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Rocklin wrestling looking to state meet

Keef, Seppinni back for 2012
By: Amanda Calzada Placer Herald Correspondent
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Rocklin High School wrestling will tackle Nevada Union next week to prepare its athletes for the ultimate California State Meet in early March. The Thunders’ two returning state qualifiers, Shane Keef and Olivia Seppinni, are expected to raise their ranking. Last year, Keefe placed fourth at the master’s tournament and is currently ranked 16th in the state. The athlete has only one loss on this season’s record and head coach Torrean Tyus said he has been impressed with Keefe’s performances. Junior Seppinni, now ranked third in the state among all female wrestlers, placed at the girls masters meet last year. Tyus hopes the youth will win the girls meet this year. Tyus said last season’s work ethic has carried over to this season. “But now we have filled more of the holes in our lineup that we had last season. We have a more determined group of wrestlers this year than we did last year,” said Tyus. This year’s group of athletes includes nine new wrestlers on the varsity lineup. Four underclassmen, including three freshmen, hold varsity roster spots this season. According to Tyus, the team’s biggest area of improvement was expanding the team and ensuring top performances through summer conditioning. “Champions are not made in the winter; they are made in the summer,” he said. Prior to the season’s official start, the team bonded by taking a trip to Folsom Lake to do their “freestyle” program. The team sports a strategy of never giving up and knowing “that we can win at any second.” These are powerful mantras in a league of fierce competition. Granite Bay has been Rocklin’s toughest competition this season. The Thunder has added two new assistant coaches to the coaching staff this season: Brandon Prior and Walt Wohlford. Coach Tyler Brey was the only returning assistant coach and is a Rocklin wrestling alumnus. Tyus said that wrestling is not just a sport, but rather a lifestyle. The sport, he said, is great entertainment for spectators and the support is needed to nurture the program. “Most people don’t understand how mentally tough you have to be to wrestle, especially on our team,” he said.