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June 19, 2021

Brothers of former state champs want to forge their own paths

Joe Delgado, Nathan Villarreal and John Fox know better than anyone what they are stepping into when they step on the wrestling mats of Gilroy High School.
They are the same mats their brothers—Jesse Delgado, Paul Fox and Nikko Villarreal—sweated on for four years of high school. They are the mats where their brothers trained to win state titles.
And Delgado, Villarreal and Fox are ready for people to say those mats are where they found their own way—where they wrote their own chapters into the annuls of Gilroy wrestling history.
“All three of us have been told guys are just shadows. I think for the main thing for the three of us is to make our own, sort of write our own stories,” Villarreal said.
Villarreal said people are encouraging him to be his own wrestler and see where it can take him.
“One thing a lot of people tell me about my brother is to not live in the shadows and make my own mark,” Villarreal said. “Not to really focus on what he’s done.”
The goal for all Gilroy wrestlers is to advance to state and compete for a title. At the same time, it’s about forging their own path.
“Worry about yourself. Worry about yourself getting better,” Fox said.
Villarreal and Fox are both freshmen this season while Delgado returns for his sophomore year.
And immediately, all three have their eyes on a state title of their own.
“You put in the hard work and everything, so why not?” Fox said.
The work is hard, they all said, and it takes a level of sacrifice to keep the Gilroy way going.
“I don’t take things for granted as much, like eating for one thing,” Villarreal said.
Ultimately, Fox said, it isn’t about which sibling is better, what matters is doing it your own way.
“It doesn’t matter what he did or you did because you’re going to do your own thing,” Fox said. “If doing your own thing is doing better than him, than good for me.”
Delgado already has a year under his belt getting acclimated to varsity wrestling.
But unlike his brother, Delgado didn’t get serious about wrestling until he was in the sixth grade.
“People kept asking me because they thought I could be as good as my brother and I wanted to show them that I could be,” Delgado said.
In Delgado’s first year, he won a match at state but bowed out the first day. Still, he was rewarded with All-MBL Team honors along with
He narrowly missed winning a CCS title in his first year, falling in the championship round.
Now the focus is on this year. Villarreal said he fully expects the team to contend for a state title based on the work they are putting into this year and based on past history.
“I’m really excited to be together with my team again,” Villarreal said. “We’re all a grade apart we just finally got to be together again in high school.”
Fox said he looks to this team setting more records. Last year, Gilroy broke its own record for most points won as a team at CCS.
The boys will kickoff the season on Dec. 12 heading to their first tournament. The Mustangs will open league Dec. 16 against Monterey at 6 p.m.

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