By John Philip Wyllie
Having captured top honors as the CIF Division I Wrestling Champion in the 103 pound weight class last weekend at Fallbrook High, Bonita Vista High School’s George Flores is hungry for more. This afternoon and tomorrow he will battle against 18 of the county’s top grapplers in the San Diego Masters Tournament held at Otay Ranch High. The top three will gain berths in next weekend’s state tournament.
“George won three bouts to get into the (CIF) finals last weekend,” said his proud coach, former Mexican Olympic wrestler, Gabe Ruz. To win it, he had to defeat the section’s top seed, Joey Boone, from Poway High.
“It was a decisive victory,” declared Ruz. “George was in control from the beginning.”
Flores prepared himself physically the same way he has all year, using a combination of weight training to build his strength, running to increased his endurance and mat time to develop his speed and technique. Mentally, he prepared by watching martial arts videos, such as “Bloodsport” to give himself that extra edge. The combination worked, and Flores defeated the favored Boone for the Division I crown.
“Winning there was the best feeling ever,” Flores exclaimed. He is confident that he can be equally successful this weekend. “I think I have beaten everybody that I might face in the Masters Tournament except for one guy,” he said.
That “one guy,” Keith Juengst, from Valhalla High, could pose the biggest obstacle for Flores. A victory in the rematch would make what has already been a terrific season that much better. Under Masters rules the top three wrestlers will advance to next weekend’s state competition, so it is not at all unlikely that both wrestlers will advance. Flores isn’t taking anything for granted however.
“George has matured a lot this season, and he has definitely improved his technique. His conditioning has also remained good,” Ruz said. “As an overall wrestler, he has definitely picked it up a notch. He had a good year last year, but winning a CIF championship surpasses anything that he has ever done. To do it as a sophomore is a very impressive accomplishment.” With a Masters berth secured and the possibility of state competition looming, Flores may just be getting started.