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AOW: Reyes takes first at Masters tournament

February 27, 2001|By ERIC GALVAN, Sports Writer

He is one of the most talked about wrestlers on Brawley Union High School's team, and the team's success is mirrored by his individual accolades.

When it comes to the Brawley Wildcats' wrestling program, Jose Reyes could be the poster boy for the program's success.

Reyes added another accomplishment to his already impressive wrestling résumé by going undefeated and winning the 121-pound division at the San Diego Section Masters meet in Carlsbad on Saturday.

Reyes' 6-2 win over Poway's Pat Payne earned him the Masters title and a trip to the state finals in Stockton on Saturday.

"I was pretty sick all last week but I felt pretty good going into Masters," said the 18-year-old senior. "I really didn't feel any pressure on me at all. I went in seeded No. 1 and I knew I would be able to take some of the guys seeded below me."


Reyes' goal was to win Masters. At last year's Southern Section Masters meet he finished third and the year before he took second. The only thing left for him was the first-place prize.

Reyes has compiled a 39-5 record this year, including a 4-0 performance at the CIF San Diego Section Division III tournament Feb. 17 at Southwest High.

Brawley coach Keith Smith said what makes Reyes special is his focus.

"I think of all the kids I have, he get mentally ready better than the rest, and that's what separates him from his opponents," said Smith.

"I try to teach that to all my wrestlers, but it's something that's very hard to teach. Jose is just one of those guys who is able to do it."

Come Saturday, Reyes will have to be as mentally ready as he's ever been as he gets one last chance at the state meet.

"Placing at state and finishing in the top three is what's been my goal since last year," said Reyes, who finished seventh at last year's state tournament. "As soon as I finished last year, I was already thinking about placing this year.

"Everything that I've gone through this year has been to prepare me for state. I have to finish strong. Everything I accomplished this season won't mean anything to me unless I place at state."

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