By Aaron Valdez
Despite never being regarded as one of Southern California’s renowned programs, the Monrovia wrestling team made a name for itself after completing it’s best season in recent memory.
With an extensive background in wrestling and MMA training, Head Coach Daniel Hernandez might be starting to enjoy the fruits of his labor. Hernandez – who’s been at Monrovia’s helm for eight years – has worked endlessly to implement a winning culture into the school’s wrestling program.
This season, it took some time for the Wildcats to catch their bearings, finishing league play with a 2-2 record. However, Monrovia peaked at just the right time as the team had eights finalists during league finals, which was the most from any team in the Rio Hondo League.
In addition, the Wildcats broke a team record for most CIF qualifications in a season with a total of 11 wrestlers. In the CIF tournament, senior Giovanni Aragon placed seventh at 220 pounds, senior Luke Pasco placed eighth at 138 pounds while junior Gage Nicely placed eight at 180 pounds.
On the girls’ side, Mary Tuite made the biggest headlines when she took first place the at the Upland BlackWatch tournament. It was her first-ever tournament win as she’s come close before but only placing as high as second place.
Now after this successful campaign, it seems that Hernandez has created a strong foundation that will help establish Monrovia wrestling as one of the most well respected programs in the area.