was surreal,” he said. “It was so special because I was the first state placer since Coach (Zach) Contreras in 2013….I’ll be training and I’ll be back next year.”


Coach Tony Tran ’08 said,“Michael Bigler’s success this year speaks for itself as he becomes the 6th state placer from Riordan and the only junior to do it in San Francisco. Huge accomplishment by him.”


The wrestling team had a great start to the 2018-2019 season going 3-2 in preseason duals, placing fourth in the Webber Lawson Tournament, and finishing out league 5-1. Theboys recently came in second place in the WCAL championship tournament.


Riordan finished in second place in WCAL behind Bellarmine (6- 0), the only league team that Riordan lost a dual to.


Coach Tony is happy for his wrestlers and what they accomplished this season.


“I thought we did exceptionally well this season. Frosh won another league title (5th in a row)and JV also won a league title again,” he said.


“The varsity finished in second place by just 4 points at the WCAL tournament while breaking a school record in team points. Overall on all three levels we were 17-1 in the WCAL.”


Raymond Russell III ’20 wasoff to a great start this year, showing he is a young, promising Crusader wrestler. Russell was ranked 11th in CCS for his weight class of 225s.


Russell said at the beginning of the season, “I feel like I’m off to a great start. I could improve my game a little bit to get better but I’m for surely looking forward to the rest of the year and CCS.”


Daniel Gerard ’19 was one of the only three senior wrestlers on the team and has been a leader throughout the year. Gerard is a WCAL champion for his weight class of 195s.


Gerard said, “The season [went] extremely well in regards to practice on and off the mat. It’s fun, being one of the seniors. Being a mentor was not what I was aiming for this season, but I ended up having to do so for some people.”


Coach Tran said, “Next season we should be even stronger, as we lose only three seniors with only one of them being a starter. We return three league champions and the four freshmen that were on varsity this year.”


He added, “I’m hoping to break more records by going undefeated in duals and winning the WCAL Tournament next year, while also placing top 4 as team at CCS and get more placers at State.”