DOWNEY - The Downey High School wrestling team is looking to pick up where it left off last season, competing for a C.I.F. title.Downey has competed for the C.I.F. title in each of the past four years, winning two of them in 2010 and 2011. For their efforts over the past few seasons, Downey will now be competing in Division IV. This move in divisions marks the third change in the past five years. Coach Soto said that "there is some great wrestling going on in the San Gabriel Valley League and we hope to be in the continued mix of great wrestling this season." Coach Soto also pointed out that the S.G.V.L. has had six teams wrestle in the C.I.F. finals over the past four years, with Paramount and Warren being the other two teams. Downey finished second in the S.G.V.L. last season and second in the C.I.F. Dual meet championships. Cross-town rival Warren won the S.G.V.L. and also won the C.I.F. Division VI championship by defeating Downey in both duals by the same 37-31 score. Downey has several key wrestlers returning this year. Junior captain, and standout defensive lineman on the Viking football team, Tony Florido (215) returns after a third place finish in C.I.F. last year. Senior captain Daniel Martinez (132) returns as does junior captain Juan Soto (160) with more experience and skill under their belts. Coach Soto further said that "our line-up will have a handful of juniors and two freshmen who are coming back from a season of being battle tested at the varsity level." Downey's key loss to graduation was heavyweight Robert Chism. Chism placed fifth last year at the California state tournament in Bakersfield. Coach Soto and his team are excited for the season to start and are once again aiming for a C.I.F. title. San Gabriel Valley League foes Paramount and Warren will certainly be looking at Downey as an obstacle to overcome on their respective roads to a league, and potentially, C.I.F. Division IV title.
********** Published: November 29, 2012 - Volume 11 - Issue 33