Frontier wrestling coach Carlo Franciotti is not bashful on proclaiming this year's senior class at Frontier as the best in program history.
With three returning CIF State medalists, led by Trent Tracy — the first state champion in school history — Franciotti is trying hard to just enjoy the moments with this class of standouts.
“I just try to be grateful and appreciate every day just going in there and practicing with them,” Franciotti said. “The biggest thing is making sure they leave here ready for life.”
Frontier is one of the top Kern County teams — along with Bakersfield High — heading into the prestigious Doc Buchanan Wrestling Tournament at Clovis High on Friday and Saturday.
With a field of some of the top wrestlers in the nation from California, Colorado, Illinois and New Jersey in competition, the Titans will get an early glimpse of just how good they are with the CIF State Championships approaching Feb. 22-24 at Rabobank Arena.
“They set a high standard, which is good,” Franciotti said. “They made it so Frontier is on the map and an established program now. They set the bar high for the guys coming in.”
Tracy, along with Cole Reyes and Max Aguirre, will wrestle at Cal Poly in college. All three medaled last season at state with Reyes finishing fifth at 120 and Aguirre taking fourth at 160.
Frontier has five wrestlers seeded in the top-16 in their weight class at Doc B, including senior Ryan Morphis (13th, 138) and sophomore Christian Landin (11th, 170).
In total, Frontier has 10 wrestlers ranked top-40 in the state in their respective weight classes, according to The California Wrestler.
“We had our goals big. I don’t think we had anything this big in mind,” junior Ryan Fletcher said. “We are doing really good and probably exceeding expectations that we set for ourselves. Which is good.”
Like most programs, the Titans have been a collective unit long before stepping foot on the Frontier campus. Tracy, Reyes, Morphis and Fletcher all won youth-level titles for the feeder program, setting a high bar of success for a program a little more than a decade old.
“I’ve been wrestling with these guys probably since I was in the fifth grade,” said Tracy, who won the 170-pound state title last season. “It’s just a relationship. You see each other almost every night at practice growing up and now at high school together. It’s really nice to have that.”
Tracy is now ranked No. 1 in the state and 18th in the country at 182 and is the second seed at Doc B. He'll enter the weekend just behind No. 5-nationally ranked Chris Foca from Bergen Catholic in New Jersey.
Knowing that he is ranked No. 1 in California hasn’t changed Tracy's mindset this season or going into this weekend’s competition.
“Not really. I go into tournaments with the same mindset,” Tracy said. “I just go in and wrestle my hardest no matter where I am at. Every tournament you wrestle, there is another guy on the other side of the mat. Seeds don’t really matter. You have to wrestle the best guys to win.”