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Farias Trying to Put Bryan in State of Mind


Wrestling: Biggest challenges for Monroe wrestler, who has 43-1 record, have been against assistant coach.

Juan Farias, a volunteer assistant coach at Monroe High, has the important job of keeping 215-pound wrestler Arthur Bryan sharp.

Bryan is 43-1 with 36 pins and has mauled most of his opponents this season. His tougher matches have come in practice when he spars with the 250-pound Farias.

"Everyone watches out when they are going after each other," Coach Tom Jones of Monroe said. "They have dogfights. I put [Farias] to task every day and he keeps coming back for more."

Jones hopes daily workouts with Farias have prepared Bryan for the State Championships on Friday and Saturday in Stockton.

"He always tweaks my arms and legs, so I'm ready for the pain [at State]," Bryan said.

Farias, 24, a former Alemany wrestler and kinesiology student at Cal State Northridge, doesn't mind the grueling assignment.

"There's no one his size in the program that challenges him," Farias said. "He takes it to me to the point where I'm exhausted. Sometimes he'll pin me. But in high school, I never went to State and I'm looking forward to going this year."

Bryan's only loss this season was in January to Jon Cordero of Mira Costa at the North Torrance tournament. Bryan avenged that loss with an overtime victory two weeks later at the San Fernando tournament.

Cordero, who finished second Saturday at the Southern Section Masters meet, could meet Bryan again if they advance to the State semifinals.


Junior Ralph Garcia (189 pounds) of Camarillo will be motivated during the off-season by mistakes he felt cut his season short.

Garcia won the Southern Section Division III title and finished 44-7, but his last four losses were by one point and he led in the final round in three of them.

In his final match Saturday at the Masters meet, Garcia led Jon Boyer of Yucca Valley, but stalling and locking hands penalties resulted in an 8-7 loss.

"I just fell a little short with the mental stuff," Garcia said. "I feel like I blew those matches."


Roland Aldabert enjoyed his first year as coach at Lancaster but the former Highland star hasn't given up on his own wrestling career.

Aldabert, who wrestled for the Marine Corps national team, plans to compete in freestyle tournaments this spring.

His Lancaster wrestlers should benefit.

"I can still get down there and show them how to do it," Aldabert said.


The biggest challenge for Co-Coach Paul Clementi of Ventura during the off-season will be finding a league to compete in.

Oxnard is expected to rejoin the Pacific View League next season and Ventura, Buena and Dos Pueblos could be forced to compete as freelance teams.

Clementi said he hoped the problem could be solved by San Marcos starting a wrestling program, but administrators at the Santa Barbara school have yet to commit to having a team.

When the Pacific View League was formed two years ago, it left the Channel League with only three schools--Ventura, Buena and Dos Pueblos--that had wrestling teams.

According to Southern Section rules, leagues must have at least four teams. Oxnard, a Pacific View member, helped form the Pacific View North League this season to keep Ventura, Dos Pueblos and Buena from wrestling as independents.


Chris Rueckert of Royal, who had already qualified for the State Championships, could have defaulted his final matches at the Master meet after suffering a gash above his right eye in the quarterfinals.

But he persevered.

"You want to do the best you can," Rueckert said. "I didn't want to quit and leave the tournament."

Rueckert, whose vision was limited by the injury, advanced to the semifinals before finishing fifth.

He will face Andreik De Leon of El Camino Real in the first round on Friday.

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