Roll out the red carpet for the inaugural Bert Mar Invitational
held at Christopher High School Jan. 15.
Roll out the red carpet for the inaugural Bert Mar Invitational held at Christopher High School Jan. 15.
The Cougars and coach Alecxis Lara will host 17 teams – as of Tuesday – at the double-elimination wrestling tournament.
Included in those teams listed as participants, CHS, Gilroy High, San Benito, Live Oak, Sobrato, Monterey and Andrew Hill.
Mar, the tournament’s namesake and inspiration, spent more than 20 years as South Valley Middle School’s head wrestling coach – taking the reins as head coach in 1983 and retiring in 2007 – shaping and molding the program to county prominence.
The Tigers have been county champions every year except one (1997) since 1979.
In 1964, as a junior at Gilroy High School, Mar won a Northern California State Championship at 154 pounds.
“When you bring up Bert Mar and wrestling and think about all he has done for the community, this is the perfect way to have his name immortalized,” Lara said on coming to the decision to coin the tournament. “His legacy will always be remembered and I feel honored that we can be a part of that.”
Among other awards for individual weight class champs and team titles, Lara said there will be a “Champion of Champions” trophy handed out at the conclusion of the tourney to the event’s top overall wrestler. The award is named after Jim Fahey, another integral figurehead in the Gilroy wrestling community, who coached South Valley prior to Mar taking over.
The day’s festivities are scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. inside CHS’s athletic facility, which includes two gymnasiums. Three mats will be in the main gym and two in the smaller side gym. Medal rounds are slated to start at 3 p.m. and the finals will get underway at 6 p.m., Lara said.
In their most recent tournament, the Cougars finished fourth at the Apple Cider Classic in Watsonville over the weekend, crowning two champions and placing two others.
Participant list as of Tuesday: