The East Toledo Wrestling Club and several coaches traveled to Tulsa, Oklahoma to participate in what Coach Hector Ramirez called “one of the toughest national tournaments in the nation.”
Nine ETWC wrestlers participated in the Cliff Keen Wrestling Classic at the Spirit Civic Center on November 14-15, and placed seven.
“The level of wrestling is just exceptional,” said Ramirez, who is not only a coach, but the father of one of the wrestlers. “That is quite an accomplishment, considering the competition.”
Ramirez said the two that did not place had “very tough weight classes.”
“You know when you have your hands full, when, at 6-and-under age group, your wrestler (which happens to be Ramirez’s son, Christian) is getting the ‘boots’ (legs) being thrown in and the wrestler knows what to do with them. He ended up losing his first match, but battled back to take a strong fifth.
“The experience is unique for these wrestlers, in a way, that they get to wrestle different wrestlers with different styles from different states,” Ramirez continued.
There were 35 states represented. The wrestlers also got to witness wrestling legend Danny Hodge, who Ramirez called “a great wrestler in his day (that would) ‘crush’ an apple sitting in his palm with his hand.”
Ramirez said “wrestling extremely well, but not placing” was Mario Guiillen, a two-time state champion who went 3-2. Josh Kendall lost his first match, then won four straight, before exiting the tournament at 4-2.
Josh Portillo (10 and under) placed sixth at 58 pounds; state champion Moises Guillen took fifth in the 10 and under at 64 pounds; Christian Ramirez took fifth in the six and under at 43 pounds; and state runner-up Jesus “Alex” Rosales took fourth in the 12 and under at 96 pounds.
Taking third place was Tate Parker, in the six-and-under at 70 pounds and Jacob Moon in the six-and-under at 46 pounds.
The lone ETWC champion was Ricky Oviedo, who was unseeded, but defeated the numbers one, two, and three seeds en route to the six-and-under 40 pound title.
“He wrestled smart and aggressively,” Ramirez said.
Oviedo’s match can be viewed by going to the internet, typing in key words “flow wrestling,” then clicking on “Cliff Keen Kick-Off Classic.” Ramirez said to scroll down for respective weight classes to watch.
Coaches traveling with the ETWC included Ramirez, Joe Campos, Edison “Junior” Kendall, and “Geno” Portillo.