At Camarillo, wrestling really is a family sport

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When Nick Galan heard his older sister Amy was going to join the wrestling team, the Camarillo High freshman thought she was crazy.

“I thought it was silly and it looked funny,” Nick said. “I also thought it was easy and that I could do it without any problem.”

Amy Galan, who is a senior, eventually talked her brother into trying out and now both are members of the Scorpions wrestling program.

The Galans are one of several pairs of siblings that are part of coach Ron Wilson’s program.

Amy convinced her brother that wrestling would help him in conditioning for water polo. It has done that, but Nick has also discovered he really enjoys wrestling, giving him a new level of respect for his sister.

“It’s awesome,” Nick Galan said. “I wanted a new challenge and it’s been great.”

Amy Galan joined the team last year because she heard how hard it was and wanted to challenge herself.

“I was so scared the first day I walked into the room,” Amy Galan said. “I didn’t want the guys thinking I was there as a joke or to meet guys. But they were all great from the start.”

Over the summer, Amy had a stroke, most likely resulting from a hole in her heart that was repaired with surgery a few months ago.

She had the surgery on a Thursday and was back running with her team on Monday, but she’s still not cleared to practice.

It may be a good thing because both Amy and Nick wrestle at 125 pounds.

Both siblings agree it’s nice to have a friendly face in the room each day.

Amy said it’s comforting having someone else in the family who knows what she goes through and how tiring the sport can be.

As for Nick, since this is his first year of wrestling, it’s nice having an experienced wrestler to ask questions.

“If I have a question about something, like how to do a move, she can help,” Nick Galan said.

Ofelia and Angie Lopez saw their older sisters wrestle at Palmdale High in Lancaster so they always knew it was natural for them to join the Camarillo team when they moved to the area two years ago.

Angie is a sophomore and Ofelia is a senior. Both wrestle at 105 pounds, so they compete with each other.

“That’s the worst thing,” Ofelia Lopez said. “But we both really like wrestling. Our dad (Sergio) used to wrestle, so it’s a family sport.”

Earlier this year, Angie became the first female at Camarillo to place at a boys’ tournament by finishing second at the Pacifica Tournament.

“Our dad actually didn’t want us to wrestle because he thought we would get hurt,” Angie said. “But now he’s OK with it and he comes to our matches to watch. It’s a hard sport, but it’s fun.”

Drive for five: Santa Paula claimed its fifth straight league championship Wednesday night, defeating longtime rival Fillmore to clinch the Tri-Valley League title.

Under coach Robert Hastie, the Cardinals have put together an impressive run of success.

Alumni help: Charles Sandlin wrestled for Camarillo in the late 1990s, winning a CIF title in 1997 and finishing second at the Masters Meet.

Last week, Sandlin was back in the Camarillo wrestling room, giving the current Scorpions wrestlers some tips.

“He does it once a year,” coach Ron Wilson said of Sandlin. “It’s great for our program to have guys like Charles stay involved.”

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