September 19, 2014 | When doctors told Sarah Saenz she wouldn’t be able to continue her competitive wrestling career due to a spat of injuries, forcing the King College athlete to return to her home community of San Fernando, CA, she could have hung up her shoes and walked away from the sport. No one would have blamed her. But then again, she’s a wrestler.
Growing up in Los Angeles’s San Fernando Valley Sarah began wrestling at the age of 6 for the Tigers youth program. Competing for San Fernando High School she was good enough to make the boys team and ultimately earned a college scholarship to wrestle for the King College women’s wrestling team. With Olympic aspirations, Sarah was on track until a string of injuries forced her to stop competing. Returning to San Fernando in 2013 she turned to coaching and hasn’t looked back.
As a BTSLA coach, Sarah has played a significant role in the San Fernando “Tiger Squad” BTSLA/LASPD youth program and serves as the head coach for Community Charter Middle School in nearby Lakeview Terrace. As Area wrestling coaches took notice of her work she was selected to coach the 2014 California Women’s National Team who competed in Fargo, ND at the USA Wrestling Asics/Vaughn Cadet & Junior National Championships.
“Being selected for the National Team coaching staff definitely made me feel important. Being trusted to coach and enlighten a group of potential future Olympian Wrestlers is a great honor. The experience has given me the opportunity to learn from high level coaches. I’ve learned so much,” said Saenz.
Sarah and the women wrestlers represented California in record fashion as the Junior team claimed an unprecedented 25 National All-American honors with 5 individual National Champions. The Cadet team earned another 16 All-American honors and both teams earned National Team Championship titles in their respective divisions.
For Sarah though, winning championships isn’t the reason she coaches. “A great coach taught me that coaching should always feel rewarding, and the ones that make it rewarding are the ones that show the willingness to learn and show appreciation. For me, that makes it all worthwhile,” said Saenz.
If Sarah’s start in coaching is any indication, the future is bright for Los Angeles area women wrestlers.