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La Liga de Las Americas

East Toledo Wrestling Club triumphs

By Fletcher Word, Special to La Prensa

The East Toledo Wrestling Club (ETWC) participated the weekend of March 17 in the Ohio Grade School State Championships held in Steubenville, OH.

According to Hector Ramírez, assistant coach for ETWC, the coaching staff could not have been prouder of their young charges.

“We wrestled extremely well,” said Ramírez.

The team took second place overall in what Ramírez called the second toughest tournament they have wrestled in all year—the toughest being the Tulsa Nationals held in Oklahoma. The top team—Team Jordan—finished with over 400 points to ETWC’s 250 and third-place Team Miron’s 230.

L-R are: Nathaniel Hagen, Moises Guillen and Mario Guillen of the East Toledo Wrestling Club, at St. John Arena in Steubenville, Ohio, March 17-19, 2006.

“The team that beat us and the score are a little misleading,” said Ramírez. “They are an All-Star team that has the luxury of being able to pick from kids from all over the state who go to his camp [Jeff Jordan, four-time state and national champion for whom the team is named]. We beat the other team. [Team Miron charges their kids $1,200 a year; Team Jordan also charges].

“ETWC, at times, has been wrongly accused of being an all-star team,” said Ramírez. “You see 95 percent of all wrestlers, regardless of where they live and come from, have been trained and coached on a volunteer basis, at no charge to the parents, by the ETWC coaching staff.

“Now, we do have a couple of wrestlers, who wrestled at different clubs before. They have come to us because their original clubs terminated or because they have been on a waiting list with us and started somewhere else. We do not have to recruit anyone to be successful,” he added.

The ETWC was frequently complimented last weekend by numerous other coaches who pointed out what great representatives they are of the northwest district.

Qualifying and wrestling well last weekend were:

Six and under: Eric Miller

Eight and under: Jackson Davis, Nicholas Kern, Calixtro Mondragon and Nathaniel Hagen

Ten and under: Zachery Kern, Seth Gaghen, Jay Niño, Jarrod Davis, Antonia Zapata, Angelo Covarrubias, and Evan Vlinski

Twelve and under: Brandon Maya, Devin McGibbeny, Jacob Conine, Ed Silva, Damon Escobedo and Christian Peters.


Placing in the tournament were: Chance Sonnenberg, eighth place, 10 and under (85 lbs); Joe Naumen, seventh place, 12 and under (160 lbs); Jeremiah Anderson, fifth place, eight and under (65 lbs); Bryce Castilleja, fourth place, 10 and under (80 lbs); Moises Guillen, fourth place, eight and under (50 lbs).

“The weight class Moises Guillen wrestled in was stacked, “said Ramírez. “He beat three studs, who were a head taller than him, before succumbing in the placement match.

“Kyle McGibbeny had perhaps the toughest way to go. He lost his first match to the eventual state champion from Team Jordan and then had to win six matches to place third. In doing so he beat a wrestler who beat him earlier this year for the placement match.”

The star of the event for the ETWC was Mario Guillen. Mario, the defending state champion, was the team’s only finalist this year. He pinned all of his opponents all the way to the finals, as did his opponent.

Many in the wrestling world said Mario had no chance of beating his opponent in the finals, especially because he had aggravated a shoulder injury earlier in the event. His opponent knew this and attacked the shoulder throughout their finals match. Mario gave him a battle but eventually lost 13-8.


Junior high championships, March 10th

Former ETWC wrestlers also found success during March at Ohio state championships. In the junior high championships during the weekend of March 10, José and Felipe Martínez, now of Team Jordan, both earned the top prize in their respective weight divisions. Joe, an eighth grader wrestling at 132 pounds, and Felipe, at 108 pounds and the only sixth grader to earn a championship this year, stormed through their weight classes.

Joe had three decisions and two falls as he out pointed his opponents by a total score of 38-13. He took down his opponent in the championship match in 41 seconds.

Felipe’s combined score-total in his five matches (two decisions, three falls) was 63-5.

The Martínez brothers now live and wrestle near Piqua, Ohio.

Also enjoying success at the junior high championships were: ETWC alums Chad Sonnenberg (seventh), Jerome Robinson (third) and Nate Brubaker (second).

Other ETWC alumni standouts in March included Josh Lenix of Central Catholic who won an Ohio state championship, Nick Quiñones of Erie Mason, who won a Michigan Division III state championship, and Antonio Guerra of the University of Findlay who won a national collegiate division two championship.

ETWC’s success has to be attributed to its staff of dedicated coaches and program directors, some of whom have been with the club since its inception more than 14 years ago.

The coaches are: Gary Burgess, Earl Ramírez, Hector Ramírez, Ray Castilleja, Fred and Chris McGibbeny, Steve Ulinski, Bill Peters, Ed Silva Jr., Joe Campos, Jr., Angelo Esquivel, Steve Anderson, and Damon Escobedo.

The program directors are Bonnie Mauter and Tracy Garufos.

Next up for ETWC?

Easter weekend and the “Terminator” national series tournament.





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