Three Coachella Valley high school wrestlers in state meet

Three Coachella Valley high school wrestlers in state meet


Three Coachella Valley high school wrestlers in state meet


Just three valley competitors remain from a wrestling season that began with hundreds.

Three desert grapplers will be wrestling in the 2014 CIF State Tournament this weekend at the Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield, two from Palm Desert High School and one from La Quinta, having finished ninth or better at last week’s Southern Section CIF Masters Tournament.

Matt Holm and Anthony Mantanona out of Palm Desert, and two-time State Tournament veteran Roy Galvan of La Quinta headed up to the tournament Thursday, which begins Friday and ends Sunday.

The trio couldn’t be more different from one another. Although Holm and Mantanona hail from the same school, Holm is a senior who is in the tournament for his first time, while Mantanona made it this far on his first try — he’s a freshman.

“I worked hard in the wrestling room, I had a lot of better competition to wrestle with (this year),” says Holm. “Between me and Anthony working at it, we just pushed ourselves and I did a lot better this year.”

Holm, at 152 pounds, went 5-2 at Masters placing ninth, just good enough to make the cut to the State Tournament.

“I had a couple close matches and it just didn’t turn out how I wanted it to,” Holm said this week, “but at state, I think I can place pretty high, so I don’t think Masters reflects how I’m going to do at state.”

His teammate, on the other hand, breezed in on his first crack at it, going 4-1 at Masters and finishing third. And he’s confident there is more to come.

“It’s exciting. I’ve been wrestling for a long time, since 6 or 7 years old, same program, everything; a lot of time and hard work,” the 132-pounder says. “I’m expecting to place, but I feel like if I’m on my game and I go out there like I can, I feel like I can actually win the whole tournament, so I feel like I can end up being the state champion after this weekend.”

For the 120-pound Galvan, this is getting to be routine. This marks his third straight trip to the State Tournament, following his fourth place finish at Masters where he was 4-2.

“I’m excited; it’s pretty nerve racking, the big stadium, all the people, everybody’s screaming for your match,” he says of the state tournament. “The competition is a lot better, it’s the most elite guys from each section in the state.”

Last year Galvan finished seventh and advanced to the national tournament. The top eight from each weight class advance.

This year he thinks he can improve on that.

“I think if I have a good day, first place is possible,” he says, “of course if anyone has a good day out there it’s possible for them too.”


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