BC wrestling finishes first at conference tournament

Sam L. Jaime, Reporter

The Bakersfield College wrestling program secured a crucial victory in its quest for state ranking at season’s end.

The Renegades secured first place in the South East Conference Tournament, adding an additional five points to a total already gained through placement in the duals portion of the schedule. The team will look to add more points toward their total in The Brawl Tournament, taking place on Nov. 19 at East LA College.

While the tournament might not be as important to the Renegades as the South Regionals taking place on Dec. 3 at Cuesta College, the message from Bakersfield College co-head coach Brett Clark has remained centered on the development and growth of his wrestlers and of the program.

“You can’t dwell on a practice, you’re going to have bad practices, you’re going to have good practices, you just have to keep working, and get better every day. ‘If I’m better than I was the day before, then I’m gaining ground. If I’m not, then what did I do? Did I eat wrong? Did I have a bad day?’ Understanding all of that is part of the growth,” Clark said. “Communication is the other thing, a lot of these kids coming out of high school don’t communicate very well, they communicate with their phones, and that’s been our message with our kids this year has been to communicate with us.”

The team seems to have responded to this message, apparent in freshman Julio Fuentes who has only lost one match this season. “Julio has a goal in mind right now, he wants to be a state champion so he’s focused on that,” said Clark.

“He’s not too much of a guy that likes the limelight, he’s never been like that, since high school, he’d rather just sit in the back and do his job and go about his business, and that says a lot about his character,” said Clark.

Looking ahead to the remaining portion of the schedule, Clark is optimistic that the focus and hard work of his wrestlers can translate into achieving the program goal of ranking in the top five in the state.

“We have a shot at it, if we do what we need to do,” said Clark. “If we get into the top five, we’ll go from there. If you can get into the top five, you’re doing pretty good, especially when the teams around us are all tough teams.”