The team of champions

Cole Hundtoft

On Feb. 13th Downey’s Varsity Wrestling team trekked to El Camino Community College to face off against Quartz Hills High School and came back with a CIF Championship. Quartz Hills proved to be Downey’s biggest challenge, barely winning with the final score 28-24.
Since Downey’s wrestlers obliterated every team they played in league, the battle against Quartz Hill was a change of pace for the renowned wrestling champs. There is no doubt, though, that these players earned every ounce of recognition for their victory over the team that defeated them one year ago.
“All that work finally paid off,” Downey’s heavy-weight wrestler Robert Chism said.

Even with nine out of 14 players graduating this year, Chism is convinced that the team will be back next season to begin a dynasty of CIF titles. Current JV wrestlers proved themselves ready for the varsity squad by temporarily replacing an injured varsity player.
Feb. 19th and 20th Downey’s CIF championship team attended CIF Individuals. Individuals are the next level in the wrestling scale and Downey’s team was more than pumped for the event. Just winning the CIF title isn’t enough for some wrestlers.

“It’s the cherry on top,” wrestler Rueben Penland said, “but I’m waiting to put on some sprinkles.”

Penland wouldn’t be able to get those sprinkles; he had injured his left ankle during the CIF Championship match, thus affecting his game at Individuals. Luckily, Brandon McDonald dominated during his match and was the only player on Downey to win CIF Individuals. McDonald had his opponent pinned in a minute and twenty-nine seconds, the fastest pin in all the CIF Individuals games. McDonald also tied the record for most pins in a season. He just so happened to tie his older brother with 31 pins this season. Among his other accomplishments, during McDonald’s four years apart of Downey’s wrestling program, his overall record is 40-3. After winning Individuals, McDonald was overjoyed to know that he had just won another championship.

“It felt like a dream,” McDonald said, “it was the most amazing feeling.”
Now, with the season finally at an end, and the championship title in its rightful place, Downey’s Varsity Wrestling team can sit back, relax, and admire their shiny, new CIF rings. Just because they’ve won CIF, doesn’t mean their work is over though, because in mid-March, the wrestling team faces a new opponent: some of Downey’s very own teachers and administrators.