2017 Wrestling Season Begins


Head Coach Jim demonstrating a takedown at club on wrestler Diego Nava(11)

Destiny Taufahema, Co-Sports Editor

Birmingham’s girls and boys wrestlers put in a whole lot of time during their days of offseason just to improve and do better during season. Birmingham’s wrestling team trains very extensively before and after season, since it is a year-round sport.

Preseason prepares our wrestlers for bigger and more challenging tournaments during the regular season. There are wrestling tournaments every Saturday all around the state of California. Our wrestlers have an option to go to them or not because they aren’t school-related. These are more of a one person kind of deal even though boys and girls wrestling coach James “Jim” Medeiros still goes to these out-of-school tournaments. He guides the athletes throughout their matches for their own improvement. These offseason tournaments usually are only freestyle, so it takes even more practice to learn newer moves.

A big tournament that just took place was “Freak Show” located in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was a huge tournament for the western U.S. as different wrestlers from most of the western states went to this tournament.

Diego Nava(11) pinning his opponent at the freakshow tournament.

Not too many of Birmingham’s wrestlers were able to attend this event. Most of the parents either didn’t think it was a good idea to go or financially the wrestler wasn’t prepared for it. Some of the parents’ reasoning included the recent Las Vegas Massacre. Only three girls and four boys from Birmingham’s wrestling team were able to go out of roughly 40 boys and girls. Although they sure did show out for Birmingham’s wrestling team.

Veronica Machain(11) in action at the freakshow tournament with a tough opponent.

The wrestlers that were able to attend “Freak Show” did an outstanding job, especially team captain Alexandra “Alex” Castillo(12) for the girls’ team and team co-captains for the boys, Carlos Gomez(12) and Joseph Chacon(12). Alex was able to take first place in her weight class and this was her first time at this tournament. Carlos and Joseph were able to wrestle their way to the finals and take second place for both of their weight classes.

One interesting fact about Alex Castillo was that she won Fargo Nationals as part of team California last summer. Alex competed in the 200 weight division and won first place against her toughest opponent who was also from Team California. Alex has achieved so many different awards, but this is by far one of her greatest achievements. Alex has had an incredible wrestling experience at Birmingham since her freshman through her junior year. She will finish her high school wrestling career at BCCHS and add on more achievements.

Birmingham wrestlers at Fargo Nationals in North Dakota over the 2017 summer break.

How will the lineups be for the boys and girls 2017 wrestling team? There are a lot of seniors on this year’s lineups for both the boy’s and girl’s teams. Sadly, they will be losing many of them next year. This year, we have two returning city champs for the girls and three for the boys. Karla Rivera(12) and Alex Castillo are the returning city champs and are the girls’ team captains. They push and motivate the girls all the time. The boys returning city champs are Roque Roman(11), Jonovan Smith(11), and Carlos Gomez(12). There are others from the two teams that finished as runner ups and they will also be coming back too.

Coach Medeiros had a big break as he just got back to the country two days before traveling to Vegas with the wrestlers. He went to Bulgaria for the World Wrestling Championships, placing in the Greco Division and taking a bronze medal.

Head coach Jim Medeiros posing representing team USA at the Veteran World Championships

Coach Medeiros does so much for our wrestling team. He comes to school at five in the morning to open the weight room and lift with the wrestlers. He runs practice hours from 2:30-5:30 p.m. so that there’s one and half an hours for each of the boys’ and girls’ teams. On Tuesdays and Thursdays he also runs the BCCHS Wrestling Club which is basically another practice session from 6pm to 8pm, but this is only optional for the wrestlers. He makes certain that the wrestlers go to morning lifting and practice so they can get better and stronger for season. The wrestlers are very much appreciative of him because he puts in a lot of his own time into the team.

This year, both the boys’ and girls’ teams should do very well during the LA City High School Wrestling Championships later in February 2018. Birmingham’s wrestling team is training really hard to be City Champs for both boys and girls. Almost all of the wrestlers are seniors with probably just a handful of juniors are on the teams. Especially since both teams were runner ups for the LA Wrestling City Championship of 2017.

Season will officially begin during the weekend of Thanksgiving break for both teams. Many of the wrestlers are kind of nervous about the start, since they’ll be eating a lot during the break and still have to be able to stay on weight.

Around this time the wrestlers are working hard to get their weight down. As each individual has to be a specific weight for tournaments. The wrestlers have been training really hard and are ready for this year. The best of luck to the boys’ and girls’ wrestling team!