Friday, March 4, 2011

Alisal Students Making New Moves

"Alisal High School put its name on the wrestling map by winning the Central Coast Section in 1975.

It was the school's first CCS title in any sport. In 1996, the Trojan wrestling team enjoyed a runner-up finish. Through the years, dozens of athletes qualified for the State Championships.

Beginning today, three more Alisal grapplers will look to add their own piece of history and provide even more luster to this proud program.

Seniors Johnny Alonzo and Luis Cessa, and sophomore Jovan Villalobos, all qualified for the state by finishing in third place in their respective weight classes at the CCS Championships last weekend. This is Alonzo's second consecutive state appearance.

The only other wrestler in the county to qualify was Seaside sophomore Jonathan Tuiolosega who finished runner-up in the heavyweight division. The competition takes place today and Saturday at the Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield.

Only the top three wrestlers in each weight class qualified for state.

"It feels great," Cessa said. "I mean it was only three years ago that nobody went to state. Last year Johnny made it and this year three of us made it. That should say a little bit about next year, that we're going to continue growing no matter what."

Alonzo, who wrestles at 103, said he's excited to be sharing this experience a second time around with his teammates.

"It's great having people to work out with," he said. "We push each other and we help each other and that's going to make a difference. As soon as my [CCS] match was finished I'd go and cheer for the next one, and when they won, I was as happy as them."

Villalobos said he's ecstatic to be a part of this revitalization, and is looking forward to his next two years.

"Coach J.J. [Jose Julio Garcia] is doing a good job with turning things around," Villalobos said. "We want to be a force in this section again. You know, be those rough and tough Alisal kids."

All three Alisal athletes persevered through consolation brackets after losing in the semifinals, and all three had to dig deep to earn wins in those decisive third-place matches.

Each of them had their own source of motivation that pulled them through."

For the rest of the article, visit the Salinas Californian Online Here.

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