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AOW: Conner caps perfect IVL season at 135

February 06, 2001|By ERIC GALVAN, Sports Writer

Southwest High School grappler Eddie Conner isn't the best wrestler in the Imperial Valley.

No, that might be Imperial High School's A.J. Smith or one of many wrestlers at Brawley Union High. Conner may not even be the best on his team. No, that might be Bill Amidon.

Yet Conner is among a handful of local wrestlers who can say they defeated a Brawley wrestler this year.

There's no doubt in anyone's mind that Brawley is the best wrestling squad in the Valley, maybe one of the best in San Diego CIF Section. It proved that Wednesday as it obliterated Southwest 67-6 in Imperial Valley League action.

The six points the Wildcats did give up were to Conner, a 15-year-old sophomore. His pin of Brawley's Mark Mendibles with 1 minute, 1 second remaining in the match left Conner with an undefeated IVL season in the 135-pound division.

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Conner was looking forward to the Brawley match after being manhandled last year by Brawley state meet-qualifier Jose Reyes.

With Reyes now wrestling at 127 pounds, Conner had to avenge his loss on someone else so he took it out on Mendibles.

"Brawley's a powerful team, but I just wanted to go out there and wrestle as best as I could," said Conner. "This was my first time wrestling Mendibles and I think I was able to outpower and outmuscle him."

Only in his second year of wrestling, Conner has already become one of the hardest-working grapplers on the Eagles' squad.

Said Southwest coach David Weldon: "He's a real tough sophomore and I think he makes everyone around him tougher. He's one of our hardest workers and has given us some leadership. He's real quiet and just leads by example."

Conner can prove that last week's win wasn't a fluke as he gets set for IVL finals Wednesday.

"I've been working really hard and put in a lot of practice. Before the season I was able to picture myself at this point and I think I should be the favorite to win. And I feel I can win on Wednesday."

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