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Espinoza, Breshears represent Hawks at State
• Central Valley underclassmen gain valuable experience
Giana Breshears and Brianna Espinoza
Central Valley’s Giana Breshears and Brianna Espinoza competed at the CIF State Girls Wrestling Tournament this past week in Bakersfield.

Central Valley High School underclassmen Brianna Espinoza and Giana Breshears competed at the CIF State Girls Wrestling Tournament for the first time this past week at Mechanics Bank Arena in Bakersfield.

Espinoza and Breshears both tried their best, but struggled as they were unable to overcome performance anxiety.

The Hawk duo was overwhelmed by the big stage.

“They belonged in that arena,” head coach Brandy Cordova said. “The shock and awe overtook everything. It’s the real deal over there. We’re completely confident when they make it back next year, the nerves won’t be there.”

“It was a new experience,” Breshears said. “It was dark. All the lights were on the mats. I was so nervous. There was a lot of pressure. It felt like do or die. I didn’t wrestle as well as I should have. I’ll be more comfortable when I go back next year.”

“When I got there, I was nervous,” Espinoza said. “Everything was bigger. It was a big reality check. Gaining this experience is going to help me next year. I know how state is and how nerve racking it can be.”

Espinoza, a sophomore, compiled an 0-2 record in the 235-pound weight bracket.

She lost by pin to Cabrillo’s Avery Manko (1:01) on Thursday and American Canyon’s Aiyanna Beanne (1:29) on Friday.

“If I were to do anything differently, I’d stop being so anxious,” Espinoza said. “Those girls were out for blood. No joke. They were strong. Their technique was top-notch. They had everything at a high level. I gave it my all.”

“My goal is to be able to place at state,” she added. “I want the title, too. I have two more shots.”

Breshears, a freshman, compiled a 1-2 record at 143 pounds.

She lost by decision (3-2) to Evergreen Valley’s Madeline Lazo on Thursday.

She won by forfeit versus Madera South’s Christi Jaen-Contreras on Friday.

She lost by pin (2:02) to Alisal’s Joselin Hernandez on Friday.

“Everyone there was good,” Breshears said. “You don’t get there by luck.

“This year, my goal was to qualify for state,” she added. “Next year, my goal will be to place at state. I believe I can if I work on perfecting my moves.”

Espinoza and Breshears both made program history this winter.

Just eight female wrestlers have represented Central Valley at the CIF State Championships, including Espinoza, Breshears, Carla Martinez, Brianna Quiroz, Nayeli Pelayo, Lexy Cordova, Malynda Lomeli and Rose Moore.

“We’re just excited Gianna and Brianna are considered one of the top 32 wrestlers in their weight classes for this season,” said Coach Cordova. “No one can take that away from them. We hope they take this experience and use this to their drive to get better next year.”

Espinoza enjoyed her best season to date with the Hawks.

She amassed a 37-11 overall record.

Espinoza’s junior campaign ended at the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Championships.

“I’m proud of myself for being able to go to state and placing at tournaments,” she said. “I wrestled better this year. I pushed myself to learn technique and master my skills. I focused on my upper strength and became faster. I have to be more mentally prepared as a wrestler.”

Breshears had a success-filled first year at Central Valley.

She posted a 37-15 overall record.

“I surprised myself,” said Breshears. “I didn’t think I’d win at all at the beginning of the season. I didn’t have confidence.”

Brianna Espinoza competed
Central Valley sophomore Brianna Espinoza competed at the CIF State Girls Wrestling Tournament for the first time this past week in Bakersfield. Espinoza posted an 0-2 record in the 235-pound weight bracket. - photo by Contributed to the Courier
Giana Breshears
Hawk freshman Giana Breshears won one of three matches at 143 pounds. - photo by Contributed to the Courier