High School Sports

Ramirez siblings wrestling with greatness

It’s a common refrain wherever Lakes High School’s wrestling team goes.

Where are the Ramirez siblings?

“It’s the first thing I’m asked,” Lancers girls coach Trish Pak said. “They’re a household name in the wrestling world.”

Andrew, a senior who will wrestle at this weekend’s regional tournament at 132 pounds, and Anesia, a junior who competes at 115, are just fine with that. They want to be known. And they want to win.

“They’re a different breed,” Lakes boys coach Pancho Shrader said. “They don’t need a coach to be on them all the time about weight or running or practicing. I can give them the leeway and they can do it on their own and they do it better that way.”

That extends to younger sister Sienna, a sophomore who narrowly missed the cut for regionals at 110, and older brother William, a state wrestler who graduated in 2012.

Shrader said Andrew is the most dedicated wrestler he has coached in 39 years. He is so serious that he goes home from practice to watch video footage of other wrestlers — including Olympians — to learn moves. In turn, he is the only wrestler Shrader has ever allowed to teach the team moves.

“I’ve never had a wrestler like that before,” he said.

Pak said that watching Andrew wrestle is like watching “an art form.”

“It’s like a dance – and Anesia is moving in that direction,” she said. “I predict by next year she’ll be exactly the same.”

Pak said that Anesia is easy to coach because she stays calm.

“Even when she’s mad, she listens through her anger or disappointment,” she said. “She’s really good at analyzing and coming up with a game plan.”

This year, the ultimate plan for both Ramirez siblings is finding redemption – and winning a Class 3A title at Mat Classic XXVII.

In 2014, Andrew lost in triple overtime in the quarterfinals and placed third at 126. Anesia fell in her opening match and battled back to finish fourth at 112.

“I’ve already wrestled basically everyone in my weight, including 4A, so it’s kind of a lock,” Andrew said. “But I have to keep concentrating.”

Shrader isn’t worried about his star pupil, though.

“All that boy has to do is go out there and wrestle like he has wrestled the last 40 matches,” he said. “He is on and after everyone he wrestles. He cuts nobody any slack. He goes out there to win, and that is what he has done every time.”

Pak said Anesia has improved after placing third at nationals in July.

“Her technique has stepped up, and people who beat her last year, she has been able to beat,” she said.

“She battles. She’s out there to do damage, and I believe she will.”

Anesia admitted that wrestling at 115 has been a challenge.

“I know there’s a lot of competition there,” she said, “but something makes me want to beat them – instead of being handed it.”

She added that in her first year, she thought of wrestling as just a sport.

“Now, it’s something I have built into my life,” she said.

Pak said the siblings have different strengths and weaknesses, but share a competitive spirit. Both also play soccer for Lakes and used to do judo.

“They’re serious athletes,” she said, “and it shows.”

Andrew said having his sisters in the same sport creates a fun dynamic.

“It’s pretty cool,” he said. “We basically talk wrestling a lot.”

So who would win in a match between the pair?

“Me,” Andrew said without pause. “I just know more.”

Anesia isn’t about to disagree.

“I would put up my best fight,” she said with a laugh, “but he would probably kill me.”