BRAWLEY – The Brawley High Boys Wrestling has a storied history and tradition, filled with many CIF and IVL team titles, numerous CIF and IVL individual champions, a few Masters Champions. Now, for the first time in history, a boys state champion can be added to that history.
Junior Robert Platt became the first boys state champion from Brawley with an unprecedented run through the free-for-all gauntlet that was the 197 pound state field. All wrestlers in the state brackets earned their spot through two tournament qualifiers (CIF divisional and Masters tournaments) and through competing well against national competition during season invitationals.
With the victory, Platt also gives Brawley High back-to-back years with a state champion. Platt joins Savanah Gomez, who won the state title as a junior last year for the Brawley Girls wrestling squad.
At the state tournament Platt stood alone, finishing first after an onslaught of tough competition in each match, including defeating #11 ranked Daniel Gurovich of Camarillo High in the round of 16, #2 ranked wrestler Ryland Whitworth of Fountain Valley High in the semis and Coby Merrill of Gilroy High, head coached by former UFC champion Daniel Cormier, with an overtime takedown in the finals to seal the victory. He was also never taken down throughout the tournament and only allowed 3 total points to be scored on him from the round of sixteen to the final, a first for any Imperial Valley wrestler at the state tournament.
“I took it one match at a time and I was confident in God and myself. I’ve been wrestling a long time I wanted to make my hometown, my family and God proud,” said Platt of his historic accomplishment.
While this is the first state title for Platt at the high school level, he is no stranger to this level of wrestling. He won the state title multiple times as a youth during his time with Brawley’s youth wrestling program, starting with his first title ten years ago at just seven years old.
His high school career began with a pandemic-ridden first season where there were very few wrestling opportunities, however as a sophomore he came into his own, including winning the CIF divisional round and placing second at the San Diego Masters tournament.
“I worked a lot harder. Lifting, running and at practice. I prayed a lot. Even when people doubted me I used it as fuel. My parents kept me focused and I just kept praying to God every night, thanking him for this opportunity,” said Platt.
Up next for Platt will be the national tournament, held March 24-26 in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He will be looking to add his name to Brawley wrestlers on the National All-American list joining David Villagran (7th, 103 pounds, 2001, senior) Vincent Elizalde (4th, 106 pounds, 2013, junior) and Oscar Lizarraga (2nd, 125 pounds, 2010, junior).
“I’d like to thank my mom Rosie, my dad Robert, and coaches Tony, Sawyer and Arthur. I would also like to thank my cousin Vinny, for all the support they’ve given me over the years,” added Platt.
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