CI’s Vazquez is PVL champ, one of 11 making CIF

Vazquez, headshot.
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From a spirited football team that made playoffs to a CIF qualifying wrestling team, Javier “Javi” Vazquez, 17, has wrestled his way to one of CI’s top athletes.

Vazquez, along with senior David Medina, will compete in the CIF Master’s Meet this weekend in Temecula Valley.

Vazquez placed fourth at last week’s CIF-Southern Section tournment at Pacifica High.

Vazquez, a junior, started wrestling his freshman year after his friends, Neil Olipani and Ocean Shirley, recruited him from the football team. However, wrestling didn’t just become a school “family business” between friends, but also a family tradition that started with Vazquez’s older brother, Joaquin Vazquez, who graduated from Channel Islands in 2007.

“The football players become close like a family, but wrestlers build a family bond that’s stronger than any other,” Olipani said.

Vazquez, wrestling in the 160-pound weight class, earned the title of Pacific View League champion. He earned the title by winning first place at a tournament in Blackwatch which consisted of 30 competitors. Vazquez showed his “eye of the tiger” by pinning his wrestler to the mat in the finals. In the Gold Coast Tournament in Camarillo, Vazquez left with second place and in the two-day tournament in Villa Park, he won fifth place.

“Hard work pays off,” said Vazquez.
Mr. Gabriel Roman, CI assistant coach, admires Vazquez’s dedication and claims that he’s “one of their hardest working wrestlers.” He hopes that this year Vazquez will battle for a place in the master’s category and next year will make it to the state competition.

“He definitely has his own style,” Coach Roman says. “He’s a good single leg attacker and our best take down wrestler.”

Wrestling isn’t as easy it looks. It’s not all about just the fun of taking down your opponent; there is preparation before every tournament and season. Vazquez started preparing for the wrestling season a month before by dieting, which means no junk food, lots of water and a plethora of fruits and vegetables. He also put on weight by lifting during his football season in the fall. Before tournaments, he’s cautious about the weight he puts on by not eating a lot during the day and drinking lots of water, but after the weigh in he eats to keep up his strength.

“Spitting in a bottle is a myth,” Olipani says. “It doesn’t help a wrestler make weight.”

This past fall when CI’s football team made it to playoffs, Vazquez played center for the varsity team. Since he was young, he has been playing football and claims that he enjoys it more than wrestling because “wrestling is so serious that it’s like a job.” However, tournaments are memories that he will never forget.

During his free time, Vazquez enjoys playing football, weightlifting, and sleeping. His favorite subject in school is math with Mr. Hernandez. After he graduates from CI, he doesn’t want to continue his wrestling career; instead, he wants to focus on his studies.

“Javi is a determined, funny,

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