By John Philip Wyllie
Bolstered by spotless performances from Cesar Sandoval (119) Hector Arambula (152), and Edward Bell (215), the Bonita Vista Barons Wrestling Team finished second in an 18-team pool last weekend at the La Quinta Desert Duels Wrestling Tournament. Former Mexican Olympic Wrestler and current Bonita High coach Gabe Ruz had high praise for his trio of outstanding Hispanic wrestlers and was also pleased by the performance of his team overall.
“We did well at La Quinta and the guys are really stepping it up, so I think we are coming together and should have a good shot at the league championship,” Ruz said. The Barons have jumped out to an impressive 6-2 record in duel meets and they are undefeated so far in South Bay competition. Ruz’s top trio has led the way.
“Ed and Cesar wrestled with us last year so this year I have high hopes for them. Hector is one of our real great surprises. He didn’t wrestle last year, but he is undefeated so far at 7-0. He has a lot of natural ability that makes up for his lack of experience. You can’t coach a lot of the things that he does.”
Sandoval and Bell attended wrestling camps during the summer and worked very hard in the off-season. The results are obvious to both Ruz and to their opponents.
“Their technique and conditioning are way up there and that is really what is helping them to be successful this year,” Ruz said.
While Arambula, Bell and Sandoval have been the most consistently impressive, several other Baron wrestlers have turned in sterling performances.
The Periola brothers, Matt (160) and Martin (152), finished second and fifth respectively at the recent Battle by the Beach Tournament at Mar Vista HIgh. In addition, Jeff Breton (108), Ethan Wheeler (110) and Curtis Smith (265) were among the seven Baron wrestlers that recorded two victories apiece in recent action against Hilltop and Otay Ranch during the South Bay Face-Off.
It is still early in the season, but based on what we have seen so far Ruz’s Barons look solid and should be in the hunt for a league championship.