Ceres High varsity boys wrestler Joshua Ofisa had trouble containing his emotions after securing a berth to the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Championships.
“Before the season started, my goal was to make it to Masters,” the 195-pound senior grappler said. “When I got injured at the Ceres Invitational, I thought that was the end of my season.”
“He surprised all of us,” coach Casey Paulino said. “We didn’t know what to expect. He’s been hurt for most of the season. He didn’t have a lot of time to prep for this.”
Ofisa extended his season on the strength of his fourth-place showing at the Division-IV Tournament this past week at Beyer High School.
“I believed in myself but there were moments of self-doubt,” he said. “Seeing my teammates fall short, it motivated me to win and move on to Masters.”
Ofisa compiled a 5-2 record.
He was guaranteed a top-four finish after winning by decision (7-6) against Grace Davis’ Carson Struve.
Ofisa lost by second-round pin to Struve earlier this season.
“I controlled the match this time,” he said.
Ofisa was sidelined for the majority of the season with a left knee sprain, which was originally sustained during the football season.
He re-aggravated the injury wrestling.
“Even when I was injured, I still hit the gym and lifted,” Ofisa said. “I was on the stationery bike a lot in the wrestling room at practice. That kept my endurance up. I also watched my diet. I’m not limiting how hard I push myself.”
“He maintained his discipline as far as working out on a constant basis."Coach Casey Paulino
“He maintained his discipline as far as working out on a constant basis,” Paulino added.
Seniors Edison Jimenez, Fernando Gonzalez and Angel Figueroa, and junior Nicholas Angulo all advanced to the second day of Divisionals.
Jimenez had to settle for taking sixth in the 145-pound weight class after forfeiting his last match.
He injured his right big toe while losing by third-round pin in the consolation side of the bracket.
“Edison could barely walk on it after he got off the mat,” Paulino said. “Had he won that match, he would have been going to Masters as well.”
Jimenez won three of his five matches.
Gonzalez (160s), Figueroa (170s) and Angulo (182s) compiled 3-2, 2-2 and 1-2 records, respectively.
“Everybody that wrestled, gave 100 percent,” Paulino said. “I’m proud of every one of them.”
Brian Ayala (ankle injury) and Diego Armas (unspecified reason) did not compete at Divisionals.