Luke’s younger brother Mark followed his lead the following year and joined the Triton varsity squad as an eighth-grader. Luke emerged as one of the top wrestlers in the state at 126 pounds as a freshman. He posted a record of 43-8, and won a CAL title. He later placed second at Division 3 North Sectionals and fourth at the Division 3 Championships. He earned a trip to the All-State Championships.
Triton coach Shawn McElligott believes Luke benefited from competing on a daily basis in practice against his teammates, some of whom have also reached the highest level of state competition over the last few years. In the lower weight classes alone, Triton has been a training ground for Victor Ramirez, who won his 100th match earlier this season; Mark Rosmarinofski, a three-time CAL champion; and CAL All-Stars like Mat Mills and Cody Nixon.
“They all wrestle each other, and they all make each other better,” McElligott said. “It’s not an easy half of the lineup to break through. It’s a tough room with all of those names. Year in and year out, those guys have all done well.”
This year, Luke has his sights on his first sectional and state titles at 138 pounds. He has posted a record of 33-4, with only one loss coming against a competitor from a Division 3 North school. Still, McElligott sees plenty of unfulfilled potential in his sophomore standout.
“He’s a very good offensive wrestler,” McElligott said. “Defensively, he can improve. When he started as an eighth-grader, he was so reliant on judo moves. To get to where he’s at now, he’s had to add to that. Juniors and seniors in the middle weight classes know how to defend it. In the lower classes, judo throws can happen against freshmen and sophomores.”