Downey’s Dream Team

Vanessa Carrillo, Co-Editor-in-Chief


On April 1-2 Long Beach’s Press-Telegrams 2019-20 Dream team was released, twelve Downey wrestlers were named on the first team, second team, and honorable mention. 


The first team consists of a complete line-up of the best wrestlers in the southern section, perceived to create the perfect team. The second team and honorable mention are considered to be the runner-ups, the next best.


Titled Dream Team Girls Coach of the Year, Coach Rios, junior English teacher, has been running the girls program at DHS for three-years now. Earning the San Gabriel League title for two consecutive years, winning the Southern-Section CIF tournament as a team, and taking three wrestlers to the CIF state tournament.


Never thinking he would be considered as a potential nominee, Rios believes his winning is a reflection of the hard work his team put in, ‘calling it a team award’.


“To me, it’s a team effort, the coaches, parents, and you guys [girls team] who put the actual work in. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it, it means the world to me.”  Rios stated. “I just want to tell you guys [girls team] thank you very much. I’m so honored to be your coach, so honored.”


Nine out of the ten varsity wrestlers made the dream team, three in each category. The girls’ team coaches are Coach Rios, head coach, Coach Guerra, varsity assistant coach, and Coach Guerro, junior varsity.  


First Team:

Senior Destiny Belonio, weight-class 112, senior Katherine Cuellar, weight-class 121, and senior Vanessa Carrillo, weight-class 170

Second Team:

Sophomore Jessica Martinez, weight-class 101, junior Isabel Munoz, weight-class 116, and junior Isabella Calle, weight-class 235

Honorable Mention:

Sophomore Giselle Guerra, weight-class 126, senior Stephanie Carrillo, weight-class 131, and sophomore Stephanie Chavez, weight-class 143


Upon hearing the news of making the dream team, Cuellar, captain, began laughing, not expecting to make the first team after three years of not being mentioned.


“As a captain, I’m so proud to see that the majority of our line up made the team, but I wasn’t surprised,” Cuellar stated. “We had times where a couple of us we’re breaking and we fell into a hole but we found a way to come back. The girls really know how to support one another and I think that’s why we ended the way we did.”


The girl’s team ended their season at Bakersfield, where the CIF State Championships were held. Three wrestlers made it to the second day Cuellar, V.Carrillo, and Calle, all lasted till day two, making it the farthest in DHS girls’ wrestling history.


As for the boys’ team, three varsity wrestlers made the second team and honorable mention. The boys’ team coaches are Coach Acevedo, head coach, Coach Aldaphe, junior varsity, 


Second Team:

Senior Mathew Mendoza, weight-class 120

Honorable Mention:

Senior Jordan Vega, weight-class 145, and sophomore Rafael Guerra, weight-class 160


Believing his teammates deserved a higher spot in the rankings, Mendoza, captain, felt more teammates deserved recognition. Feeling good to see that his hard work paid off, Mendoza shares his advice to his lowerclassmen to better their wrestling career.


“Set goals and never give up on them. There are times when you will want to give up or feel like it’s too hard but you just need to push past because there is always someone working just as hard if not harder than you” Mendoza stated. “Trust that the hard work will pay off and it will. And just like believing in yourself always because if you don’t believe you can do something then how can you expect it to happen.”


The boys season came to a conclusion at the CIF Masters tournament on Feb. 21-22. Wrestlers Guerra and Mendoza both went 1-2, making it the farthest in the bracket this season.


Both teams have been taken over from past head coach, Soto, turning over the girl’s team to Coach Rios in 2017, and the boy’s team to Coach Acevedo in 2018. Although both teams have been running under new head coaches for a short while, they have had successful seasons with notable highlights.