By Chris Helsinger-Pate
Corona – A highly competitive wrestling team from Santiago High School sent three wrestlers to the CIF State Boys’ Wrestling tournament. Brayden Ray, Joshua Kim, and Jesse Vasquez traveled to Bakersfield to represent their team.
Senior Brayden Ray, a competitor in the 220-pound weight class, notes that he has “…had to train hard and stay focused on the right path” to reach the state level. He used the disappointment from last season (falling just short of the CIF title) to catapult him to this season’s success.
Joshua Kim and Jesse Vasquez experienced tremendous hard fought success at the CIF State Championship. Both wrestlers advanced to the finals in their weight classes and came out victorious making them state champs. Sophomore Jesse Vasquez says that “Wrestling continually provides me opportunities to grow and achieve my goals.” Vasquez should be a strong candidate to come out on top in the 132-pound weight class considering his first place finish in the CIF Regional round.
All three wrestlers referenced their faith in God as one of the driving forces behind their success. Joshua Kim, a senior at Santiago, “…believe[s] that my success and failures as a student-athlete are God’s plan.”
While Brayden Ray, Jesse Vasquez, and Joshua Kim have been driving forces behind Santiago’s success it is Jesse Vasquez now a two time state champ, that is likely to have the longest lasting impact. Just a sophomore, he’ll have two more seasons to compete at the high school level. Another offseason of training will leave him a favorite to accomplish more accolades at the CIF level.