Pin the Opponent, Pin the Dream

Junior Guillermo Espinoza works for a chance at a state title

Junior+Guillermo+Espinoza%2C+stares+down+the+competition+after+a+tackle.+Espinoza+has+won+25+matches+this+season.
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Pin the Opponent, Pin the Dream

Junior Guillermo Espinoza, stares down the competition after a tackle. Espinoza has won 25 matches this season.

Junior Guillermo Espinoza, stares down the competition after a tackle. Espinoza has won 25 matches this season.

Gracie Schweers

Junior Guillermo Espinoza, stares down the competition after a tackle. Espinoza has won 25 matches this season.

Gracie Schweers

Gracie Schweers

Junior Guillermo Espinoza, stares down the competition after a tackle. Espinoza has won 25 matches this season.

Anna Pipinos, Staff Writer

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Middle school is a time for finding new hobbies. This was no different for the varsity wrestler, Guilermo Espinoza. With all of his friends wrestling in seventh grade, he decided to see his wrestling career in motion, not letting his late start shake his ground. 

Motivated by his coaches and family, Espinoza dedicated much of his time to wrestling and learning all the little techniques to catch up to his more experienced competitors. 

“I’m relatively new to wrestling given that lots of varsity wrestlers started when they were very young, and I have a lot of groundwork to make up having mostly started in middle school: 7th grade year,” Espinoza said. 

Starting off the season with a win against a student from Nebraska City, Guillermo continued placing high in competitions. After facing several losses, Guillermo placed on Dec. 14  at the Council Bluffs Class Tournament, a tournament with two brackets for each weight class. 

“If you want to medal, you have to make the gold bracket, and that is an accomplishment in itself because there are many quality wrestlers from Iowa and other midwestern states,” Espinoza said. “I ended up making gold bracket, and I had to knock off a state runner up, Cole Price [Papillion Lavista] in the process. I pinned him in the first period which was unexpected, and my teammates were proud of me,” Espinoza said. 

 Soon after the Council Bluffs Class Tournament, Espinoza and the team travelled to South Dakota for a tournament on Jan. 10. While in South Dakota, Espinoza managed to win his very first varsity tournament.

“I’ve never won a varsity tournament until then, so it made me feel pretty good. The finals match was very close and I only won by a point, which made it intense until the end. Right when I got my hand raised [to signify the winner] it gave me a reminder of why the long practice sessions and year round training are worth it,” Espinoza said. 

With it being his second to last year in high school, Espinoza hopes to medal, or even place at state this season. 

“I have not completed it yet, but I get closer every year. Now I just need to make it and win a few matches, and I’ll win or even be a medalist, which leaves next year for me to finally complete it or go for my second-peat,” Espinoza said. 

With the help of wrestling coach Scott Loveless, Espinonza hopes to optimize his techniques in order  to place at state. 

“He wears guys down and he is a gas tank that just keeps going. He has been working on cleaning about his technique; and his bracket is pretty tough. It all comes down with him cleaning up some of his techniques,” Loveless said. 

 As a junior, Espinoza holds the responsibility of becoming a leader to incoming freshmen and other students. 

“He has been a leader since freshman year. He has a 4.0 GPA and is one of the hardest working athletes in the room. He came in and started wrestling in middle school and earned a varsity spot by knocking a guy out of the line up his freshman year,” Loveless said.

On Feb. 1, Espinoza won the Norfolk invite, and in the process knocked off the state runner-up. With this win, Espinoza and his teammates have high hopes for him at state.  

“When he goes out and wrestles while being in pretty good shape, we call it Guillermo Time where he just goes, goes, goes, and guys can’t hang with him for six minutes. They just get tired and that is when he becomes Guillermo and beats good guys,” Loveless said.