by Tadzio Garcia
The No. 15-ranked Huskies stunned the No. 8-ranked team in the state, West Hills College, winning second place in the South East Conference for the second consecutive year at Bakersfield College Saturday.
“The match was intense. We were losing 20-16 and had to win either a pin or a technical foul to win the match. Our best wrestler Hugo Perez was up, but he was wrestling a tough guy,” Valle said.
Perez began the match throwing his opponent on his back. His opponent managed to get out of the jam. When Perez threw him down again it resulted in a pin.
“I had a strong feeling I was going to end up having to score five or six points for us to win,” Perez said. For this to happen he would have to win by 15 points or record a win.
“While warming up I focused and prepared myself mentally to win big. I was more than confident I could do it. The emotion in this type of match really helps my wrestling, it pushes me (and) gets me pumped. I love being the go-to guy for ELAC. The win was a team effort to beat West Hills,” Perez said.
It was an emotional upset. The Huskies celebrated jumping and screaming after the win.
ELAC lost to No. 6-ranked Cuesta College 35-12. Cuesta won the South East championship, last Saturday at Bakersfield College.
“Cuesta had our number. This is the way wrestling goes the high is up, but then emotionally you come down,” Valle said.
ELAC beat No. 9-ranked Bakersfield and their boisterous crowd, 30-18, and slammed Victor Valley College to the mat, 39-9.
Omar Ochoa, ranked all of last year, returned to the team after a long illness.
“I’m getting back into the rhythm but learned a lot at the conference finals. It was great how the team was supporting and cheering each other on when matches were close. You could feel the intensity in the room.” Ochoa
The Huskies will host their third annual Brawl in the men’s gym on Saturday all day.