“My expectations are pretty high,” says wrestling Head Coach Don Garriott looking into his thoughts about this Fall’s wrestling season.
According to the official Cerritos Falcons website, last season, the Cerritos College wrestling team placed 8th at the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) State Wrestling Championships at San Joaquin Delta College.
For a coach, having high-caliber athletes returning to the program can be a big difference between being at the top of the ranks, or coming up short to a team you usually beat.
“We have seven state-place winners from last year’s team, and we have a couple of guys coming off red-shirt that were state-place winners two years ago and we a have a lot of really good incoming freshman. So, I have high expectation(s) that we’ll be top two in state,” says Garriott.
There always remains the question on whether or not those red-shirted athletes are back in wrestling form.
“It depends on how they used their red-shirt year. If they were lazy and missing practices and stuff then, yeah, its going hurt them,” he said.
All said and done, the opposite has been happening, as a few of the guys coming off red-shirts have been coming to practice everyday and have even gone as far as to staying active in independent competition.
Returning sophomore heavyweight, Robert Chism, placed 4th in state, right after he got out of football season and only practicing two weeks.
“Confident. I feel that (I’m going to) be a state champ this year, and I feel that we’re going to be (as a team) state champs,” said Chism.
On the opposite side of of the weight spectrum, top-ranked-125-pounder Dustin Kirk had two sprained ankles during the season and managed to place 3rd in state.
Kirk was ranked No. 1 coming into the season, but then lost at the state final.
“I’m just looking to get my state title and go to a (Division I or Division II) school.”
Throughout the season, Cerritos College faces top schools like Fresno, Sacramento, Santa Ana, Palomar and Mt. San Antonio College.