A pin for the win


Mayra Castro

On Wed., Dec. 4, in the DHS gym, varsity wrestler Sebastian Soto, 12, faces his opponent from Norwalk High School as he tries to pin him. Soto put Downey in the lead by winning his match with a score of 22 to 6.

Moises Martinez Cortez, Writer/Community Editor

The Viking wrestling team faced off against opponent Norwalk High School, on Wednesday, Dec. 4, at the Downey Gym. With a score of 50-15, the Downey wrestlers earned another season win for their team.

The night began with matches between the junior varsity wrestlers. The majority of the Downey wrestlers scored wins, concluding the match with a victory of 51-15 over the Norwalk Knights.

Near 5:00 p.m. the last of the junior varsity boys went up and a larger crowd congregated for the varsity matches. The Norwalk boys took the mat to perform their routine jogging and stretching. After finishing their stretches, the audience welcomed the home team with continuous applause and whistling. After figuring out what weight class would initially go up, the duel was ready to begin.

The wrestlers put on a show, often slamming each other head-first into the mat and engaging in several near-pins.  A number of home wrestlers concluded their matches after pinning their Norwalk opponents.

Other wrestlers such as senior Sebastian Soto, went into their matches uncertain of their fate. Soto assisted the duel with an injury to his shoulder. The senior was down for the first few minutes of the match with his opponent pressing him to give in. As his teammates cheered him on from the sidelines, his sister and family yelled, “get up Sebastian. C’mon,” Soto was able to get back on his feet. With only a few seconds on the timer, the senior eventually brought down his opponent, finally pinning him. Soto took time to reflect on his performance after the night.

“It was a tough match and I started out slow. His size was a big obstacle in the match,” Soto stated, “but it’s still season and I’m coming back strong.”

Another wrestler, senior Jacob Beltran, finished victorious from his match after a struggle as well. Beltran started strong having his opponent’s body glued to the mat for the first period of the duel, however, after a reversal from his Norwalk counterpart, which sent the Norwalk side of the gym into a frenzy, the wrestler was down by two points and at risk of losing. Downey Head Coach, Miguel Soto eventually called a timeout, pulling the wrestler aside and giving advice while gesturing a series of moves with his hands. After the break, Beltran stepped back on the mat and was ready to confront his adversary again. As Coach Soto screamed “mix it up!” from the sidelines, the varsity senior was able to gradually subdue his opponent and pin him, ending the match at a score of 5-2.

“I think my outcome was good,” Beltran said. “I came in ready and focused on getting a pin for my team. I was concentrated on maintaining a better mindset than him and I think I really showed it.”

The duel concluded near 7:30 p.m. with a win from the Vikings of 50-15. The players then formed lines and all shook hands with each other and with the coaches of their counterpart teams. As the Downey wrestlers packed up their equipment and ran a series of laps around the court, Head Coach Soto stood near the gym divider being congratulated by members of the audience. He agreed that the win had been tough for Downey but nonetheless worthy.

“I think we did pretty great,” Soto stated. “We were really tough on top and didn’t let them escape. We wanted to be able to wear them out and pin them.”

For Soto, the victory over Norwalk was even sweeter. Soto had just beat his own brother, Frank Soto, the head coach for the Norwalk Knights. Soto admitted it was a fun feeling.

“It’s fun,” Soto said, “If you have brothers you know how it is.”

As for his brother, being in the losing party was no fun way to end the night. He admitted being bewildered by the outcome of the night.

“We didn’t do very well,” Frank Soto said, “It was terrible. I don’t know what happened.”

The night was long and filled with key moments. The audience was kept on edge with several of the wrestlers’ moves and match results. The duel outcome will certainly serve as practice for the Downey team’s upcoming participation in their season wrestling tournament. Until then, the wrestlers will surely continue practicing to achieve results like those from their duel against the Knights.