Wrestler pins her way to spot at state championships

Shannon Coan, Feature Editor

On Feb. 23-24th, senior Iris Guizar competed at the CIF Wrestling State Championships in Visalia, California, becoming the first athlete to represent Sequoia at the meet in six years.

Wrestling coach and history teacher Bradely Ramezane praised Guizar’s abilities and was ecstatic when he heard that she had qualified for state.

“She’s one of the best athletes I’ve ever coached. Just because she was always willing and ready to do what she was asked,” Ramezane said. “It was always a joy to see her not only at practice but also compete because she always went out there to beat the other person.”

To qualify for state championships Guizar needed to place in the top three of her weight class at the Central Coast Section (CCS) Championships. She lost her second match of the first day, but came from behind to win all five matches the next day, securing the 3rd place spot she needed to qualify for state.

The team practices with Carlmont High School’s team as both teams don’t have many members. The small team does pose as a challenge, especially for the girls as between the two teams there are only four. This is especially problematic when they practice live wrestling as there is often a lack of good partners for athletes to wrestle with.

“One of the biggest challenges is for the athletes because they don’t have a lot of different people to work with,” Ramezane said. “A lot of them lack a really good partner to work out with, especially because of weight differences.”

Through the difficulties to practice, the team is encouraging of each other.

“We play around with each other, but we all support each other. We are there for each other. No matter if you lose, we will be there for them,” Guizar said.

Throughout the whole process Guizar’s parents have not supported her decision to wrestle on Sequoia’s team and did not travel with her to the state meet.

“[My parents] don’t support me doing wrestling. They think that it’s a guy sport,” Guizar said. “They think that wrestling is for a guy not a girl, and I shouldn’t do it because I can get hurt.”

Guizar started wrestling her sophomore year after the coach approached her in the weight room and suggested that she should try it. She quickly fell in love with the sport.

“Wrestling has taught me a lot,” Guizar said. “Each match I’ve had has taught me something. It doesn’t matter if I lose or not. I take something from it and I can apply it to my life.”