Reyes and GHS roll through MBL finals

If you’re going to twist my arm ... Gilroy’s John Fox attempts to gaincontrol so he can flip his Alvarez opponent during the MBL finals on Saturday.

WATSONVILLE—When Alex Felix goes into a match, his mindset isn’t necessarily focused on winning. The Gilroy High junior standout just happens to win because of that approach.
“I’m working on the fundamentals,” said Felix, who ran roughshod over the competition en route to capturing the 134-pound weight class in the Monterey Bay League Championships last Saturday. “Everything I do I’m looking toward the future in college.”
Felix was one of eight individual winners for the Mustangs, who powered their way to their 15th consecutive league championship. Gilroy totaled 267.5 points to easily outdistance San Benito, which finished with 191.5 points. Other individual winners included Nicholas Aguilar at 115 pounds, Daniel Vizcarra at 128, Johnny Fox at 140, Dallas Gutierrez at 154, Joseph Barnes at 162, Nicholas Villarreal at 172, and Tony Andrade at 192.
Two other Gilroy wrestlers—Chase Saldate (122) and Nathan Villarreal (147)—made the finals but didn’t start their respective matches due to injury. Teammate Ryan Encincio had a nice tournament, reaching the 184-pound final before losing to Matthew Martinez of Alvarez.
Christopher also had a strong showing, as it qualified four of its wrestlers into title matches. The Cougars’ Anthony Figueroa (154), Adam Mena (172), Antonio Gomez (222) and Collins Okoronkwo (287) all earned trips to the finals in their weight classes.
Even though Christopher didn’t come away with an individual winner, coach Alecxis Lara felt his team had a great showing.
“We had more ups than downs this weekend,” he said. “We haven’t had four guys in the finals in a long time, and even beyond that we had a lot of lower seeded guys who upset people. That is always a great sign, and things are looking good heading into CCS in two weeks.”
Felix was downright dominant in beating Vince Jacinto of San Benito by technical fall, 16-0, at the 5:44 mark. Using an assortment of maneuvers and cat-quick reflexes, Felix showed why he’ll have an excellent chance of wrestling for a Division I program. Every time Felix went for a shot or had bottom and top control, he displayed tremendous fundamentals.
“I’m always working on the little things,” he said. “I feel I’m really dominant on my feet, so I’m really working to be great in the top position. In college, everyone is good on their feet. But if you want to win in college, you have to be good in the top and bottom positions.”
Out of all the Gilroy standouts, Felix has the second best record at 33-5. All of Felix’s losses have come when he was wrestling up a weight class to state or nationally-ranked wrestlers. This marked the third time in three years Felix has won a league title, and he said the feeling never gets old.
“It’s always special,” he said. “I don’t overlook these guys because you have to go into every single match and pretend like it’s going to be your last one. I always read something that says, ‘One’s greatest successes comes from one’s great failure.’ So you have to fail to do great things. That’s how I view those losses—as learning experiences to come back stronger and better.”
Christopher received tremendous efforts from Figueroa and Gomez, who both lost by razor-thin margins. Figueroa dropped a 2-0 decision to Gutierrez, and Gomez fell 2-1 to Jose Quintero of Alisal.
“I have a feeling Gomez could beat that guy and could very well meet him again in CCS,” Lara said. “Gomez showed he’s capable of being one of the top three guys in CCS, and that’s a great sign.”
Lara was particularly proud of Figueroa’s performance, as the senior knocked off the No. 1 seed in the semifinals before losing a close decision in the finals. Gutierrez scored on a takedown in the first period to account for the only points of the match.
“Figueroa had an awesome tournament,” Lara said. “He’s been dealing with injuries throughout the year, but came in here for most part injury free. I knew he would have a good tournament.”

Leave your comments