Grapplers shine at tournaments

Individual wins have not translated to success in league due to weight classes.

Bernard Chen, Sports Editor


With a new coaching staff, it’s been a transitional season for the Diamond Bar High School varsity wrestling team. Despite a league record of 1-2, the Brahmas have dominated at tournaments, with seven wrestlers placing at the recent Nogales Tournament while the team placed fifth overall.

Individually, the wrestlers are finding success but as a team, the Brahmas are struggling in league. According to head coach Marcus Johnson, the team is lacking in some weight categories. However, several underclassmen have stepped up this season to fill those empty spots, with freshmen Hayden Gonzalez and Andrew Cardiel wrestling on varsity. This is the first time freshmen have wrestled on varsity in over ten years.

“We’re a good tournament team, but because of some injuries and some guys that got hurt or didn’t work out at certain weights, we’re not doing as well at dual meets as we should be,” Johnson said.

The team has had wrestlers place in the top five at every tournament they have attended this season including ones at Troy, Carter, Nogales, and Brea. At the Troy tournament, the team placed fourth overall, with six wrestlers placing.

Several of the wrestlers have stood out as well, including junior Michael Cardiel, and seniors Leighlan Corpus and Christian Munoz, who competes at the upper weights and has placed at every tournament the team has competed in. Michael Cardiel currently has the best placings overall of the wrestlers at the tournaments the team has attended.

According to coach Scott Usher, the ultimate goal is to make it individually to state, but CIF is where the team will begin.

To achieve the goal, the team is practicing daily and maintaining healthy diets to match the various weight classes wrestling demands. Because it is often a challenge to remain at the same weight class for some wrestlers, the Brahmas are paying specific attention to their diet.

Still, there are areas that both the team and individual Brahmas can improve upon. The team drills every day to practice moves as each move requires hundreds of practices to become flawless at meets.

“Individually I believe I just need to start incorporating more shots, [takedowns], into my wrestling style. As a team I think some of the people need to become more motivated so that they can have the confidence to wrestle aggressively,” Munoz said.

Though the team has lost several dual meets already this season, the team still hopes to go to CIF and wrestle at state, as they have only lost by one or two weight classes each match.

“We’re as prepared as we’re going to be. Everybody is in shape. Everybody is ready. If we correct a few things, I’m sure we can come out on top on the rest of them. I think we’ll do very well at CIF and I expect us to have a good post season,” Johnson said.