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Going big: ML girls wrestling team has high expectations

by Rebecca Pettingill
Staff Writer | January 7, 2022 1:00 AM

MOSES LAKE — The Moses Lake High School girls wrestling team is a small, but mighty group laying a firm foundation to build the girls wrestling program in Moses Lake.

This is David Peralez’s first year as head coach for the Moses Lake girls wrestling program and he wasn’t too sure what to expect going into the position, especially with no seniors turning out.

Despite how green his team is, Peralez said he was really pleased with how the season is going so far and feels like the team is already exceeding its own expectations.

Peralez said while the goal this year may not be getting to the state competition, he was surprised and pleased with the girls who have grown into the sport in such a short amount of time and those who have brought victories home.

Peralez said he always had, and will have, high expectations for his athletes.

The team has eight consistent participants this year, and while that may be small, he is really impressed with the willingness to learn by both the newest wrestlers and the most experienced. He said he can’t wait to see the final product of these athletes, not just for the season, but in the years they have in the program.

“We’re building something really special here,” Peralez said.

Peralez said some of his goals include helping the athletes grow their skills and confidence. He also hopes with the growth of these girls, it grows the program and encourages other girls to be a part of the program. He said he wants to show wrestling isn’t just for boys and girls can be tough, too.

The team’s most recent tournament was at Hanford High School. Here are the girls’ results at Hanford, as well as a little bit about their individual season standings so far:

• 110-pound junior Brianna Martinez, Hanford record 4-1, 3rd place finish.

• 120-pound sophomore Ashley Naranjo, Hanford record 3-0, 1st place. Season record is 15-0. She won outstanding wrestler award at Bob Mars tournament on Dec. 4.

• 125-pound junior Bianca Johnson, Hanford record 3-0, 1st place. Season record 14-0.

• 135-pound sophomore Gabriela Vela, Hanford record 3-2, 5th place.

• 140-pound junior LaKailey Rodriguez, Hanford record 2-2, 4th place.

• 145-pound junior Kathryn Pugh, Hanford record 2-2, 5th place.

• 170-pound freshman Katelyn Rodriguez, Hanford record 1-3, 8th place.

• 100-pound junior Jhaile De Guzman did not wrestle at Hanford due to an injury, but her season record is 11-2.

Peralez noted LaKailey and Katelyn Rodriguez are completely new to the sport this season. LaKailey has placed two out of the four tournaments, and Katelyn has placed three out of the four tournaments. Katelyn even took second place at Best of the West Tournament on Dec. 17.

Peralez mentioned a great head coach is nothing without assistant coaches and he feels he has the best. He said when he was hiring assistant coaches Paul Martinez and Angelica Rivas, he made sure to get coaches who didn’t think like him or specialized in things he wasn’t as good at.

The Lady Chiefs are scheduled to travel to Kelso for a tournament Friday and Saturday, but it is subject to change.

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