Six Brahmas reach CIF

WRESTLING The boys competed on Feb. 16-17 at CIF Individuals, where only two wrestlers placed.

Justin Prakaiphetkul, Asst. Sports Editor

Despite an all-around rough year in league, the Diamond Bar High School wrestling team sent six wrestlers to CIF Individuals. At the event, senior Daniel Perez finished sixth in the 285-pound weight class and will advance to CIF Masters as an alternate, while junior Conner Diamond placed seventh in the 126-pound weight class.

If one of the wrestlers in Perez’s weight class does not meet the weight requirement or does not compete at CIF Masters, Perez will have the opportunity to compete as an alternate, should his name be pulled. CIF Masters will be held in Temecula Valley this week.

In order to have advanced to CIF Masters, the wrestlers had to place in the top six of a 32-man bracket for each of the fourteen weight classes.

On Feb. 16-17, the boys wrestled at CIF Individuals, which were held at Beaumont High School. The six Brahmas who qualified for CIF Individuals were Perez, Diamond, juniors Chris Perez, Moises Gamez, Eric Quach and Sean Rivera.

Diamond placed second in his weight class at league finals on Feb. 10 to qualify for CIF Individuals. Diamond said he moved up a weight class for league finals because his coach felt that he had a better opportunity to succeed against the heavier opponents.

“My first match was a really tough match, and I got hurt, but I made it to the finals. But, the coach wanted to pull me because he said that ‘CIF is more important’ so I was pretty disappointed about that, but I’m ready to make up for it,” Diamond said.

Quach placed fourth at league finals. Prior to competing, Quach dropped from the 170 pound to the 160 pound weight class. Quach said that he was a little nervous heading into his matches.

“I got kind of far, but then I was just trying to tell myself to just go for it and look for all the open opportunities,” Quach said.

Matchups were not disclosed until the morning of league finals. However, based on other schools’ records, the team had a good idea of who they would be matched up with, according to head coach Les Schaefer.

In the weeks leading into league finals, Schaefer said that the coaching staff worked with the wrestlers individually to fine tune specific techniques.

The wrestlers prepared for league finals by working on weight management, normal conditioning and one-on-one practices with alumni. The coaching staff emphasized the need for the wrestlers to look at their talents, confidence, work ethic and support systems.

“At this point, we’re not trying to recreate anything. We’re keeping them focused on their best moves that have taken them this far, so that they are focused on certain things to do and they don’t have twenty different moves floating around their heads,” Schaefer said.

The team finished league with a 1-4 record. Schaefer stated that many things were out of the control of the wrestlers and the coaching staff. During the season, multiple Brahmas suffered injuries and a number of wrestlers left the program.

To prepare for next season, Diamond and Quach said that they plan to continue gaining strength.