CITY OF INDUSTRY – Hacienda La Puente Unified School District’s girls wrestling program at William Workman High School is celebrating a historic 2023-24 season, which saw the team secure its first-ever Montview League championship and qualify all eight team members for the upcoming California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section (CIF-SS) postseason.
Workman High’s success is building on the program’s rapid growth from a group of three wrestlers in 2021 to eight this season. The Lobos put together dominant performances both individually and as a team as they made their way to the Mountview League Meet on Jan. 23, where they produced five individual champions and three more placers in their respective weight classes, with all eight qualifying for the CIF-SS Individual Wrestling Championships held Feb. 9-10.
“This sport is different from most, in the fact that it has given me a different outlook on life,” senior and middleweight wrestler Sabine Ticas said. “It also helps me push myself in school and with the simple things in life. My coach always pushes me even when I have doubts and motivates me to be the best wrestler and captain I can be.”
The program models itself on hard work and heart, which has been instilled by Workman High’s Coach Richie Santoyo, who began coaching in 2021 and leads both the girls and boys wrestling teams. Leading into the CIF tournament season, Santoyo shared his excitement for both the girls and the boys teams’ recent wins and emphasized the leadership of his returning female athletes and their strength in guiding the first-year competitors to a successful season.
“Wrestling is all about taking care of yourself and family and being a team player – it’s also the main reason I fell in love with the sport,” sophomore and lightweight wrestler Jazmine Olvera said, “This is my first year competing and although wrestling may seem like a more masculine sport, it’s actually an awesome sport for girls and women. It’s not only really fun but I’ve learned a lot about myself and I’m stronger and more confident, too.”
In recognition of National Girls and Women in Sports Day on Feb. 7, Superintendent Dr. Alfonso Jiménez gave the Workman girls wrestling team, along with other female winter sports teams, a special shout-out via the District’s parent and teacher notification system on behalf of the Board of Education, recognizing their outstanding efforts and wishing them luck as they head into the postseason.
“The Workman wrestling program is more like a family,” junior and lightweight wrestler Kyra Kreidel said. “We practice with the boys team and receive a lot of support and encouragement from them, and I’m just really excited that we’re all advancing to CIF. We have worked so hard and it has paid off. I would encourage all girls, especially incoming freshmen to take a take step and join the team, once you get on the mat it is an indescribable feeling.”
The CIF-SS Individual Wrestling Championships consists of six divisional meets conducted at San Dimas High School. Wrestlers will compete for individual championships and the opportunity to advance to the CIF-SS Masters Meet on Feb. 16-17. The CIF girls wrestling season will conclude at the CIF State Championships on Feb. 22-24.
“Congratulations to our Lobos on a phenomenal season and to coach Richie for being a been a pillar of strength and inspiration for our student-athletes,” Jiménez said. “From athletics to STEM programs and everything else in between, our District advocates for equality and perseverance for women in male-dominated fields by encouraging our girls to participate, develop interests and boost self-efficacy to pursue their dreams. Best of luck to all our winter sports teams.”
HLPUSD_WRESTLING1: Workman High School’s girls wrestling team won the program’s first-ever Montview League title in the 2023-24 season at the league championships on Jan. 12.
HLPUSD_WRESTLING2: Workman High School’s boys and girls wrestling teams celebrate being named first-place champions during a co-ed dual match on Jan. 11.
HLPUSD_WRESTLING3: Workman High School girls lightweight wrestler and junior Kyra Kreidel gets her hand raised after defeating her opponent from Duarte High School.