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Memories That Help Define the Prep Sports Year

Top Performance

June 11, 1996|ERIK HAMILTON

It's when things don't go the way they're expected that makes life interesting. Such as the state wrestling finals in March, when junior Joe Calavitta of Calvary Chapel wasn't supposed to beat Adam Coffing in the finals.

Before the match, the buzz among the sports writers, coaches, wrestlers and spectators was Calavitta was going to get worked by the defending champion from Elk Grove. I had my doubts that Calavitta could beat Coffing. After all, Calavitta had a tendency to choke in the big matches. He did the year before, and he wasn't having a great year. Of course, Calavitta and his coach, John Azevedo, saw things differently. And when the match started, you could feel that Calavitta was on a quest.

In front of 7,000 spectators, Calavitta locked up with Coffing and wrestled for three inspired periods that gave him a state title at 135 pounds. His victory was instrumental in Calvary Chapel capturing its third state championship.

Even the jaded crowd at Spanos Center in Stockton, who last year booed Calavitta, gave him the loudest cheers of the finals.

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