Grappling with success

Edgar Mendoza

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Having just emerged from the Southern California Regional Championship in first place , the Cerritos College wrestling team attributes much of their success to the coaching they receive as well as their team dynamic .

In regards to their success, sophomore team captain Angel Verduzco says “a lot of it is in the coaching, I came to Cerritos for the coaching.”

He went on to elaborate on head coach Donny Garriott’s coaching style, stating , “He [Garriott] will care for you, but let you know where you went wrong both on and off the mat, he keeps us accountable.”

Verduzco also spoke on his own philosophy as a team captain , saying, “I have a few priorities, number one being to lead, but also to be an overall good and positive person. If I’m not in a good mood, it affects the atmosphere, and my team won’t be pushing themselves.”

This positive atmosphere is evident at the team practices, where energetic music is played and everyone seems to be in a positive mood while maintaining a fiercely dedicated mindset.

Sophomore team member Andres Gonzalez says the key to maintaining this environment is “to be yourself and have fun with the sport.”

“I always have a dedicated partner, and we always stay motivated,” he continued.

Gonzalez described the team as “spontaneous, we like what we do, and we’re just like a big family.”

The team’s head coach supports this, saying,” I really like this team, the team dynamic is really great.”

Garriott went on to say, ” it’s great to have an updated room, and we’ve got that great new facility on campus, which makes things better overall, and helps the team stay motivated and work harder.”

The wrestling team currently practices in what was the previously the weight room, which has now been retrofitted with wrestling mats lining the floor, and is expected to receive further updates and renovations in the near future.

Garriott spoke on his end goals for the team, saying he wants to “allow our athletes to use this to push them on to the next levels, and go further and higher up. We recruit well, we’re thankful that we have good support from the school , and we have an awesome diverse coaching staff.”

The Cerritos College wrestling team will advance 11 wrestlers to the CCCAA State Championships, which will be held at Fresno City College next weekend.