By Zasha Hayes
David Aranda was five when he realized that wrestling would be his life calling.
Aranda is now a sophomore at ELAC working toward his goal of transferring.
Last season, Aranda was one of the seven teammates who went to the state finals.
Only four out of the seven placed. Aranda took seventh place as a heavyweight. Although a few people made it to state finals, he believes that this season would be better.
“I think we’ll be significantly better this season because we should have had more state placers last year. Both injury and illness struck our team before the state tournament,” Aranda said.
“I think they have the capability to be state champions, and I think that if there’s going to be any team to be the best that ELAC ever had, it would be this year’s team because of all the talent we have,” he said.
He feels the current pandemic is bad, but the team can take advantage of it. The extra time to practice mixed with the want to compete has made not only him, but the whole team hungry and eager to wrestle.
“I think it’s a double-edged sword. As much practice as we get, I think it’s always to compete as well. Competition is the best practice,” Aranda said.
He believes that even with the pandemic raging on, nobody on his team will lose hope that the season won’t be canceled.
Aranda was drawn to the sport at an early age. Aranda’s father wrestled in high school. Ralph Valle, the head coach of ELAC’s wrestling team, remembers his father well.
His father never forced him to stay with the sport, and this is what helped Aranda stay passionate about wrestling.
He was allowed to choose whether he would keep wrestling or walk another path.
At home, Aranda usually practices by himself. He has a younger brother, but because of the weight difference, he restrains from wrestling with him.
Instead, Aranda would try to get in contact with wrestlers in his area to initiate the practice.
“David, he’s a great student-athlete. I think he always shows up happy, and normally he’s there before me, working out,” said Miguel Soto, assistant coach of wrestling, .
“He’s got a tremendous work ethic and he loves wrestling…I’m positive he can do well in a D1 or D2 university,” he said.
Aranda made the Dean’s Honor List this past year with a 3.6-3.7 GPA.
The athletic highlight of his career is his All-American status, making it to the state tournament last year and being a four-time state qualifier in wrestling.
Even with all of the athletic crowning moments, Aranda prefers his academics. He is currently working toward earning his AA-T degree in business law.
He wants to work with people and small business owners who don’t do as well financially as big businesses.
Aranda went to Life Pacific University on scholarship before ELAC. He lost his scholarship after injuring his rotator cuff and was unable to wrestle.
Not wanting to give up on his career, Aranda decided he would attend ELAC. He plans on continuing to wrestle and hopes to transfer to New York University.
Aranda has been at ELAC for a year and would recommend the college to anyone who is interested.
He feels that for those who are uncertain about their future or don’t have the best financial situation, ELAC would be the perfect place to start.
Even as the pandemic continues, he feels that ELAC’s education system and athletic system welcomes any who choose to attend.
Aranda would not mind if the season continued on with COVID-19 restrictions.
He would rather have no spectators and be able to compete on the mat, than have people watch and risk the chance of spreading germs.
The team would follow the guidelines for the pandemic, keeping the mat and court clean. If he had a choice of practicing and learning on campus or via Zoom, he would choose on campus.
When Aranda’s not working out, he likes to read and write. He writes stories and journal entries and is interested in Greek and Roman mythology.
The fascination with Greek and Roman gods began when he was young when he read books and it grew as he aged. He now reads books like “Percy Jackson,” “Divine Trio” and “Dante’s Inferno.”
His favorite movie is the first “Iron Man,” which came out in 2008. In correlation to the movie, Aranda’s favorite actor is Robert Downey Jr.
Aranda’s favorite music genre to listen to is country music. He listens to the artists like Luke Bryan, Luke Combs and Dierks Bently. However, on game day he prefers Indie Music.
“Keep pushing and stay motivated,” Arada said.