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Bulldog wrestler takes first at Helix tournament

February 05, 2002|By ERIC GALVAN
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Sports Writer

Through all the ups and downs of the Calexico High wrestling team in recent years, there has been one constant that seemingly has been the heart and soul of the team.

Through the team's struggles and successes, 154-pounder Harry Ramirez has been a cornerstone in everything the Bulldogs have accomplished.

Last week Ramirez added to his resume with two more Imperial Valley League victories in a tri-meet against Holtville and Palo Verde on Wednesday, then followed that Saturday by taking first place in his weight class at the Helix High tournament in La Mesa, going 4-0 with three pins.

While the six victories in the four-day span were impressive, for the 18-year-old senior it was all just part of his training for the bigger prize down the road.

"All that was just preparation for CIF. At the Helix tournament I was able to see some of the San Diego Section wrestlers that I'll be going against at CIF and more than anything, it just made me aware of them," said Ramirez. "But my main goal this year is to make it to state. I know it'll be hard, but I also know that it is possible."

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While Ramirez has been one of the Bulldogs' most consistent wrestlers this year and has become one of the top at his weight in the Imperial Valley, like most athletes, he still thinks there is room to better himself.

"So far this year I've been pretty pleased with how I've wrestled, but I know I can still get better. One of the most important things I need to work on is finishing, just finishing my matches." he said.

If there's one reason Ramirez points to finishing as his main concern, it's his Jan. 23 showdown against Southwest High's Eddie Conner.

In an IVL dual meet, Ramirez lost a heartbreaking 1-0 decision to Conner. Had he been able to finish, Ramirez may have gotten the victory and may have been able to call himself the best at 154 in the Valley.

"I think that loss to him was a rude awakening and just a wake-up call for me that I need to go out and get the job done," said Ramirez. "That one hurt, but I've been using that as motivation. Now, I feel that I need to beat Conner."

Ramirez could avenge that loss as he could have another shot at Conner on Thursday as the two could cross paths at the IVL finals in Holtville.

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