Roberto Clemente Wildcats Roar at the City Tournament
The Wildcats had a two day tournament Saturday, January 23rd and Sunday, January 24th. On Saturday at Benito Juarez High School Charles Perdue, Keontay Knox, Noah Myers, and Larry Christopher started out the day by pinning their first opponent. Sophomore Nick Ramos, his 1st year as a Clemente wrestler, fought hard but ended up going in to the wrestle backs. Coach Tolene said, “My guys wrestled tough today, we have a lot of momentum on our side right now. We have to bring this same energy and momentum in to De La Salle tomorrow.” Sunday would prove to be a true test of technique, heart, and hustle. The team started going down the winner’s side bracket, but would eventually fight the hardest in the wrestle backs going for 3rd in the city. Charles Perdue lost on an injury default which plagued him throughout the day. However, Charles would not let a banged up shoulder stop him from competition. In his second match Charles pinned his opponent, then repeated his performance in his next match. Coach Tolene was impressed with Perdue’s heart and determination on the mat. Even as he winced in discomfort, Charles fought on and would eventually take 6th in the City tournament.
On to another Clemente stand out, Noah Myers. Noah is a talented 11th grade wrestler with hopes of going far in this wrestling season. Assistant Coach Bailys and Coach Tolene see Myers advancing far into regionals and the upcoming sectionals. Noah, like Charles, would battle against tough technical wrestlers and earned the opportunity to wrestler for 3rd place. That being said, getting to that point was not easy as he had to overcome wrestlers that visibly had more muscle than Noah. Coach Tolene said, “I didn’t think that was Noah’s opponent at first. He looked like a weight class above.” After trading take downs, Noah would eventually find himself on top position and sunk in a pinning move and the ref blew the whistle signifying the match was over. Although Noah placed 4th, he didn’t let that bring him down. Noah is quoted as saying, “yeah, I’m pretty mad I guess, but I’m going to work hard these next two weeks so I’m ready for regionals. I don’t let that stuff get me down, I just keep working hard!”
Larry Christopher fought and beat opponents that were bigger than him, but on Sunday, Larry succumbed to better competition. Larry, or to call him by his moniker, “The Weapon”, acts as an essential part of the team by supporting Coach Tolene in assistant coaching duties, he is the wrestling team captain, and is looked at by Coach Tolene and the rest of the wrestlers as a leader. Larry Christopher brings a mature element to the team which helps to keep the team focused. Keontay Knox also had a rough go and although he wrestled with heart, heart would not be enough to advance him in the tournament. Keontay said, “I was fighting hard, but couldn’t get the openings I wanted. I am going to be ready for regionals, you can count on that.”
Overall it was a tough two days of wrestling, but anyone who knows wrestling is not surprised by that. As stated by Dan Gable, a former Olympic wrestler, “Once you’ve wrestled, everything else in life is easy.” Good luck Wildcats! Have a great rest of the season!
Roberto Clemente High School is a wall to wall International Baccalaureate school. Keep looking through our website to discover more of what Clemente athletics has to offer.