MOOR Photo by YIBEI LIU
After finishing third in the Almont League, the varsity wrestling team did not advance as a team to compete at California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) dual finals. However, the Almont League Wrestling Finals determined who would advance individually to CIF. On Feb. 20-21, seven wrestlers represented AHS at this year’s CIF Finals held at Marina High School. However, all of the Moors were eliminated throughout their individuals matches, concluding the 2015 wrestling season for AHS.
From the 14 weight classes competing at the Almont League Finals, only the top three wrestlers from each would move on to the next round. The CIF finalists from AHS included sophomores Gabryel Valenzuela, Jonathan Gonzalez and Bobby Ramirez; juniors Ruben Enriquez, Eric Gonzalez, Michael Medina and senior Ethan Tavares.
According to Head Coach Michael Williams, he was content with the results from the Almont League finals and was glad to have the opportunity to bring his athletes to CIF.
“Wrestling is tricky because anyone can have a bad day as much as they could have a good day,” Williams said. “[At the Almont League Finals], everyone who should have qualified did, [which sparked enthusiasm] within the wrestlers.”
The CIF finals were held through a bracketed elimination process. In this round of CIF, only the top six would move on to the CIF Masters. Although none of the Moors advanced, they all looked at this experience positively and are enthusiastic about possibly qualifying to CIF Masters next year.
“Just qualifying [to CIF] is a big accomplishment and competing with  other schools is tough, but it’s a great experience to go through,” Ramirez said.
After the regular season ended, practices involved smaller groups since they only consisted of those advancing to CIF. However, according to Williams, CIF practices were having a second season because the atmosphere was different and the focus shifted gears to the wrestlers as individuals rather than as a team.
With a compact team of 17, the Moors finished one place better than that of the previous season’s team and qualified nearly half of the totals of last year to the CIF Finals. With a fairly young team, the Moors will only be losing four wrestlers in the next two seasons. This means that most of the team has time to improve on their skills and the Moors can possibly qualify as a team to compete in the CIF matches.
“We’ve had a good year with a young team and I’m glad that I’ll have most of my team from this year back next season,” Williams said.