Wrestling starts season off undefeated

David Jenkins

Over the past two weekends the Cerritos College wrestling team has been off gaining victories.

Starting on Sept. 10 at the Bakersfield Duals, Cerritos went head to head with West Hills, East Los Angeles, Victor Valley and Bakersfield.

The 165-pound freshmen Kennith Kirk (4-0), picked up a victory against East Los Angeles. The first out many amongst the team that day.

He was also victorious on Sept.17, at the Mt. San Antonio dual, when the team went up against Rio Hondo.

Kirk was able to point the strength and weaknesses of the team.

“A lot of the things we were doing very well […] I think was that we were on our feet, we were taking shots. Even though our cardio is not all there right now. We haven’t really done cardio. Hope to say, we pushed the pace on everybody we wrestled,” he said.

Kirk even went on to speak on how he individually trained for those duals. He stated, “I trained by wrestling lengthier and stronger people because I’m used to wrestling lighter people. I went up a couple weight classes since high school so I’ve been wrestling a bit with the taller guys to get a little better.”

The 133-pound team captain Anthony Vargas, was able to be victories at the Bakersfield dual with a 18-4 win.

Vargas is no stranger to championships nor is there no doubt as to why he’s team captain.

Last year, He was able to get to the finals of the California Community College Athletic Association State Champions.

While simultaneously ending the season with a record of 24-6.

He has also come second place at a tournament in Santa Ana. Also winning the Southern California Championship.

With his wisdom and skills he was able to point out and speak on a few flaws and strengths that he saw in the past two duals.

Vargas noticed that conditioning was something that needed to improve.

He stated, “Conditioning, that’s the main thing we need to work on, we’ll get there over the season and as we move forward. I don’t think it’s something that we need to be too worried about. Other than that we’re pretty good.”

He went on the say that the duels are to be examined and used to critique positions.

“We can see little things such as tune-ups, set ups to see the opponents legs and see where to attack”

The team captain is ready for Saturday, which will be a tournament that will take place in West Hills.

“Tournaments are different from duels. Duels are more team oriented, where one team goes up against another team, and a tournament is based off weight brackets and is more individual, head coach Don Garriott said.

Coach Garriott is presently on his 11th season of coaching the wrestling team. And has taking the Cerritos wrestling team a long way thought the years. From 2006 to 2015.

Both in teams and individual wrestling he has seen his students take all sorts of victories.

From taking 11 individual wrestlers to state tournament.

Nine All-Americans honors with about four of those honors getting Individual State Championship.

Also under his belt is gaining two second place positions for his team in the State Champs in both 2007 and 2010

And last but not least, leading Cerritos College to its fourth California Community College Athletic Association State Champions in the history of the school.

Garriott liked what he sees so far in his team this semester, but was also able to point out some critique.

He stated, “It’s early in the season so I really felt that we wrestled very well being so early in the season, but weaknesses I saw were our conditioning, [which] wasn’t great, guys were getting tired and a lot of the news guys were wrestling with a high school style, where we need to adapt them more to college which is a little more physical, a little bit more grinding, little things like that.”

Garriot sees Saturdya meet just as a practice stating, “Yeah but, for me, it’s not that important. Everything other than our conference duels, and our southern regional duels, our regional and state, everything else to me is just practice.

“It’s just a different opportunity to see what we need to work on the following week and things like that. So, will we be ready? Yeah, we’re ready. We will keep progressing and getting better as the semester goes on.”