Wrestling knocks out Branham, keeps pushing forward

As Matt Hamamjy ’17 pinned down his opponent’s shoulders on Thursday, Jan. 29 in a home dual match against Branham, another two points were added to his score, racking up the number on the scoreboard and finishing the match at an outstanding 46-12 win for the Chargers. Under Head Coach Steve Guerra and captains Shayan Payamipour ’15 and Andrew Tan ’15, Charger wrestling is once again aiming to have a victorious season.

The team of 19 has already shown its strength through its successes early in the season. In the Apple Cider Classic on Saturday, Jan. 12, Payamipour placed fourth in the 140-pound weight class while Matt Seryani ’16 took first in his 162 pound division.

Even with their experience and leadership, the boys were caught off guard by the size of their opponents’ team on Thursday. Composed of just six people, the Branham Bruins’ wrestling team limited the number of Chargers who could compete. As a result, only Carlo Zarosi ’18, Payamipour, Nick Banas ’18, John Padilla ’16, Eduardo Trejo ’18 and Hamamjy headed onto the mat that night. It was here that Zarosi, Banas and Trejo proved that their age was merely a number.

Zarosi fought diligently for an 18-10 win on his home mat. By taking his coaches’ advice of getting behind his opponent and locking hands under his opponent’s armpits, Zarosi was the first to put up points on the scoreboard and consequently set the stage for his fellow Chargers in their following match-ups.

Payamipour went up second, constantly grabbing one of his opponent’s legs to lodge him face down into the mat. After the first of three 2-minute rounds, he was up 8-4 and was able to increase his lead until his final pin of his opponent, finishing the match without trailing once and winning 18-10.

“It felt great winning. My opponent and I were the only ones ranked in CCS, with me as ninth and him as sixteenth, so I knew that it was going to be a good match. The reason I won was that I kept my composure and stuck to the basics. Consistency has helped me numerous times this season,” Payamipour said.

Banas stepped on the mat next and easily finished his opponent in less than two minutes. Playing upon a dominant start, Padilla followed similarly. In the first set, he was up 2-0; and was able to shut out his opponent to win by a score of 5-0. He was one of two Chargers to post a shutout.

Despite this momentum, Trejo went onto the mat after Padilla and lost. Nevertheless, this minor setback did not distract the team; the boys kept their heads high and rebounded with Hamamjy’s strong finish, earning himself a 4-0 win.

With strength and stamina, the Charger wrestling team already has its eyes set on the Blossom Valley Athletic League (BVAL) and Central Coast Section (CCS) tournaments in the upcoming months. However, these Chargers know that success only comes with hard work, and they trust in the belief that hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.