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La Liga de Las Americas

Best in the East: East Toledo Wrestling Club’s two weekends of domination

La Prensa Staff

When you are nine years old and have just lost a wrestling match, it’s more often than not difficult to mask the frustration and disappointment.

You rip off your ear protector, you scowl and fight the tears and then you head over to the opposing coach for the obligatory handshake and then over to your own coach who gives you the obligatory hug. That hug and the accompanying pat on the back don’t last so very long. Not in the hot bed of wrestling. Not at an Ohio biddy tournament.

Hector and Christian Ramirez

Right after the hug, the lecture starts and you find out just where you went wrong and what you need to do to improve.

As a nine-year old, who has probably been wrestling in tournaments for about four or five years already, that hardly eases the pain and frustration. So after that talk, you go over to your father or uncle, or sometimes your mother, for a real hug. You get the real hug, but if you are under the impression that you are not in for another lecture about what you did wrong in that match, forget about it. This is Ohio, kid. This is wrestling. This is not for the faint of heart. And this is not a setting for even nine-year olds to be faint of heart.

The East Toledo Wrestling Club’s annual wrestling tournament, Beast in The East, found a new location this year. On Saturday, February 10, over 400 wrestlers ages five to 13 arrived at the Erie Street Market’s Civic Center Promenade to a hastily constructed wrestling arena and battled through pain, frustration and, for a talented and dedicated few, ultimate victory.

The East Toledo Wrestling Club once again proved themselves to be ungracious hosts when they captured the team title, as they always do at their own invitational.

The following week brought no change in attitude as the ETWC, guests this time, were found to be as greedy as they had been in their own house.

On Sunday, February 18, ETWC was invited to wrestle one of Michigan’s elite biddy wrestling clubs from Montrose, MI.

“They asked us to bring 15 of our top wrestlers to East Lansing so that we could ‘dual’ them, in a preview, like a high school meet, prior to the college dual meet between Penn State, ranked 11th in the nation, and number 22 Michigan State,” said Assistant Coach Hector Ramírez.

13 year old Mark Martin from Cleveland  top  wins his first match in the 97 pound weight class

“Through some conflict in schedules, we ended up bringing 12 and a couple of substitutes.”

The visitors got off to a shaky start. “But once we got rolling, it was over,” said Ramírez. “Some of our wrestlers wrestled twice and couple didn’t get a match because the other team couldn’t match up with our lightweights. It was probably fortunate for them since the lightweight for us were Moises ‘Bulldog’ Guillen and ‘Action’ Jackson Davis.”

Even without stars such as Guillen on the mat, ETWC dominated the Michigan team winning 44-15.

ETWC’s wrestlers included: Mario Guillen, Calixtro “Poppy” Mondragon, Evan “E” Ulinski, Brandon McDowell, Kyle McGibeny, Jarrod Davis, Seth Gaghen, Andy Howard, Chance Sonnenberg and Dalton Ishmael.

“Dalton, our big man [130 pounds], wrestled a five-time Michigan biddy state champ and the runner-up at the Tulsa Nationals,” said Ramirez. “He dueled him twice and split bouts.”

The ETWC coaches who accompanied the youngsters for this event were Earl and Hector Ramírez and Jim Davis.

“The kids really enjoyed themselves because after we wrestled, they were allowed to watch, free of charge, the college dual meet,” said Ramírez.

The kids also had an opportunity to mingle with the older wrestlers and get autographs. They were able to see the Spartans’ Nick Simmons, the number two ranked wrestler in the nation who was tied for the most pins in school history with 44, beat the record with his signature move – the Spladle.

They spent some time afterwards running and talking with Simmons.

So much for frustration and disappointment.





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