Five Gilroy High wrestlers—Micah Doug Porter, Valerie Glenn, Daniel Glenn, Oscar Alfaro and Zack Fierro—had an honorary signing ceremony on campus April 25 signifying their intent to compete in college.
Porter (King University, Tennessee), Valerie Glenn (Colorado Mesa University), Daniel Glenn (Oklahoma Wesleyan), Alfaro (University of the Cumberlands, Kentucky) and Fierro (Fresno City College) were part of a senior class that will extend their athletic careers.
Two other seniors, Ruben Le and Maxximus Martinez, weren’t in attendance but are likely to wrestle at the next level as well. Of the aforementioned athletes, Porter, Martinez and Valerie Glenn were the GHS seniors who won Central Coast Section titles on Feb. 18.
Porter was flat-out dominant in winning the 170-pound title, repeating as a section champion. He had a spectacular season, capped off by a stirring CCS performance that saw him record two wins in under a minute, a 5-0 decision win in the semifinals and a 15-0 technical fall victory in the final.
“This title was obviously more of a dominant win, so it felt good to show my new skills,” Porter said moments after the title match victory. “It’s focusing on what I really needed to improve on like getting my offense moving a lot better and putting the pace on these guys that led to my success.”
Fierro will compete at Fresno City, the reigning California Community College State champions.
“It means a lot to me [to be able to wrestle post high school] because I’ve been training for this moment since I was 5,” Fierro said.
Fierro’s favorite moment in his GHS career was in his freshman year when he won both of his matches in the Garlic City Rumble against nationally-ranked squads. Then there’s Alfaro, who overcame major adversity in the form of three surgeries during his prep career but always came back strong.
He said being a part of the GHS program for four years was special.
“Each one of the teams stand out,” he said. “They were all different in their own ways and I learned lessons from each of them. And as the years went by, I hope I was able to leave a good impression for the underclassmen going forward. Now I’m off to college and super excited for a new start, a new team, new people, new coaching staff. I’m going to college with something to prove and hopefully be All America.”
The Glenn siblings pushed each other to be the best, with Mustangs coach Daniel Cormier praising Daniel and Valerie’s parents for driving them several times a week to the American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose starting when Daniel was 7 years old and Valerie was 6 (Daniel is 18 months older).
Cormier ran a wrestling program at AKA before launching his own academy in Gilroy. Daniel and Valerie spent countless hours training together and forged a bond that even comes through a phone call.
“He won’t admit this, but I’m pretty sure I used to beat him up in practices,” said Valerie, who was the 137-pound division runner-up in this year’s CIF State Girls Championships. “But as he got older, he’s a boy and got stronger. He pushes me and I owe a lot of my success to him.”
At that point in the call with the Dispatch, Daniel praised Valerie’s toughness, revealing that Valerie had unknowingly competed all season with a broken foot.
“She knew the foot was bothering her, but she didn’t know it was a break until after the season was over,” said Daniel, who will see some familiar faces on the Oklahoma Wesleyan team as former GHS standouts Donte Lopez and Joshua Cortez are on the roster.
Daniel said all of the support he received from his family, GHS coaches and teammates allowed him to reach this point.
“You need all of them because wrestling is a hard sport and you really can’t get through it if you don’t have the right people with you,” he said. “Thankfully, we had some of the best coaches possible and a lot of great teammates. More than anything, they always had your back.”
Daniel was a proud brother as he watched Valerie’s spectacular performance in the State Championships, which featured four dominant wins before losing to a nationally-ranked wrestler in the title match.
“It was cool to see what she did this year,” he said. “The whole year she lost only one match.”
Even though Valerie made it a goal to reach a State championship match, she didn’t know if she could actually pull it until midway through this past season, as she started to pile up some impressive results.
“Going to state finals was a huge goal of mine and as much as I had that goal and wanted to achieve it, I honestly didn’t think I could achieve it until this year, so I’m insanely proud of myself,” she said.