Ceres High’s Argel Arroyo and Central Valley’s Brianna Quiroz have been named the Ceres Courier’s Male and Female Athletes of the Year, respectively, for the winter sports season.
Arroyo made a name for himself in boys wrestling.
Quiroz added to her already-impressive resume in girl wrestling.
“My coaches saw potential in me that I didn’t see in myself,” Arroyo said. “They kept working with me. They challenged me. I just wanted to prove them right and make them proud. My only regret is not wrestling sooner.”
“I’m proud of myself,” Quiroz said. “I didn’t know much about the sport as a freshman. I made the improvements I needed to make to become the wrestler I am.”Brianna Quiroz
“I’m proud of myself,” Quiroz said. “I didn’t know much about the sport as a freshman. I made the improvements I needed to make to become the wrestler I am.”
Quiroz wrapped up her prep grappling career with a top-18 finish in the 150-pound weight bracket at the CIF State Girls Wrestling Championships.
She won one of three matches at the state tournament.
Quiroz’s senior season was filled with individual and team success.
She posted a 26-9 overall record.
She qualified for state for the second year in a row.
She placed second at Masters.
She finished first at South Regionals.
She captured her second consecutive conference title.
“It does mean a lot because not everyone gets to do that,” Quiroz said while talking about competing at the CIF State Meet multiple times.
Quiroz helped propel the Hawks to back-to-back league championships.
“I’m really grateful I was a part of the team,” she said. “We accomplished a lot. We all sacrificed. We never really got a break.”
Quiroz will be remembered as one of Central Valley’s all-time greatest grapplers.
“She has the ability to set a goal and accomplish it,” Hawks’ coach Rob Beckhart said. “I’m proud of her. She’s well-known in our area. We were lucky to have her for four years. I know she’ll be successful at whatever she does.”
Arroyo came oh-so close to qualifying for the CIF State Championships.
The second-year grappler placed eighth in the 220-pound weight bracket at the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Tournament.
The top six finishers advanced to state.
Arroyo won four of his seven matches.
“Even though I fell short of my goal, I’m proud of how I did,” he said. “There’s nothing else I could have done different. I gave my all every match. There are kids that have been wrestling a lot longer that would have killed to have a chance to place at Masters.”
Arroyo became just the fifth grappler from Ceres High to place at Masters since 2010.
He posted a 30-8 overall record during his final season with the Bulldogs.
He claimed titles at the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-IV, Western Athletic Conference, Mike Tamana and Ceres High tournaments.
Arroyo accomplished a lot in a short period of time.
“I only wrestled two years and placed at Masters,” he said. “It was surprising. But I knew with the right mindset I could do anything. I put in an additional three to four hours on top of wrestling practices. It wasn’t easy. I didn’t mind getting up at 3:45 in the morning and working out at In-Shape. That’s the type of thing average wrestlers don’t do.”
Arroyo also changed his diet.
“The two hardest things to cut out after soda were chips and donuts,” he said.
Arroyo raised his grade-point average from 1.8 to 3.4.