The smell of competition will fill the Holtville city limits this weekend as not only the annual Rib Cook-off will be in full effect, but the 53rd annual Holtville Rotary Wrestling Tournament will draw teams from all over the area for another year of tough wrestling.
“So far this year is looking to be another tough year of competition overall and even some really tough weight classes that should be exciting to watch,” said tournament director and Holtville High wrestling coach C.J. Johnston said.
There are currently 27 teams competing in the two-day, 32-man bracket tournament including all six of the local Imperial Valley League schools including defending tournament-champion- Brawley Union High.
“Last year we were able to win and this year I’m expecting nothing less,” Brawley senior Victor Gonzalez said. “I want us to go out and have a lot of guys in the finals and to just win.”
It will be a tough task this year for the Wildcats as they will face stiff competition in Rancho Bernardo and San Marcos.
“This tournament always provides great atmosphere and it’s a place where the whole valley comes together and pitches in and supports these young athletes,” Johnston said. “All of our local high schools will be represented and this is the only varsity tournament we have down here so its going to be fun and the finals are always exciting to watch.”
Wrestling kicks off today at 1 p.m. and at 9 a.m. on Saturday at Holtville High.