The Downey gym was packed last Friday night for the preliminary rounds of the weekend’s high school wrestling tournament. The South Pasadena Tigers, one of at least 12 teams participating in the tournament, found themselves perched at the top of the bleachers, in a little nook across the aisle from the Alhambra Moors.
It was a cool night, but not inside the gym, where on eight mats, wrestlers competing in weight divisions ranging from 120 pounds to 220 pounds sweated and fought for over two hours before calling it a night and returning the next morning for semifinals and finals.
“I can take care of everyone in my division, a couple may be a challenge but otherwise I’ve got it,” said senior Michael Blanco, confidently, before the match. Blanco wasn’t bluffing, finishing 3rd in the 220 pound weight class.
Fellow senior Irvin Perez and junior Chris Kim finished 4th and 6th, respectively in their 132 pound weight class.
Next up for the Tigers is the West Torrance Tournament on Dec. 2 and a two-day Camarillo tourney the following week.
League doesn’t begin for the Tigers until they visit Monrovia on Jan. 4. Photos by Joseph Ruiz