Jana Elshafey also contributed to this article
Malden High’s wrestling team started the season this year with their first meet on December 14th. So far, there has been one major change: Malden and Everett have merged their wrestling teams together.
The reason for this merger is because of the lack of players on both teams. According to coach Nicholas Erban, “over the past few years, the participation within both programs has been low.” Last year when the two schools competed against each other, Malden filled the lower and some middleweight classes, while Everett had mostly the middle and heavyweight classes. Out of 14 possible weight class matchups, the dual meet only had three contested matches.
After one of the matches between Malden and Everett, Erban jokingly made a comment to athletic director Charlie Conefrey saying, “Hey, we could have been one team, with a full lineup.” Conefrey emailed him back afterward asking if he was serious, and so began from there.
Erban also explains how “[The merger] has been a learning experience. Two schools trying to operate as one team...having some inexperienced, newer wrestlers learning the sport and getting used to competition.” It has definitely been something to get used to for both Malden and Everett. By coming together though, the team is much bigger which gives them an advantage, and they can continue to have wrestling as a sport offered at the schools.
The team is doing good so far, with the season only beginning now. Senior Captain Ved Gray from Malden has over 10 wins while Everett’s Derrick Sands, has six wins. Overall, the team has two main wins against Worcester Tech and Georgetown-Ipswich and they hope to continue their winning streak.
Sophomore Enze Zhou has been on the team since last year and is excited to be back. He explained how his goal for the season is to “improve his technique, physical well being, and catch a few dubbs.” He is excited to be back and wrestling, and he awaits to see what his teammates “are made of.”
Junior Yohanni Costa shared that “[Malden] joined Everett and [their] goal is to unite and work together” to build a strong team. She continued by saying that “the wrestling season has been really good so far, and [they] have a lot of new people and also have the Everett Wrestling Team joining [their] team.” Malden and Everett became one team now and there are many good wrestlers including girls on the team ready to work hard and be successful during this season.
Costa is on a mission where “[she] really wants to see [herself] and the team doing better than [they] did last year. [Costa] hopes [she] has the chance to be a two times state champion” and for MHS be proud of their team.