Brawley – California high school wrestling has reached its end, culminating in this weekend’s State Wrestling Tournament, marking the end of the season for the elite grapplers throughout the sunshine state.
For some it is also another beginning, as the top placing wrestlers in each weight class will compete at the national tournament. Five valley wrestlers hope to prolong their season by placing at State this weekend in Bakersfield.
For Brawley senior Vincent Elizelde, State is more than earning a spot at the national tournament. Last year he was seconds away from a finals berth. He dropped a close 11-12 match to eventual champion Adrian Camposano, a match Elizelde controlled until the very end.
It is a chip he has had on his shoulder since. The restoration he has desired has finally come, his a shot at redemption.
A weight class higher, Elizelde is now a solid 113 pounder ranked first in the state. It will not be an easy tournament as Camposano (ranked 5th in state this year) and a myriad of tough Central section wrestlers such as Matt Gamble (ranked 2nd in state), JJ Figueroa (ranked 3rd ) and Durbin Lloren (ranked 4th) as well as the rest of the best in the entire state stand the gap between the championship and Elizelde.
Should the seeding fall so both Elizelde and Camposano wrestle for champion, this would be the most anticipated matchup of tournament.
“He can get it done, I really believe he can go out there and win it. He’s pretty focused, he doesn’t let anybody score on him and I just wish him the best,” said Brawley Head coach Tony Leon.
Another Brawley wrestler participating in the state meet is junior 126-pounder Daxton Gordon, who placed second in the San Diego Section Masters Tournament last week.
As a junior Gordon was forced to miss out on the last part of the wrestling season with an injury, but has more than made up for it this year. He hopes to extend the season by placing at State and qualifying for nationals.
“He has done very well, at tournaments he’s been placing high, all the tournaments he’s placed high. He’s only lost about three times this season, he wrestled about twenty-five times. State’s going to be tough, but if he’s focused and on task he could place,” said Leon on the Gordon’s season.
Along with the two Brawley state qualifiers, three other Imperial Valley wrestlers earned a spot at the Tournament.
Holtville High senior Lance Angulo will be taking part in his second State Championship Tournament at the Heavyweight division. He qualified by finishing second at the San Diego Masters Tournament. Angulo will go into the weekend ranked 9th in the state at heavyweight.
Central High will send senior, 170- pounder Isaiah Castilloto, to the state tournament. He will arrive ranked 25th in California at his weight. Castillo qualified for the State Championship Tournament by placing second in the San Diego Masters Tournament.
From Imperial, Kenneth Caldera will be participating in this weekend’s State Tournament, qualifying by placing third at the San Diego Section Masters Tournament. He is a junior and ranked 34th in California.