Zach Binkerd is in his first season as the official head coach of the Pacific Boxer Wrestling team.  Hisand a roster that has tripled since last year. The growing program is on a mission to make its mark and has the right people to do it. 

“My expectations for this year is to take what we can from it and try to advance ourselves,” said Binkerd. “We’ve got a lot of youth, a lot of young kids, and we’ve got some kids with experience too. My expectations as far as success is that we have a positive season that we feel good about next year.”

It will be a challenge to win a few meets with a young team, but Binkerd does not doubt that his athletes will overcome those challenges. The Boxers just came off their first two tournaments of the season, and Binkerd is nothing but ecstatic for his team.

“The guys have done really well competing, a couple of individuals, specifically K’den McMullin, Anthony Kraan, and Brody Piercy,” said Binkerd. “Our guys who have had a lot of success, we got a couple of other freshmen that are really kind of finding their stride.”

Anthony Kraan is a senior wrestler in the 197 lb. weight class. He has posted four wins on the season and looks to keep the momentum going into the rest of the season. 

“The ultimate goal is All-American at the end of the season, so there is still a lot of work to do, and I have no doubt that I can achieve that goal,” said Kraan. 

Sophia Mercado is a senior wrestler from Fremont, California, looking to cap off her senior year the right way, but knows there is work to put in, and nothing will be easy.

“In freestyle wrestling, it’s all about flow and knowing where you’re at,” said Mercado. “I need to relax more and find my flow in practice as well as in tournaments. I want to be a positive role model and influence on the new people, especially the girls, who have just joined the team.”

The Boxer wrestling team has a plan moving forward to help ensure a successful season. The team will compete at home on December 9th when they face off against the Linfield Wildcats and Pacific Lutheran. — Rustin Williams

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Rustin Williams is a senior and a writer for the index. He plays football and rugby for Pacific. He also enjoys going fishing, hiking, and camping in the woods.

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