Guam wins island title
ASAN, Guam — Guam High won four individual titles and captured its third straight All-Island wrestling team championship Saturday, continuing the run of the school’s most successful program.
As a result, Brandon Miller, in his second year at the school and first as wrestling coach, senses a change in the atmostphere.
“People didn’t used to come out for sports because they didn’t feel they would win anything,” said Miller, also the school’s football coach who says a number of his footballers also don singlets.
“Now, they see that we can win. We can be successful, but it takes hard work. It gives them an incentive to do well.”
As a team on Saturday, the Panthers scored 111 points, five better than the last school to win the island championship, John F. Kennedy. Simon Sanchez was third with 80.
Senior Ray Tenorio (140 pounds) capped his third unbeaten island season by pinning Greg Castro of George Washington in 36 seconds.
Also finishing unbeaten were Zach Nabors (171) and Tim Hernandez (160). R.J. Lopez also won a title in the 125-pound class.
Second-place finishers for the Panthers were heavyweight Thomas French and 119-pounder Michael Tougher, while Kevin Loper (112), Daren Perez (130), Anthony Barfield (145) and Dakota Hodges (189) took third.
Miller said it would be nice to turn the island title into a school-first title in the Far East tournament, but obstacles remain before that meet Feb. 13-16 at Camp Foster, Okinawa.
The Panthers field only 10 varsity wrestlers, and they must convert from collegiate folkstyle, used on Guam, to international freestyle, used at Far East.
“We have a lot of work to do. We’re only taking a couple of days off and we’re going at it every day after that,” he said. “We don’t have a full lineup so we’ll have to work twice as hard.”