Wresting brothers thrive with the pack

By Priscilla Hernandez

The Padilla brothers, Joshua and Michael, get to experience something special by wrestling together at the collegiate level where Joshua is wrestling for the second season and Michael his first season. 

They make their presence on the team well-known with the results of recent matches. 

On Oct. 21 the men’s wrestling team headed up north to Morro Bay and attended the Meathead Movers Tournament. 

Joshua and Michael stole the spotlight by being the only East Los Angeles College wrestlers to place and medal at the tournament. Joshua walked away placing third in the 157 pound class. Michael placed fourth in the 141 pound weight class. 

The brothers have their own ways of preparing themselves to feel ready to step on the mat. 

Michael wakes up everyday at 8 a.m. and goes for a run, then later in the day he goes to practice giving his 100%. 

Joshua prepares himself by remaining consistent by doing his best when it comes to practice and workouts. 

When it comes down to motivating and pushing each other to be better, Joshua said, “It’s 60% me and 40% Michael. Since I have experience I can help guide Michael in the right direction.” 

Wrestling has been a part of their life for quite some time starting with their oldest brother Elijah Padilla, who introduced wrestling to his brothers.

 Joshua and Michael entered their first tournament at the ages of nine and 10. Michael placed in the tournament and this sparked a fire for the sport in his spirit. 

On the other hand, Joshua did not have the same pleasant experience and didn’t start wrestling again until he was 14. 

It wasn’t until Michael’s senior year of high school and Joshua’s freshman year at ELAC that the two realized the possibility for them to continue at the collegiate level together. They’re glad that they were given the opportunity because it has been so fun and it reminds them of when they wrestled in high school together. 

Having each other also plays a tremendous role in the mental aspect of the sport. Wrestling is more of an individual sport, which makes it easy to feel down when having a bad outing. Although they can rely on their teammates during the time, the brothers find comfort in having a constant support system that follows them home after a bad outing. They make each other’s mental part of the sport stronger. 

Joshua and Michael have learned a lot from one another and use the knowledge they gain to strengthen their wrestling and how they go through their everyday life. 

Michael said he’s learned to forget the past and embrace the next opportunity from what his brother Joshua has told him. 

“If someone beats you in a wrestling match, it’s not that they’ll beat me every single time. Anytime you step on that mat, it’s something new, something different, you can beat that guy,”Joshua said.

 It’s a way of knowing that whatever happened previously doesn’t define when a new opportunity approaches.

Joshua has learned how important it is to keep a positive spirit because of Michael. 

“I remember my Santa Ana dual. It wasn’t my night and I got beat. Coming off the mat I wasn’t the captain I should’ve been and my brother was still cheering the team on when I should’ve been doing that as well,” Joshua said.

 Since that experience, Joshua has made sure to keep a positive energy for his team despite the outcome of his own matches. 

For Joshua his brothers actions during the Santa Ana dual are what helped him prevail in the most recent tournament where he would have to wrestle the same guy he lost to in Santa Ana for the third place title. 

Learning to be positive was the key to winning a medal at the Meathead Movers tournament. 

Their older brother Elijah has been one of their biggest motivators. 

He plays a big role in why they are the wrestlers they are today. 

Their oldest brother was able to coach them throughout high school and still continues to help them get better at home. 

As for long term goals, Michael would like to finish the season as an All-American and to place at state. 

Joshua did place at state his freshman year, but for this season he would like to finish in the top three. 

Their next match is on Saturday and they both already have set goals for the tournament. For Joshua, his goal is to place in the top 3 and Michael is hoping he places as well.

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