The562’s wrestling coverage for the 2023-24 school year is sponsored by Emigh Dental Care.
The Moore League wrestling season has started in Long Beach and once again Millikan is looking to retain their title–this year they’re going for a 14th consecutive league championship, which would be a league record.
With a good number of seniors graduating last year, the Rams have plenty of wrestlers eager to get on the mat to prove themselves.
“We lost our big three,” Millikan coach Blake Lovato said. “But there was always a heavy hitter right behind them. Our captains this year Daniel Kroll and Aaron Mata are some of the hardest working kids in Long Beach. They just really set the example as far as work ethic goes.”
The Rams also return CIF Placer and Master qualifier Trey Culwell, who Lovato says has put in a ton of work and has competed in tournaments in the offseason.
After last season with more teams becoming more competitive, Lovato says wrestling is alive and well in Long Beach.
“The rivalries are starting to kind of peak,” Lovato said. “We all have a good relationship as far as the teams go. They all kind of know each other and some train together – even though they are at different schools. But since Covid we’ve all been rebuilding as far as numbers go.”
At Wilson, the Bruins are led by junior Jacob Jenner, Anthony Vera, Eric Landeros, Joaquin Estrada and Ryan Perry.
Vera was a league champ last season and Estrada and company are looking to fill in spots for the graduating class that included Dorian Ortloff and Eden Jay Khamnoy.
“We are trying to improve and always trying to be in that top spot,” Wilson coach Seth Wegter said.
At 1600 Atlantic, Poly is looking forward to competing for the league title and coach Ken Lee believes he has the team to have the Jackrabbits ready to compete.
Poly expects to get a big lift from Eduardo Sandoval who is a two-time CIF placer and placed fifth at CIF last season. Along with Sandoval, Nathan Itchon and Eduardo Reyes are ready to get in the mix.
The Jackrabbits also welcome back Gus Brown who is coming back from an injury.
Lakewood returns league champ Nelson Ramirez who had a good run at CIF last year and Tyler Muk who finished second at the Moore League finals.
Along with that duo, Lakewood is more experienced with Andrew Hollenbach, Daniel Perez, Andrew Mum, Robert Carbajal, Daniel Quezada, Jordyn Gaither, Anthony Peregina, Matthew Sanchez and Joseph Macias expected to contribute.On the Northside, Jordan expects Angel Degadillo, Damien Balbuena, Angel Valenzuela and Ricardo Perez to compete in league.