Wasco High School wrestlers making final preps ahead of CIF State Championships

Wasco High School wrestling
Posted at 3:56 PM, Feb 21, 2024
  • For several months, and in most cases the entire year, Wasco High School wrestlers have been working towards this moment: a shot to vie for a state championship.
  • Areli Solis, Giovanni Ruiz, Ram Lopez, and Michael Rogers are the four representatives from Wasco High School. However, 50 Kern County wrestlers will take the mat at Mechanics Bank Arena on Thursday.
  • 23ABC was in attendance for the final at-school practice for the Wasco Tigers on Tuesday ahead of their scheduled workout at Mechanics Bank Convention Center on Wednesday. All four wrestlers noted they're excited for the opportunity to compete and potentially etch their names in Wasco High history.
  • The CIF State Wrestling Championships starts Thursday at Mechanics Bank Arena, the girl's brackets start at 9 a.m., the boy's brackets start at noon.


In a room that can only be described as a sauna with padding, four Wasco wrestlers continued to work towards that goal.

Areli Solis, Ram Lopez, Giovanni Ruiz, and Michael Rogers.

Under the guidance of their head coach Juan Gallardo, Tuesday was the last time that these wrestlers set foot in their practice room as they prepared for the state tournament.

“This year, and now that I have like, done the year-round program, I like to realize that like, I enjoy this, it's fun winning, and then the last is hurt. But it's a learning experience,” said Areli Solis.

For the last several months, and in some cases the last year, these wrestlers have been working towards this goal, and as they get ready for their first matches on Thursday, some are ready to soak it in, and others want to clear the mechanism.

“What is your routine?” asked 23ABC.

“Honestly, it's usually me pacing," said Ruiz.

"Just walking back and forth?" asked 23ABC.

"Walking back and forth. Shaking my body, getting loose, getting ready, getting my mind right,” said Ruiz. “Usually I try to clear my head. I want a - I want a clean slate. So I’m in there fresh and ready to pop things off.”

These wrestlers know this is going to be a memorable experience, fighting for a chance to earn a state title, but we asked a few of these wrestlers to think back to one of their favorite moments from this season. For Rogers, it was knowing he’d made it to this point.

“That one match to that guaranteed my place to make it to state,” said Rogers. “I didn't really believe it. I was just I was over. I was really, really excited. And I have seen everyone cheering for me, but I think it was one of the best memories or best emotions I've had and maybe in a pretty long time.”

Above all, these wrestlers know it’s time to strap on the headgear and get to work one final time.

“Just soak it all in. Wrestle each match one at a time, and honestly just break down how I need to break down my opponents and just remember this in my last tournament as a high schooler,” said Lopez.

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