BY KYLEIGH SPRIGLE
On December 4, the CCHS Cowboys wrestling team faced the South Broward Bulldogs, an opponent that they lost to last year. This wrestling tournament was their time for vengeance and they took it. The varsity Cowboys team ended up winning more matches than the varsity Bulldogs team, and the junior varsity (JV) Cowboys won every match they participated in.
“The team performed really well and above expectations,” captain Joey Riestra said. “We almost shut out a team that shut us out last year.”
There are 14 weight classes and nearly every class had a participating wrestler from CCHS. The wrestlers had six minutes to pin their opponent, but after every two minutes, they stopped and reset. Most of the matches were won by pinning the opponent; others were won due to the lack of competitors. Only one match was lost because South Broward had more points.
“The team went against a really difficult team, a team we lost to last year, and this year we did a lot better,” captain Aref Abdala said. “The team overall is looking really good and we have a strong JV team that was flawless.”
“The team performed really well and above expectations.”Captain Joey Riestra
The first match was between Dylan Garcia and an evenly matched wrestler. They both avoided getting pinned for the entire match. South Broward won that round because they received more points than Garcia had.
In another match, Julian Perez and his opponent were off the ground for almost 30 seconds. But, when they were down, the match went quickly. Perez almost got his opponent pinned but was forced to stop because they were out of bounds. However, after the reset, Perez pinned him quickly and won the match for the team.
Mateo Gelman and his opponent were standing up and circling each other for almost an entire minute. When the action started, the match ended quickly with a pin from the CCHS competitor.
Most of the other matches went by quickly. Aiden Yates pinned his rival in the first two minutes of the round. Bengaly Kone pinned his competition in the first two minutes with only seconds remaining on the clock. Elijah Neale was the last wrestler to go and left it all on the mat. Almost as soon as the round started, it was over. He pinned his rival in the first 40 seconds of the match.
“It was a very solid win against a team that beat us pretty badly last year, so it was nice to even the score.”Coach Scott Sodergren
Additionally, three matches were won by default because South Broward did not have anyone in those weight classes.
Sean Ceballos almost pinned his opponent, but the South Broward wrestler got out of it. Cebellos escaped being pinned multiple times. Eventually, however, he was unsuccessful in his fight and was pinned.
The tournament had a couple other losses for the Cowboys, but they were well fought. Michel Geha almost pinned his opponent but after a long fight, he was pinned. Abdala was nearly pinned a number of times but every time except the last he was able to maneuver out of it. Riestra went through multiple rounds with his competitor. They both were nearly pinned but Riestra could not get out of one and lost his round.
The season is just starting for many of the wrestlers. Only some will be able to qualify and move on to districts, regionals and states. Regardless, this tournament demonstrated the potential of the CCHS wrestling team.
“It was a very solid win against a team that beat us pretty badly last year, so it was nice to even the score,” coach Scott Sodergren said. “I think we are going to do really well [this year]. Team-wise, we have a chance of moving on to states and we will probably be top two in the district. ”
Photo by Sydney Katz