Two CCC wrestlers face off at a Jan 31 practice
Photo Evan Tichenor

Clackamas athletes declare wrestling over everything 

By Gabriella Vigil

This season, the Clackamas Community College wrestling team acquired a new mantra, COE:  Clackamas wrestling over everything. The athletes train daily with a focus on fitness, nutrition and proper sleep to stay at the top of their game. 

As the team wraps up their season with the North Idaho match, the athletes are still laying everything out on the mat. 

One athlete who shows his dedication to the sport is freshman Ane’e Vigil. 

“I feel like no one works harder than me, and I’m constantly in the room,” said Vigil. 

Vigil’s hard work and determination has him ranked No. 1 in the country for his 125-lb weight class; he was a three-time state champion in Colorado while competing in the class 5A division. Vigil, alongside his teammates, show their dedication not only on the mat, but also make it a core part of their daily routine. 

“We have practice from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m., then go home for breakfast and lunch (or) attend class and then we have practice again at 3:30 to 5:30,” said Vigil, “then you go home and repeat that process.” 

The team’s hard work has paid off. CCC’s wrestling team beat the Western Oklahoma State College Pioneers to become National Dual Meet Champions on Jan. 12 and defeated longtime rival, the North Idaho Cardinals, with a score of 27-10. 

While the season was full of highs, athletes may experience injuries that change the outlook of their season. Paul Ortiz, a sophmore ranked No. 4 in the country and one of the vocal leaders for the team, described his struggles with overcoming knee injuries. 

“It’s really depleting, constantly saying ‘I can’t, I can’t, I can’t,’” said Ortiz.

With the help of great coaches and trainers, the athletes feel motivated again and learn to make it work. 

“Our coaches, they focus on us,” said Ortiz, “If we have an injury, they find what we can do to work around it.” 

Brett Sanchez, CCC’s head wrestling coach, works to make the athletes feel comfortable. 

“That’s my job, and my other coaches and I make sure that we do talk to these young men on a day-to-day basis, and make sure they feel welcomed,” said Sanchez. “We know these guys are going to go through stuff, but when they walk through this door, they’re in an environment where they can express themselves.”

Sanchez not only builds athletes on the mat, but cares for them off the mat. 

“Our philosophy is to make these guys feel love, make them feel heard, make them feel welcome, and making the program come first,” said Sanchez. “If you make that your first priority, then the program is going to take care of you.”

As the regular season comes to an end, the team is getting ready for postseason by focusing even more on training and recovery. The athletes prepare for Regional 18 Championships on Feb. 11 and NJCAA National Championships at the beginning of March. 

The wrestling team continues to work every day inside those padded walls because ultimately, it’s Clackamas wrestling over everything.

 

Gabriella Vigil

Gabriella Vigil is a writer and photographer for the Clackamas Print. She started at Clackamas Community College in fall of 2022 and is currently working towards her Associates of Science (transfer degree). In her free time, she enjoys shopping and cheering on her favorite NFL Team, the Philadelphia Eagles.

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