Tie against Walnut begins the season

WRESTLING Coach Bonafe expects a league title and multiple CIF individual placements.

After losing just one senior to graduation, the Diamond Bar High School  wrestling team is hoping its  experience pays off in results on the mat.

In the first match of the year, seniors Christopher Perez, Moises Gomez,Vivek Kandhari and sophomore Gabriel Martinez won matches to help the Brahmas tie the Walnut High School Mustangs, 39-39.

 One of the deciding factor in the match was the Brahmas’ lack of wrestlers in  the 220 lbs. and above weight classes, which forced DB to forfeit two matches.

Head coach Andre Bonafe has worked on improving  the athletes’ aggression and persistence to increase  their confidence in matches.

 He has also added more intense  conditioning and weightlifting to their schedule.

“They are the most dedicated and are willing to do what it takes to better themselves,” Bonafe said via email. “They are the hardest workers in the room and keep putting in work outside of school.”

With eight returning seniors, Bonafe expects the Brahmas to win  the league title and compete as  individuals in the  CIF playoffs.

“We definitely will have multiple people going to CIF. I also expect to have few breakthrough to the CIF Masters tournament,” Bonafe said. “We have some hopefuls for CIF State tournament too, so I’m excited and want to push my team to make sure these things happen.”

The team has risen from being a young team with a majority of underclassmen last year to having seniors that are expected to  set a standard for the team.

“Some of the older guys are doing a good job of setting an example for the rest of the team, and some of the freshman and sophomores have started speaking up in a positive way which makes me excited for the years to come,” Bonafe said.

Bonafe believes that wrestling is 100 percent an individual sport. He puts a lot of pressure on the athletes to do what’s best for them personally.

“When on the mat it’s your will against your opponent, who will break first, who is hungrier and just wants it more,” said Bonafe. “All of the athletes’ hard work shows up on the mat and you can really see who the hard workers are, they have to learn how to push when you have absolutely nothing left in the tank. This sport takes heart and that is something you can’t be taught.”

The Brahmas have a home conference game against Ontario High School tomorrow at 6:30 p.m.