Spartans snap losing streak to Tigers in wrestling
Central Union High's Antonio Perez (left) and Imperial HIgh's Tony Ramos grapple during their match in an Imperial Valley League duel Wednesday in Imperial. (Francisco Martinez)
With a new team and a new mindset the Spartans were able to end that streak, beating the Tigers, 45-19, in an Imperial Valley League duel at Imperial on Wednesday.
“This was a very important duel for us. We’ve lost to Imperial for the past two years and we really had to bring it back,” Central 140-pound wrestler Antonio Perez said. “I’m proud of my team tonight.”
Even though the score didn’t indicate it, the duel was a lot closer as Imperial won four of the first seven matches, but then Central would swing the momentum with two pivotal matches.
The first coming in the 130-pound match as Central’s Justin Nuñez edged out a close match beating Imperial’s James Fry, 2-0, with a takedown in the third period.
“I was just trying to stay focused, I was tired and he was stronger than me,” Nuñez said. “I had to maintain my mentality to keep going for the win.”
Then in the second match, Perez was able to beat one of the Tigers’ best wrestlers in Tony Ramos, 12-7.
“Heading in I was thinking he is a really high caliber wrestler and that I had to step up from my loses this season and win.” Perez said. “I used strategy tonight and was able to slow him down and stop his attack to win.”
The Spartans would win the next five matches to seal the win.
“I think my and Antonio’s matches set the tempo for the team,” Nuñez said. “Right now I think we are capable of taking league but we have to take it one step at a time.”
Imperial, whose hopes of winning league are still there, just didn’t have that same fire tonight.
“I was hoping we would perform really well tonight ‘cause we wanted this win,” Imperial 103-pounder Tirso Lara Jr. said. “But it came down to who wanted it more tonight and we just didn’t have it on the mat. We have practice tomorrow and I think we all know what kind it’s going to be.”