Posts Tagged ‘alumni’

We recently caught up with alum Sean Gallagher, 1989 CIF placer and state qualifier.  He has gone on to do some pretty interesting things since his days at Capo:

Gallagher while he wrestled at Capo

Gallagher while he wrestled at Capo

1) What years did you wrestle at Capo, and how did you do during your wrestling career?

I wrestled at Capo all 4 years of high school. I was in the 98 pound weight class my freshman year on the Frosh/Soph team and did not need to cut weight my first year. I grew a bit and wrestled on the varsity team for my next 3 years. I wrestled at 105 for Sophomore and Junior years and 112 my Senior year. I think I really improved a lot while I was wrestling at Capo. When I started, I knew almost nothing about the sport. I wasn’t one of these guys whose father had been coaching them to wrestle since he was 1 year old. I managed to place 3rd at Five Counties my senior year (1989) and placed 5th in CIF and qualified for the state tournament. I also was very active in freestyle wrestling during the off season and placed 3rd at the Junior Olympics in 1987.

2) What is your best memory of high school wrestling?

One of my best memories was at the Coast Classic held at Aptos Community College in Santa Cruz. We got to travel there by plane and the Santa Cruz area is beautiful. I was unranked going into the tournament and I tore through the ranks and won 1st place at the tournament. I remember overhearing people talking about me while looking at the brackets, “Who’s this Gallagher?” I thought that was pretty cool. I always had some consistency issues and trouble concentrating week to week. I’d have some off weeks, but if I was on I was really good and this was a good tournament for me. Also there was this huge arcade on the pier near the beach and we got to check out some of the town after the tournament.

 3) Where has life taken you since then?  What is your vocation now, and what path did you take to get there? 

Since graduating from Capo I attended the University of Notre Dame and even wrestled for a year there. Unfortunately the wrestling program was cut to comply with Title IX legislation. There were too many men’s sports. But I decided to stay and graduate from Notre Dame. I then worked in Orange Country for about 4 years doing field paleontology. Ya’ know, like everyone does. Then I got a job teaching in Japan, got married had a child, and started a Japanese education corporation. Currently I am the Director of Operations at HEC Ltd. (the name of my company).

4) How did wrestling prepare you for life after high school?

Wrestling prepared me for life after high school by showing me that I can always improve, if I put in the effort. There is no real limit to how good I can become at something, even now at my age. In high school, success was a function of the amount of time I spent preparing for matches and staying in good shape both physically and mentally. That concept is directly transferrable to the “real world”. As an educator I am very into neuroscience and learning about how our brains work. This is a great article about the 2 different mindsets; a “fixed” mindset and a “growth” mindset. A fixed minded person tends to see their intelligence as limited whereas a growth minded person sees their intelligence as something that can be increased with effort. Wrestling taught me, or perhaps reinforced the idea, that I can always improve myself if I try harder.

Also on another level wrestling taught me how to “fight,” and as a man that is an important skill to have. Obviously we don’t go looking for fights, that is stupid and will eventually earn you unnecessary trips to the dentist. But sometimes trouble comes your way.

On the subway home the other night there was this really drunk obnoxious American guy who was saying really rude stuff to all of the Japanese people on the train (I currently live in Japan) and they were all petrified of him. I was really tired and didn’t want to deal with it. I was just going to leave the guy alone and let him be a jerk but then he started getting physical and pushing some women who get on the train, so I’m like, BING, no way this is happening on my watch. So I went up to the guy, who was about a foot taller than me, squared up with him, looked him directly in the eye and said, “Hey how’s it going bro?” It was a small space, the train was moving and he was wobbly even when we were stopped so I knew I could take him if it came to it. But the drunk guy’s eyes got really wide as he looked at me and slurred, “I’m not talking to you.” And then he went to another part of the train and passed out. Point is, if the guy came at me I was prepared to handle it. Thank you wrestling.

5) What are two pieces of advice for current Capo wrestlers?

2 pieces of advice:

A wrestler with moderate athletic skills can beat a wrestler who is naturally a better athlete if he trains harder.

Don’t be predictable; be creative, surprise your opponents; my favorite was to take the top position setting up lefty style. Throws them for a loop every time.

And for any wrestlers with short legs, the quarter nelson is your best friend to block shots on your legs. I scored lot of points off of countering poorly executed shots on my legs.

Gallagher today

Gallagher today