By: Benjamin Rodriguez and Katelyn Merrell
Last month, November 18, the Tustin High wrestling program hosted Night of the Tiller, an event consisting of Tiller wrestlers from all grades and weight classes who competed against each other for a spot on the varsity squad. The event was held in the old gym, where parents, students, and teachers gathered to watch the wrestlers prove their strength, stamina, and skill on the mat.
The event began with the preliminary rounds and then advanced into the main card, where Tustin’s top wrestlers made a name for themselves. The winners of the night and new Tustin varsity wrestlers are Clayton Einick (106 pound weight class), Abbie Campos (106 pound weight class), Miguel Barragan (113/120 pound weight class), Jackie Lopez (120 pound weight class), Alex Martinez (126 pound weight class), Jordan Casteneda (132 pound weight class), Jesus Flores (138 pound weight class), Andrew Longmore (145 pound weight class), Auva Rahbari (150 pound weight class), Marco Piedrola (152 pound weight class), Sergio Cazares (160 pound weight class), Brian Torres (170 pound weight class), Gustavo Moreno (195 pound weight class), Dylan Torres (220 pound weight class), and Uriel DiazGonzalez (275 pound weight class).
Coach Seals, the new varsity wrestling coach, was excited as he awaited his first season coaching the Tiller wrestlers. He previously coached at Westminster High School, but taught at Santa Monica High School. He now teaches English at Tustin and decided to take the job because, “[He] thinks Tustin is a great school.” Discussing his upcoming season as a first year coach, Seals explained, “The key for this season is to try and take advantage of what is already here. A lot of the assistants from the previous coach are still here. I want to make sure the transition goes as smoothly as possible.” He continued to share, “The great thing about wrestling is that the coach doesn’t pick the team. You actually have the wrestlers compete and the guy who beats everybody in that weight class is the varsity guy. Sometimes a freshman beats a junior and becomes the varsity wrestler.” Proved true in the case of freshman Auva Rahbari who beat out senior Arely Martinez by successfully pinning her down in a breath taking nine seconds.
At the end of the event, the featured match between senior wrestlers Andrew Longmore and Marco Piedrola took place. The two all star wrestlers competed for bragging rights. After a hard fought match Andrew Longmore literally came out on top pinning Piedrola and winning the title of “Best Wrestler on the Team.”