El Estoque

Wrestling: Club team wrestles Japanese National Team

Amol Pande

The Central Coast Championship Wrestling Club competed against the national champions of Japan on January 12.

Coach Ian Bork has put four athletes into division one programs in the last three years. On Jan. 12th, Bork took his athletes to new heights as they competed against the Japanese National Team for the high school level.

Bork organized for his athletes to host and have team dinners with the JNT. He felt that hosting the JNT was a great opportunity socially as well as physically for his athletes.
“Where I am from we never really would have heard of something like this happening,” Bork said. “That being said, my athletes had the ability to experience a completely different way of wrestling as well new interactions with people from a different culture.”
At 3:40, the team the JNT gathered in the MVHS wrestling room ready to warm up before they sparred.
“I have no idea how this will turn out,” varsity wrestler senior Leon Rovner said.
As the pre-match warm ups began the JNT was sure to make their presence known with their chanting during stretching and warm ups.

“That is how you really want to do it, they were sure to establish that they were alpha males by running around, dancing, screaming and chanting they were sure to assert their dominance and get in my team’s head,” Bork said. “It’s something that I kept trying to tell my athletes at tournaments, seeing the alpha warm-ups of the Japanese team really displayed the advantages of the alpha mindset.”

As the matches began, wrestler after wrestler was defeated by the JNT; a very unanimous and obvious statement became clear.
“These guys are amazing.” senior Max McCann said. “They are the kids going to the Olympics.”
Most matches were over well before time was out, some on the other hand stood out. One of those matches was that of McCann. With blood pouring out of his mouth he continued to wrestle and put up a fight until the clock hit double zeros.

“That’s really what you look for, it was like watching a warrior in battle.” Bork said. “I told him that he would keep wrestling even if his finger fell off. So he swallowed the blood and just kept trooping, complete mental and physical effort by the guy.”
Moving past their matches against the JNT, Bork is preparing his team mentally for league matches.
“We reached our hand into the beehive and we were stung, that being said, we are going to enjoy the honey we have now. No reason to go around sticking our hands back into the beehive without taking something away from the situation,” Bork said. “We saw some fast, skilled and aggressive wrestlers. We can learn from that.”
McCann’s takeaways from the JNT were more social than athletic, he is greeted by friend requests as he opens his facebook and feels that he now has a new set of friends across the globe.
“We are just going to have to keep preparing to win, you prepare to win every single game. Do you think that CEOs and millionaires stumbled upon it? They woke up everyday to win, and that is how we prepare,” Bork said. “ I see us doing great things this year, and that is because my athletes want to be great.”
The Matadors travel down to Wilcox High School on Jan. 15 to start off their league match ups.