by Kia Harlan
For the first time in Almont League history the lady grapplers competed in an all-girls league final coming away with three League Champions.
At California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Central Qualifiers Feb. 2 and 3, both varsity sophomore Raylene Guzman and senior Ashley Lepe took third place, while junior Rebecca Felix took fifth. Guzman and Felix moved on to CIF Southern Section (SS) Finals Feb. 9-10; however, they did not place. Sophomores Samantha Gomez and Guzman, along with Lepe garnered League Champion titles in their weight classes.
“As it is only my second year in wrestling, I consider it [League Champions] a big accomplishment. Going to CIF made this my best season because I got to see the type of competition there is outside Almont League,” said Lepe.
In a dual match against the Bell Gardens Lancers Jan. 17, the Spartans were defeated, 36-12, but were victorious Jan. 10, 21-0, against the Alhambra Moors.
“I was very proud that our school had the opportunity to showcase the growth of girls wrestling [at league finals]. Girls wrestling is exploding across the nation and universities are adding girls wrestling at an unprecedented rate,” said Head Coach Dondi Teran.
Concluding their season, the male grapplers took second in the Almont League . Seniors Harout Ghevondyan, Andrew Padilla, Scott Tellez, junior Angel Gonzalez and freshman Angel Munoz won individual league titles in their respective weight classes.
The Spartans who went on to CIF Central Qualifiers included seniors Nathan Castro, Bryan Diaz, Ghevondyan, Padilla, Matthew Santoyo, juniors Gonzalez, and Derek Nuñez, sophomore Brandon Peña and Muñoz. Ghevondyan and Padilla moved on to CIF individual championships Feb. 16-17 but did not place.
“We’re most proud of going to CIF because we each worked really hard to get there,” said Muñoz. “The most powerful thing that our coach has told us to help us in our matches is to stick to the basics, and if we ever get put on our backs, to keep fighting.”
Spartans defeated the Mark Keppel Aztecs Jan. 24, 72-3, and also won a match against the Lancers, 49-16. They also beat the Moors, 54-30, Jan. 10. At the John Glenn Tournament, Tellez took fourth.
“I think the team did well this season because of our coach; he pushed us to go to practice every day and not make excuses,” said junior Ivan Martinez.