Wrestling -- Masters Meet: Experience key for valley contingent

Wrestling -- Masters Meet: Experience key for valley contingent

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Wrestling -- Masters Meet: Experience key for valley contingent

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Three area wrestlers are making a return trip to the CIF-Southern Section Masters Championship and will be joined by nine others representing Palm Desert, La Quinta, Shadow Hills and Desert Mirage high schools.

Four-time Desert Valley League champ and three-time Masters competitor Roy Galvan of La Quinta leads the contingent and Galvan has made quick work of the opposition along the way.

After winning MVP of the Mann Classic and Esperanza Tournament, placing runner up in two others, Galvan has compiled a 33-5 mark. However, his run through last week’s CIF-Southern Section Coastal Division Championship was the most impressive.

(Photos: Valley wrestlers prepare for Masters Tournament)

“I think I was on the mat for about three and a half minutes,” said Galvan who competes at 120 pounds, captured CIF Lower Weight MVP honors and is seeking a return trip to states. “I like to get my matches over with in a hurry. You never know what’s gonna happen, an injury or something, so I go out there pretty quick.”

Actually, Galvan was done in an instant in all five matches, rolling through his bracket in winning in 45 seconds, 50 seconds, 51, 20 and 46.

“I believe last weekend was my best weekend so far,” he said. “When I look back on film, I’m a lot more aggressive and the technique is also a lot better.”

Two other Masters’ returners, Matt Holm, a DVL champion senior from Palm Desert who won the 152-pound division and De Anza League champ Jake Ceja, a junior from Desert Mirage, also make a return trip.

“The last time I was there, I came out of taking third from CIF,” said Ceja who won the Coastal Division title, earning the first CIF wrestling championship in the Coachella Valley Unified School District in 20 years. “I was slow starting last year, but this year I’m more confident and not as nervous. I have progressed, even if it’s little by little. If I did better than yesterday, then it’s an improvement.”

Ceja’s coach Luis Pinedo said his five losses all season have come by three points or less and that Ceja, who is also a member of the golf team, is prepared for the return with an improved mental toughness. He’ll be joined by Rams’ teammate Carlos Velazquez, who placed fourth in the 170-pound class to earn a Masters’ bid.

Four others from the De Anza League have also advanced — all from Shadow Hills.

They are senior Isaac Flores-Sanchez (108) and junior Emmanuel Correa (160) both of whom finished CIF runner-up. Also, senior Alex Lopez (154) who placed fourth and junior Michael Suarez (147) who was fifth.

“We’re working hard and peaking,” said Knights’ coach Albert Perales, whose team placed sixth overall in the team standings at CIF. “Some guys are plateauing now, but not us. I’m excited to see what they can do being here for the first time.”

The Knights got a couple of tips at their Wednesday practice when UFC fighter Cub Swanson attended. The featherweight title contender hails from Cathedral City.

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