Q & A with Brian Rivas (Wrestling Team Member)

By Eddie Schultz and Eddie Schultz

Senior Brian Rivas has been wrestling since eight grade and is a member of the varsity wrestling team. He plays for the track and field team and played for the football team in the fall.

Q: Why do you like wrestling?

Just the fact that it’s a one-on-one competition. All the other sports that I do is just like a team sport, but wrestling’s very competitive…After every win that I get or loss, it shows the things that I’ve worked on. For example, if I don’t put any effort in practice, then I won’t get the results I want, but if I do all the work and all the practice, I will get the results I want. Wrestling is a very unique sport in that way.

Q: What contributed to the team’s success this season?

All the success that we’ve had this season comes from the previous years, mostly just because some guys like [juniors] Karim [Shakur], Ben Lavine, have put so much effort in [during] the off-season, and also because we have new coaches [Luke Jones and Nick Proctor] straight out of college from Michigan State. We have their influence on us and it’s helped me and my teammates to improve and it’s motivated us to do great things in meets. Just to have actual wrestlers that competed professionally really motivates us to do better.

Q: What was your favorite memory this season?

It was probably Mission San Jose. I wrestled outstanding in that tournament. There was a kid I’d wrestled before and he’d beat me miserably. I’d wrestled him in my sophomore year at the same tournament. And this year I went into the match thinking I was going to lose. And knowing he was the second seed, he was taller and bigger than me, but still the same weight. I thought I was going to have problems with leverage and reach, but I did pretty well against him and I beat him. It felt really nice knowing that I could wrestle at that level.

Q: How has wrestling impacted your life?

Wrestling has [taught] me discipline. You have to cut weight, you have to be well conditioned, you have to run in order to be able to make it through three rounds. Just the mental strength and the emotional strength that you need. Wrestling has taught me that if you put in the hard work then it will pay off in the end. For example…. you have to be very disciplined to be able to cut 10 pounds in three days.

Q: What has your experience been on Tam Wrestling?

Tam wrestling has been a really good experience. My first three year with Coach Salinas were really fun, especially my freshman year. Wrestling with all the kids and the seniors [in my freshman year] I learned a lot from them….Going to tournaments you get to meet other kids from other schools from other sections. It’s pretty cool you make a lot of friends. This year, having coaches that actually wrestled in college in D1, you meet a lot of people that you never thought you would actually meet.