Vista del Lago Wrestling Ends The Season With it’s 5th Straight League Title

Daniel Baldini, Sports Copy Editor

 The 2017 Vista del Lago wrestling season is finally wrapping up, with the team winning its 5th straight league title.

The season started with many returning varsity stars, including Noah Johnson, Andrew Vaquero, Tony Baldini, Grant Leon and Austin Soeltzer, all advancing to the masters tournament, the last tournament before state.

The team also witnessed new stars rise throughout the season. Sophmore Justin Ramos, freshman Andrew Reese, senior Robert Vela, and freshman Levi Burnett all made a name for themselves by qualifying for Masters as well.

The season was one of Vista’s more successful one’s. With nine total Master’s qualifiers and a league title, the coaches couldn’t be more proud of the wrestlers.

Assistant coach Dan Cota mentioned the Eskalon Tournament in Manteca as one of his favorite moments of the season. “The wrestlers wrestled harder than I’ve ever seen before.”

Applying not only to the Eskalon tournament, but to the season overall, Cota was proud to see his wrestlers embrace the competition and noted how he “hasn’t seen a wrestler not give 100% this season.”

Cota also expresses a lot of optimism about next season. “The juniors are looking to step up as seniors next year,” he said, referencing juniors like Noah Johnson, Devin Duncan, Austin Soeltzer and Yoseph Abouwalfa.

When speaking with Andrew Vaquero, one of the team’s star wrestlers and three-time masters qualifier, Vaquero expressed his pride of wrestling for Vista all four years of high school.

With the Master’s tournament being most of the wrestlers’ last tournament ever, emotions can get overwhelming when it all ends. For seniors Andrew Vaquero, Tony Baldini and Grant Leon, the bond they have formed while while wrestling in high school is more of a brotherhood than a friendship.

“I am going to miss competing alongside my teammates and friends,” said Vaquero. The teammates always form a strong connection, and that is hard to let go of when the seniors graduate.

As the 2016-2017 season closes, make sure to congratulate Vista’s wrestlers for placing first in league, and wish them luck for next year, as it looks promising that they will take their 6th-straight league title.