Wrestler’s experience with CIF

Denise Rodriguez, Photographer

Once again, the wrestling team makes Downey High School proud by making it to the California Interscholastic Federation-Southern Section (CIF-SS). CIF was founded in Los Angeles in 1914 in order to standardize rules and team structures between schools. The CIF prides itself on providing impartial athletic competition for more than 1,600 schools across California. The CIF has grown to become the largest youth agency in the nation, serving more than 830,000 young student athletes each year who participate in interscholastic athletics. 


With wrestling being a male dominated sport, Jessica Martinez, 12, proves that girls can accomplish wins as well. Martinez found her passion for wrestling because of her brother, “he told me girls couldn’t wrestle so I decided to prove him wrong,” Martinez says, “I even beat his record to prove him more wrong.” Martinez’s devotion for the sport led her to competing in CIF. “To prep for CIF I trained, conditioned, ran a lot, watched what I ate, no junk food,” Martinez says. Martinez is always pushing herself forward and believes she’s ready for CIF masters on February 18th. Martinez says, “I’m looking forward to CIF masters today, a little nervous here and there but trying to prepare for state.” Her humble personality is revealed when she says, “Accomplishments don’t really define me as a wrestler, I think I always do my best.”


Another wrestler, surprised by his accomplishments of placing higher than he expected at tournaments, Joshua Chan, 11, makes it to CIF. “Taking care of my body, eating healthy, practicing everyday and getting into the mindset of finishing on top,” Chan says, has helped him prepare for CIF. This talented individual brings his all to wrestling and has made Downey High School proud this year and hopes to accomplish more next  season, “I’m determined to see how far I’ll go next season at CIF as it will be my last” Chan states. He conveys that the, “CIF tournament or dual is always something I look forward to because you can either finish your season with a team title or your own individual one at CIF, masters, or state.” 


Wrestler, Valerie Valdez, 11, helps Downey High School make it to CIF. Valdez’s positive and open minded persona decided to join wrestling to try something new and ended up loving it, “it’s one of the best things I’ve done,” Valdez says. “To prepare for CIF our coach honestly worked us very hard to prepare us for any situation we would be in during a match and to make sure we have enough stamina to last longer than our opponents which in the end was a big factor,” Valdez explains. Even though CIF may be nerve wracking, she pushes through and performs her best. Valdez says, “I did look forward to CIF, but I was mostly nervous because this is something completely new to me.”


Special congratulations to our wrestlers on making it to CIF. We acknowledge your hard work and dedication, and keep making Downey High School proud.