Deer Park’s Jesse Molina has seen both sides of the Mat Classic and he doesn’t need to be reminded on which one he likes best.
The 132-pound junior earned a berth to the state wrestling championship in his freshman season, but was forced to watch last year’s proceedings as a spectator after not getting past the regional round.
“It takes a lot of work to get there (the Mat Classic),” Molina said.
A wrestler since his grade school days, Molina is prepared to get a closer look at the Tacoma Dome than last year view as a spectator.
A freestyle wrestler during the off-season, spent this summer working with fellow wrestlers. By the end of the summer, Molina turned his attention to the high school season. He continued his workouts at the high school during the fall months.
Molina came into the season weighing 145 pounds, but knew that his role on the team would by 13 pounds lighter. It did not take him long to get to 132 pounds.
“Once you get there it’s not too bad,” he said.
Molina spends most of his practice sessions working with teammate Joe Grable, a 138-pounder sophomore who finished third in the state last season.
He now hopes those workouts will get him back to the Mat Classic he remembers as a freshman.