Millikan Wrestling

Wrestling Preview: Millikan Rams

The story of the 2019-20 Moore League wrestling season will likely be written by Millikan once again. The Rams have a stacked lineup and are looking for its ninth consecutive team titles with returning champions on both the boys’ and girls’ sides.

“I’m optimistic about this year’s team,” Millikan 29-year coach Marshall Thomson said. “I know the other league teams have good wrestlers and are working hard too. I believe the league matches this year will be tough and competitive.”

The two most important Rams returners are Edwin Samayoa (220 pounds) and Diego Laverde (120). Both wrestlers qualified for Masters last year after top-5 finishes at the CIF Southern Section competition.

Millikan’s Samuel Winters (112), Trevor Thompson (126), Caleb Turner (132), Alan Patino (145), Jacob Zavala (152), Robert Pallares (160), Michael Salas (195) and Santos Salas (285) also were league finalists last year who competed at CIF. Laverde, Thompson, Pallares, Samayoa and Salas are all returning league champions.

The Rams already got their season off to a great start by winning a tournament late last month at Torrence High.

On the Millikan girls’ side, Peyton Roberts (101), Isabella Moreno (106), Allison Doppenberg (116) and Sophia Miller (126) are all returning league champions, but none of them were able to medal at the CIF-SS meet. Tru Jones (132) and Mailie Atoigue (152) will be the key newcomers. The Rams have won the girls’ league title every year since it was added in 2011.

Thompson said last year that the key to sustained success is running the program year-around as one unit.

“That tradition and mentality is built in, and that becomes what they believe,” Thompson said. “We support each other, we work out together and we look at it as one team. That formula works for us.”

Millikan opened the league schedule at home on Thursday where both boys’ and girls’  squads easily beat rival Lakewood.

JJ Fiddler
JJ Fiddler is an award-winning sportswriter and videographer who has been covering Southern California sports for multiple newspapers and websites since 2004. After attending Long Beach State and creating the first full sports page at the Union Weekly Newspaper, he has been exclusively covering Long Beach prep sports since 2007.