CCCAA state championships: Wrestling seeks title
Although the wrestling team is coming off what head coach Don Garriott called a “flat performance” at the Southern California Regionals last Saturday when it earned fifth place at the competition, he understands the physical toll the season takes on wrestlers and has faith in the team’s ability to bounce back this Friday and Saturday at the CCCAA State Championships.
The meet will be at San Joaquin Delta College at 9 a.m.
A common problem among the team’s members at regionals was the fact that they failed to cut weight efficiently.
“A lot of the guys didn’t control their weight like they should of, so we had some hard weight cuts,” Garriott said. “This is a hard time of year to have passion. Guys have been cutting weight all year, so it’s a hard time. It’s something we talk about all day, finding things that motivate you.”
As that problem will be tweaked within the team, so will the game-plan, as planning certain tactics for different colleges can prove to be difficult.
Offensive lineman Robert Chism, who transferred over to wrestling, said, “(The team) had a good season so far and I’m glad that I could join in and help finish the season off and hopefully bring back the state championship.”
Garriott said, “Most of them (Cerritos College wrestlers) are going to wind up wrestling the same people (the team) has been wrestling all year. Once we see the brackets, we’ll have a better understanding on how we’ll prepare against certain individuals.”
Last season during the state championships, the wrestling team notched eighth place during the event. Striving for more, Garriott sees more of a desire in this year’s team compared to not only last season, but in recent years.
“We have a great group of freshmen who I like to call ‘mat-rats,’ guys that live it. I’m really excited about that. I’m not sure I’ve had that for a couple of years, but I see it in (the athletes). (The team) will wrestle all year long and try to get better.”
Freshman 125-pounder Dustin Kirk said, “I trained really hard. I’m still pretty new to the sport, so I’m looking forward to my first state title.”
No matter the result of the competition this weekend, Garriott can firmly say that this fall season is an absolute success and is step above last season.
“Overall, the season has been good. I had a really good freshman class. (The freshman) have actually been our leaders. It’s a great group of kids who work hard and don’t get into any problems.
“We’ve always been at the top in every tournament we’ve been in, about top three or four in every tournament, so it’s definitely been an improvement.”