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Local grapplers attend grueling Azevedo-Hitchcock Technique Camp
Members of the Ceres Bulldogs and Pups wrestling clubs traveled to Morro Bay High School this past month to participate in the Azevedo-Hitchcock Technique Camp.

A combined 30 members from the Ceres Bulldogs and Pups wrestling clubs attended the Azevedo-Hitchcock Technique Camp this past week.

“Everybody works hard,” coach Steve Festa said. “We’re doing the extra stuff to get great at our sport.”

The four-day clinic was held, July 6-9, at Morro Bay High School.

“This was our third year going,” Festa said. “It was a great bonding opportunity. It was a great opportunity to learn and grow. Our system at Ceres High School is very similar.”

Ceres High’s Argel Arroyo, Elijah Calderon, Angel Figueroa, Mason Foster, Ricky Gonzales, Christian Ibarra, Edison Jimenez, Sonald Lal, Marcus Martinez, Allen Thy, Victor Torres, Diego Armas and Trae Hammonds, and Ceres Pups Calen Adams, McCoy Adams, Chase Borges, Parker Borges, Tanner Brister, Nicholas Calderon, Daniel Meems, Kyle Mitts, Landon Ormonde, Sammy Escarcega and Jeremiah Young made the trip to Atascadero this summer.

Festa was joined by fellow coaches Casey Palino (CHS), Derek Young (CHS), Adam Borges (Pups), Tony Ormonde (Pups) and Robert Escarcega (Pups).

Each wrestler received 32 hours of instruction.

Grappling legend John Azevedo provided instruction, along with Brandon Slay, and Sergei and Anatoly Beloglazov.

Azevedo took first three times (1978-80) while representing Cal State Bakersfield at the NCAA Division-II Wrestling Championships. The Roadrunners placed first as a team twice (1980, 1979).

He won the 126-pound NCAA Division-I title in 1980.

John captured back-to-back state championships (1974-75) at Grace Davis High School.

He coached Cal Poly San Luis Obispo for 10 seasons, retiring in 2011.

Azevedo led Calvary Chapel High School to seven state team titles in 12 years (1989-2001).

“He not only coached our wrestlers but also our coaches,” Festa said. “He’s very hands on. He gets in there and scraps with you.”

Slay was named executive director and head coach of the Pennsylvania Regional Training Center in 2016.

He claimed gold at the 2000 Summer Olympics.

He earned All-American honors at Pennsylvania. Brandon was runner-up twice at the NCAA Championships.

Sergei and Anatoli, twin brothers, won a combined three gold medals while representing Russia at the Olympics. 

Sergei and Anatoli both placed first in 1980. 

Sergei won his second title in 1988.

“They were really friendly,” Festa said. 

Activities included hiking, swimming, surfing and kayaking during recreational time.

“It was a mixture of hard work and fun,” Festa said.

Ceres Bulldog and Pup grapplers honed their skills at the Azevedo-Hitchcock Wrestling Camp for the third straight summer.

“We keep going back because it does the most for our wrestlers,” Festa said. “They get to focus on technique and the fundamentals of wrestling.”  

“We’re doing the extra stuff to get great at our sport.”
Coach Steve Festa