LAGUNA HILLS, Calif. (KABC) -- Big dreams and hard work came together for the Laguna Hills High School girls' varsity wrestling team on Wednesday when they competed in CIF finals in their first year as a team.
Alicia Serratos made it her goal to bring a girls team to the school. She and Ash Gerlach were two of about eight girls who wrestled on the boys' team in past years.
"I did not think at all that we would be here by the end of the season," said Gerlach. "I had hopes and everything, but to see it like actually realized is amazing."
The school's wrestling head coach, Brian Notch, credited their commitment.
"It's a testament to the young ladies for recruiting our girls that we had last year, seven or eight of them, getting more girls to come out and then just working hard from November to this point right now," Notch said.
"I have two younger sisters and I knew if they were to come here that eventually, we'd have to start a girls program," Serratos said. "So I thought, 'Why not start it now?'"
In just months, the team got their full lineup of 35 strong athletes, forming unbreakable bonds.
"I think the thing that brought in our girls the most is the family aspect and how everyone uplifts each other," Serratos said.
"It's so loud when you go to girls tournaments because they're all screaming at their teammates," Gerlach said. "It's such an encouraging sport. That's something that I've seen really grow between last year and this year."
The Hawks were scheduled to face off against Ventura High School on Wednesday night at 7 p.m.