Wrestling ramps up training for final tournament 


By Gabriella Vigil

With the National Junior College Athletic Association Championships beginning March 1, the Clackamas Community College wrestling team is ramping up their training and recovery time. 

Cesar Avelar, a freshman ranked No. 2 in the country for the 133-lb. weight class, shared what it takes to enter the postseason. 

“My biggest focus right now is winning a national title,” said Avelar. “I’m doing everything I can. I’m watching film, going to the gym extra, I’m eating correctly and my diet is strict, I’m drinking all the water. I feel like I’m checking all the boxes.” 

Avelar’s record is currently 27-4 this season. He took home a win at regionals on Feb. 11, and won by fall over Kasey Curtis, a wrestler from Snow Community College in Ephraim, Utah. 

To win by fall, the wrestler must pin both shoulders or shoulder blades of the opponent for two seconds. 

Rocky Raby, a two time All-American ranked No. 3 in the country in the 165 lb class, is undefeated this season with 21 wins and looking for a win at Regionals and Nationals. 

Raby shared a match that stuck with him this season. 

“My match was a kid from Snow Community College. He caught me on my back and I was down by a lot of points. I ended up fighting back and coming back, but he made the match way closer than it should’ve been,” said Raby. “So I actually get to rematch him this weekend.”

Raby ended up winning by major decision over Caleb Marx, also from Snow Community College, during the semifinal on Feb. 11, leaving Raby undefeated. 

A major decision win occurs when one wrestler is winning by a margin of 8 to 14 points. This win earned the team 4 points. 

“I don’t really look at the wins,” said Raby. “I just try to get better.”

Raby was also named “Most Outstanding Wrestler” in the Regional 18 Championships. 

Regional 18 Championships were on Feb. 11 at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg. Clackamas finished second place in the Region 18 team standings with a score of 106.5. North Idaho College holds first place with 117 points. 

Wrestlers must be top-three to qualify for NJCAA Championships on March 1. Nine CCC  wrestlers ended up qualifying, including Avelar, Raby, Ane’e Vigil, Tim Lopez, Reggie Raiz, Josh Hannan, Paul Ortiz, Braden Pease and Asaiah Kamplain. 

The NJCAA National Championships will be held at Mid-America Center located in Council Bluffs, Iowa on March 1.  

To watch, stream from your desktop or mobile device on FloWrestling or YouTube

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.