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Warrior wrestling looking to regroup after Wildcat loss

by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Aloha senior 220-pound wrestler Concepcion Rodelo went the full six minutes for a win over Westview.

Their reign of power in the Metro League is over when it comes to regular season dual meets, but the Aloha wrestling team’s season is far from finished.

Wednesday’s dual meet 39-29 loss to Westview sent shockwaves through the 6A ranks, plainly because Aloha’s been on top for so long and run roughshod over the Metro League. The loss— provoked by the Wildcats winning the first five matches of the evening— was the Warriors’ first in Metro League competition in nearly four years.

Down 27-0, Aloha couldn’t escape the deficit despite winning six of the next eight matches including pins by 152-pound Ryan Schwartz and 160-pound Jose Sandoval. Joe Kovachevich, 195 pounds, won by decision over Andy Schubert.

Schwartz said he sat on the side of the mat and stewed as he watched the Warriors get flatbacked in the first three matches. The junior approached his bout as a chance to stop the bleeding and get morale up on Aloha’s side.

“After watching all of our guys not be aggressive, and fall into a big deficit...I had to bring the team back,” said Schwartz. “As a team, we have to step it up. We’re not wrestling as good as we should be. We have to wrestle smart, stay off our backs.”

“We have good chemistry across all the weights,” said said 220-pound senior Concepcion Rodelo. “Everybody’s pushing each other. We’re always working hard in practice, hustling and getting guys ready for match time. I feel pretty good about our team this year.”

Schwartz pinned Westview’s Terrance Compton in 1:27 to give Aloha six much-needed points on the scoreboard.

“I just came out more aggressive than the other guy,” said Schwartz. “I stayed with my game. I don’t wrestle to my opponent. I try to wrestle smart because most of the time if you stay in good position, you get the win. I’m always improving, working hard.”

by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Aloha junior 152-pound wrestler Ryan Schwartz was one of three Warriors to record pins against Westview.

Rodelo said there was more he could have done from the top position, but mostly felt good about his major decision win over Westview’s Elijah Himing.

“I pretty much just wanted to get after the guy,” said Concepcion Rodelo. “That’s what I try to do every match. I tried to work throws, maybe try to get (arm) bar in there from the top. It was a good way to get a win.”

Wrestling for the entire six-minute match is something the sophomore is still adjusting to, having come off a long football season for the Warriors.

Yet, the Aloha offensive lineman noted his physical conditioning will come with time and extra mat-room sessions. Rodelo plans on making it to the 220-pound regional finals this year, and if all goes well contend at the 6A state tournament.

“I definitely have to get in shape for this,” said Concepcion Rodelo. “It’s something I’m still way out of because of football. But, going the full six minutes is ok with me. I’m feeling pretty tired, but still pretty good after matches no matter which way they go.”

Cortez, Rodelo’s younger brother, won by decision over Westview’s Noah Spencer. Executing more in the beginning could have led to an early pin, Cortez said, though he was pleased with beating a touted competitor in Spencer.

by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Aloha 138-pound wrestler Cason Wight won his match in six minutes against Westview last Wednesday.

“The Metro League heavyweights are definitely a little better than the rest of the heavyweights in the state,” said Cortez Rodelo. “Going against good competition is good because it teaches me what I need to do for the rest of the year. I just have to get in better shape and be more offensive.”

A well-hailed youth wrestler who won more than 15 state championships between the three styles: Greco-Roman, Freestyle and Grappling, Cortez took fourth at state this year as a freshman. With a year under his belt, Cortez is confident he can rise up the ranks of the 6A heavyweight division.

“This year I’m going to work very hard to win a state championship as a sophomore,” said Cortez Rodelo. “It’s going to take more hard work in practice and pushing myself every day instead of taking days off and taking reps off.”

Heavyweight matches rarely end via fall with both big grizzly bears pawing at each other’s heads, trying to score points with escapes and a shot here and there. Therefore, seeing that pins are scarce, enduring a six-minute bout is vitally important.

“It didn’t feel as good as it has before, but it’s something I have to get used to in the 6A division,” said Cortez Rodelo. “Most of the time, I try to stay in better position and most of the time be in better shape than he is. But, that wasn’t tonight. I’ve been working on my singles (takedowns), just trying to get better at the things I don’t do too much.”

After having to cut a few precious pounds the day before the dual, 138-pound Cason Wight was low on energy prior to his match with Justin Parsons. That didn’t stop the state returnee from notching a few single-leg takedowns and wrestling intelligently, as Wight won by major decision to give the Warriors their first win of the day. Wight won a match in the consolation bracket at state last year, but didn’t place in the top-eight. This year, the self-described conservative competitor hopes to place in the top-four.

“I got a couple good singles that I couldn’t finish, but I rode pretty well today,” said Wight. “I just have to get better on my feet and be more aggressive if I want to get back to state. I needed to work harder on that today.”



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