Buena wrestles their way to a win against Ventura Cougars

Buena’s varsity wrestling team faced the Ventura Cougars, Wednesday, Jan. 4. The competition led to a victorious win for Buena against their cross town rival, Ventura  who had remained undefeated in the match up for 6 years. 

The matches began with competitive performances by both the JV boys and girls team. Both JV matches resulted in wins for Ventura. 

The wrestling season kicked off with a win against Santa Paula, however, after a “disappointing showing” at the Tournament of Champions at Sonora High School, head coach Eddie Martinez was not sure how the team would respond. 

Despite Ventura’s winning streak, Buena’s varsity wrestlers  remained confident. Senior wrestler Andrew Velasco expressed his faith in the team. 

“I was worried about the dual, but I remained confident that the team with no doubt would beat Ventura,” Velasco said. “Although it has been a tough season I can see the work everybody has been putting in so I had a lot of faith in the team.” 

Both teams were provided with ten minutes to prepare. Buena made an entrance, running circles and throwing themselves onto the mat, as the song “Smells Like a Teen Spirit” by rock band Nirvana, roared in the background. 

Stands filled up with supportive family members and friends who cheered as the first match began. Regardless of the rivalry between both schools, parents of Buena and Ventura sat mixed with each other. 

Ventura took the lead following the first match after a loss by senior Brody Padilla, who had recently joined the team again after some time off. However, Buena quickly bounced back with three consecutive wins by sophomore Rylan Pedroza and seniors Micah Reyes and Jacob Markley. 

The atmosphere remained competitive throughout the entire dual. Coaches, parents, and friends cheered loudly as wrestlers made technical moves against their opponents. Families of Buena supported the team by shouting words of encouragement as matches continued. 

After the first few matches, the score remained a tie. The gym filled with anxious expressions after a loss by decision caused Ventura to take the lead by two points. 

The next match ended with a tie (5-5) resulting in overtime. Senior Emiliano Marroquin ended the match with a 7-5 win. Followed by yet another win by Velasco. Four of the last matches ended in pins by seniors Jon Miller, Matthew Homan, Andrew Gonzales, and Andres Ray. 

The dual ended with the final score of 42-27, bringing an end to the cougars six year winning streak against the bulldogs. After both teams lined up and shook hands with one another, family and friends congratulated the Buena wrestling team with smiles and hugs. The gym was filled with warm applause. Senior Alondra Martinez, who cheered the team on that day, described the dual as great, intense, and aggressive. 

“I was proud and happy for the team because they handled the pressure in front of a big crowd that included former Buena wrestlers from many generations,” Martinez said. “They made a lot of people very happy that night.” 

They made a lot of people very happy that night.

— Coach Martinez

Despite the win, the season isn’t quite over for the team. Buena faced off Rio Mesa Thursday, Jan.19. Which granted the team the title of league champs. The next step for the team is to compete at CIF. 

Coach Martinez is looking forward to finishing league and qualifying for CIF. 

“Our goal is always to qualify as many people as possible for CIF and then continue to masters and state,” Martinez said. “I believe we have the talent to accomplish that.”