MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan --
Matthew C. Perry High School wrestling team faced the E. J. King High School wrestling team in United States Fleet Activities Sasebo, Japan, and the Tabuse Agricultural and Technical School wrestling team, Jan. 31, 2015, in a tournament in the IronWorks Gym aboard Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni.
Normally, there are only two schools that participated and the points from each match are added up and the team with the most points wins, but in this tournament individuals receive awards, not the team as a whole.
“Today there are three schools participating instead of two,” said Lance Cpl. Edwin Argueta, a coach for the M.C. Perry High School wrestling team. “This tournament is more of an individual effort. Everyone that is within the same weight class will be wrestling each other whether they are from the same team or a different team.”
M.C. Perry wrestled E. J. King two weeks ago and faced off again in this tournament.
“E. J. King is a great school and has very nice people,” said Argueta. “We did well against them, despite the fact that we lack in numbers compared to them, but it was a good experience for our wrestlers because they got the chance to fight outside of their weight class.”
This was the first time M.C. Perry competed against the Tabuse wrestling team.
“From what I’ve seen so far, the Tabuse team has great technique and their stamina is amazing,” said Agueta. “They move really fast so I can see that they train a lot on agility. I haven’t seen many flaws in their techniques.”
Zachary Brown, a member of the M.C. Perry High School wrestling team, agreed saying the Japanese team looked pretty talented and strong based on what he saw.
“I just had a match against someone from Sasebo and my next match is going to be against someone from the Japanese team,” said Brown. “They look like they all train hard, but I think I’ll do well as long as I keep my head in the game.”
Brown said his team significantly improved since the beginning of the season.
“I’ve noticed that they’ve learned a lot from mistakes they have made in the past, which is outstanding because it lets us coaches know that they’re progressing,” said Argueta. “I’m very proud of them for that. I can see that they’re tired, which is understandable, but they’re not giving up and I believe it’s because of the rigorous training that we put them through.”
According to Brown, all their training allowed them to be ready for whatever situation they get into.
“We train two hours a day, five days a week,” said Andrew E. Jenkins, captain of the M. C. Perry High School wrestling team. “A big portion of our training is conditioning, but we also learn a lot of new techniques.”
On the weekends coaches give the players an option to go to the gym for extra training and although it’s not mandatory, they always show up.
Jenkins said players appreciate and respect the coaches for their dedication to the team.
“We have about as many coaches as we do players, we have seven coaches,” said Brown. “Just about every single player can get with a coach individually and get help with whatever they need.”
Brown said he believes his team will continue to get better and are working to get third place or higher in the upcoming Far East Wrestling Tournament.