6 Victoria wrestlers head to state championship
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The International Olympic Committee deemed wrestling a sport not worthy enough of being included in the Olympics when it choose to exclude the sport from the 2020 Summer Games.
But in Victoria, wrestling is just as important as it has ever been.
"Wrestling is the only sport that allows boys and girls to compete against kids their own size," VISD wrestling coach Kerry Iannazzo said. "No other sport has that type of balance."
Thursday, six wrestlers from Victoria West and Victoria East will head to Austin for the 2013 state wrestling championships.
Sophomore John Garcia, who won his first regional championship last week, will represent the Warriors in the 120-pound classification. Senior Joshua Morales, the lone wrestler from East and only area wrestler with state tournament experience, will wrestle in the 138-pound weight class.
"John is wrestling the best he has all season right now," Iannazzo said. "He has a great chance because of his aggressiveness."
West will also send four girls to Austin.
Sophomore Jasmene Porter, West's top medal winner, took second place in the regional competition two weeks ago in the 215-pound weight class.
"Jasmene has only lost seven times, six of which have been to Christine Chessher (Corpus Christi Ray), and she is on the other side of the bracket," Iannazzo said. "So, (Porter) has a great opportunity this weekend."
Junior Keirsten Reed, who won her spot in the state tournament in a wrestle-back, will compete in the 119-pound weight class. Juniors Lorraina Moses and Austin Supak earned their ticket to the state competition by battling through consolation brackets at the regional tournament, with Moses earning a bronze medal.
"All of them are peaking right now, which is exactly what we want," Iannazzo said. "We've had two weeks to practice and get back to that peak shape. I'm really excited about our chances."
Beeville Jones will also be well represented at this weekend's state tournament.
Danielle Perez is the lone female wrestler to advance to Austin from Beeville and will wrestle in the 102-pound weight class.
Rogelio Salazar (113 pounds), Cordell Aguirre (145 pounds) and Brent Puga (195 pounds) will represent Beeville on the boys' side of the tournament.
The state wrestling tournament begins Thursday with the boys competing at the Austin Delco Center. The girls will start at the Burger Center all day Thursday before joining the boys at the Delco Center on Friday and Saturday.