The student news site of Woodbridge High School

Golden Arrow

The student news site of Woodbridge High School

Golden Arrow

The student news site of Woodbridge High School

Golden Arrow

From the Mat to Mainstream: How Wrestling Is Making a Name for Itself

The Woodbridge High wrestling team rises above under-recognition with confidence
Kailah Cortez
Senior Makoa McCreadie is an athlete on the Woodbridge High wrestling team. He pushes himself on the mat and hopes to gain recognition and inspire others to become involved in the sport.

When most students think of high school athletics, the first sports that may come to mind are football, basketball and soccer. 

24 sports are offered at Woodbridge High, but wrestling is often perceived as the underdog. 

This winter wrestling season, co-captains and seniors Anthony Lim and Makoa McCreadie have big plans. The Woodbridge High wrestling team hopes to win the Pacific Coast League finals and make it far in the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) playoffs. 

Beyond the wrestling mats, they have another aspiring list of goals: to break the stigma and misconceptions about wrestling and also reward the sport with well-deserved recognition.

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Wrestling is one of the most welcoming sports at Woodbridge High, which is evident in the students’ excitement for expanding the program. 

“There is a weight class for everybody,” Lim said. “Anybody can wrestle.” 

Lim spotlights how buying himself out on the mat every practice, match and tournament has impacted him. His emphasis on his growth in confidence and stamina channels into his life outside of wrestling.  

“My favorite part about wrestling is just the mentality, just because if I didn’t choose to do wrestling in high school, I wouldn’t be doing as well as I am doing right now in school,” Lim said. 

Many sports require blood, sweat and tears and wrestling is no exception.

“[The wrestling team] work[s] so hard and I may be a little biased, but what goes on in that wrestling room is crazy. Everyone pushes each other, and we go through torture, but it’s because we want to be the best,” McCreadie said. “I just feel like the sport needs to be recognized and appreciated everywhere.” 

McCreadie has a lifelong love for wrestling and hopes everyone can see the sport beyond the stereotypes. 

As one of the most successful wrestlers in Woodbridge High history, decorated with wins, tournament champion medals and state recognition, he emphasizes his passion for advocating for the sport. He wants to show high schoolers that wrestling is more than a World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) amusement. It is an art that requires physicality, mental stamina, intelligence, discipline and grit.

“Wrestling can be for anyone. Anyone can do it, you just have to be dedicated. Boy, girl, whoever you are,” McCreadie said. “If you really want to learn the sport, it can change your life.”

Another ongoing goal of the Woodbridge High wrestling team is to increase their representation of women on the team. With a total of 40 athletes making up the co-ed varsity wrestling team, only three girls are a part of the Woodbridge High wrestling program this 2023-24 season. 

“I definitely think there are not enough girls on the wrestling team, it’s just us three. It would be cool if we had more girls. I feel like girls [can] also do a tough sport like wrestling, it’s not just for boys,” Maginnis said. 

Even though their numbers are small, sophomore Amilia Acosta-Deiley, sophomore Keila Maginnis and freshman Syenna Ly play an integral role in establishing a community for women’s wrestling. 

“In wrestling, you have to be committed, you have to be there… I just like the work you have to put in and I also like competing. I love winning. I love the work. I love the reward of working hard,” Acosta-Deiley said. 

Like many other wrestlers on the team, Ly, Maginnis and Lim’s family and background in martial arts have paved their entrance into wrestling and pushed them to step out of their comfort zones. They have developed a love for the sport and appreciate every moment. 

“I like being pushed because if it were up to me, I probably wouldn’t be doing it myself,” Ly said. “It has taught me to be more responsible and on top of things. Especially with school. Without it, I don’t know where I would be.” 

Acosta-Deiley and Lim can agree. 

“As an individual, it has made me more disciplined and has strengthened my mentality,” Lim said. “It has made me a better person.” 

“I am looking forward to winning and trying my best,” Ly said. “Getting as far as I can go.” 

“The atmosphere pushes you to be the best you,” Acosta-Deiley said. 

While every wrestler comes in motivated to pursue their own goals, the team bond is also critical to their success. They all share a hope for the future of wrestling. 

McCreadie and Lim are excited about the thrill of league finals and CIF playoffs, but they also know that the end of the season will be a bittersweet moment.

“I am just excited for every single day of the season. I know it’s going to go by fast. [I am looking forward to] just being with the team. Being around these people daily, [the wrestlers and the coaches], is fun. We have a special bond,” McCreadie said. 

The wrestling team encourages students to see that the stigma surrounding wrestling is simply a false narrative. 

With continuous and consistent diligence, the Woodbridge High wrestling team looks to a bright future, determined to bring their triumph on the mat to the forefront of high school mainstream sports.

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About the Contributors
Annabelle Ko
Annabelle Ko, In-Depth Editor
Hey Warriors! I am very honored to be your In-Depth Editor for the Golden Arrow this year. My name is Annabelle Ko and this is my second year in journalism. I am looking forward to producing print issues and website stories that tell the story of all students and staff at our school! I hope to grow as a journalist and highlight the people and activities that make Woodbridge unique. Happy reading everyone!
Kailah Cortez
Kailah Cortez, Business Manager/ Photographer
Whatup Warriors! I’m Kailah Cortez and I’m going to be Business Manager and a photographer for the Golden Arrow this year. I’m looking forward to collaborating with the rest of the Golden Arrow Staff to bring you all amazing stories. I am thrilled to see what this year has for us! Enjoy :P