IMPERIAL â€” With competition growing as the season ages, the Brawley Union High wrestling team was primed and ready to continue its Imperial Valley League reign in a duel against Imperial High School Wednesday.
â€œWe were ready to go. I think we were riding high coming in and we were there to handle business,â€ said Brawley senior Victor Gonzalez. â€œI felt like we werenâ€™t going to be stopped.â€
The seniorâ€™s prediction wasnâ€™t far off as the Wildcats beat the Tigers 63-9 in the league duel.
The night began in the 170-pound weight class where Brawleyâ€™s Damien Gomez earned a decision win over Alfanzo Garcia to get the Wildcats on the board.
Brawley followed with back-to-back pins by Luis Chavez and Daniel Jauregui to extend their lead to 15-0.
The Wildcats earned a walkover victory at 220-pounds before Imperial earned their first win of the duel as Jamil Martinez beat Jesse Nava by decision bringing the score to 21-3.
Brawley then collected back-to-back walkover wins in the 108 and 115-pound divisions before another Brawley senior stepped up and got a big win.
Senior Joseph Meier usually wrestles in the 108-pound weight class, but the team needed him to bump up and wrestle in 122 for the Wildcats. The move paid off as he picked up an important pin for his team taking the lead to 39-3.
The match of the night followed in the 128-pound class as Brawleyâ€™s Jacob Moreno wrestled Imperialâ€™s Nick Hart. The match was close throughout, but it was Moreno who sealed the decision win with a late takedown in the third period.
Imperial was able to catch one more win as Nathan Hart pinned Roberto Arias in the 134-pound match up to give the Tigers nine points on the night, but it wasnâ€™t enough.
â€œWe knew it was going to be tough,” said Imperial Head Coach Mark Benedict. “Brawley is always tough, so we had to go out and take it to them and do what we can do.â€
Brawley won the final four matches to earn the 63-9 win.
â€œI think we did good, but we still need to get better,â€ Gonzalez said. â€œWe arenâ€™t as healthy as we could be, so now it’s time to keep working hard.â€
It wasnâ€™t the ideal outcome for the Tigers, but they are focused on making the adjustments heading into the end of the season.
â€œOur guys didnâ€™t do too badâ€¦ Iâ€™m proud of them, they hung in there tough even when they were down,â€ Benedict said. â€œNow is the time to get ready for CIF and we need to get to work on cleaning things up to be ready.â€