The Comets wrestling team had something to be thankful for just in time to eat Thanksgiving dinner, a win at The Brawl held in East Los Angeles.
This victory follows another notable accomplishment in Whittier, Calif. on Nov. 9, where the team won at Rio Hondo College, ranking them No. 3 in the state. This ranking closely follows top-ranked Cerritos College.
Star athlete and heavyweight champion, Seville Hayes attributed to this win after returning from an infection; pinning his opponent in 20 seconds.
The triumph encouraged the sweep made by the Comets wrestling team at The Brawl, taking home three weight-class titles. These titles were earned by Bruce Valdez at 184-pounds, Chris Kamball at 149-pounds, and Alberto Garcia at 133-pounds.
Second place finishes were taken by Alex Gomez at 197-pounds, Jesse Diaz at 149-pounds, and Jake Schaeffer at 133-pounds. Hayes, Sean McDannold and Miguel Flores placed third.
When it comes to first place titles, Valdez is no stranger to the tradition. This win follows a string of wins throughout the season, who received an on the mat win in Santa Ana on Nov. 2. Valdez’s season has even titled him with the No. 2 ranking in the state, following No. 1 ranked heavyweight, Hayes.
Valdez admitted to praying before every match, a ritual he never misses for his title win. As for conquering nervousness, Valdez said, “I think the more prepared you are, the less nervous you become.”
Valdez is not the only one with a set ritual in preparation for a match. Diaz dances to eighties rock music, Hayes wears the same socks every time he wrestles, and Gomez “pulls a Diaz” and tries to be positive.
Gomez is not the only team member who benefits from Diaz’s positivity, he is known for pumping everyone up before the game, telling them all to “just have fun!”
This encouragement is a ritual the entire team stands by. They live by the motto, “you have to wrestle for each other, not just for yourself.”
To wrestle under these terms, the team maintains a close bond, friends on and off the mat, and even attend semi-regular two dollar Tuesdays at the San Marcos bowling alley.
“If one of us is doing something wrong, and we know they know how to do it right, we get on them,” Hayes said. “At this point, if their not doing it right, they’re being lazy.”
The Brawl has prepared the Comets for the upcoming Southern California Regionals, where, if the team places anywhere in the top six, will succeed to state finals.
Their season can be tracked through photos on the official team Instagram page, @palomarwrestling.