Guam – On January 30th, 10 members of the Father Duenas Memorial School wrestling team traveled to Okinawa to participate in the 6th Annual “Rumble on the Rock” wrestling tournament, hosted by Kubasaki High School.
The two day, Dual Meet and Individual tournament took place on February 1st & 2nd, with all participants wrestling no less than 5 matches. Unlike the “Collegiate” style of wrestling local schools are accustomed to, this “Freestyle” tournament, required the Friars to continue training immediately after the IIAAG All-Island tournament, learning new techniques and adapting to new rules.
Team captain and the Senior, Micah Lopez led the younger group of Friars with a very successful performance, stunning his first opponent and capturing the attention of the entire audience with a perfectly executed 5-point side-suplex throw. In his final outing as a Friar, Lopez dominated the 158lb division, going 7-0 and earning both the Gold medal and the tournament’s Outstanding Wrestler award.
With a short-handed roster, competing in only 10 of 13 divisions, the Friars suffered an early setback when 108lb wrestler, Gian Carlo Rocco broke his wrist on a bad landing during his first match of the tournament. At the end of the two days, five of the remaining nine Friars wrestled their way to the Championships. Aside from Lopez’ gold, Jr. Pavin Blas, So. Edward Calvo, Jr. Leonard Tudela and Jr. Se Hyun Kim all took Silver medals in their respective divisions.
Accompanying the FD team this year, and representing Okkodo High School for the first time in an off-island interscholastic wrestling event, Jr. Michael Franquez dominated the 101lb division, earning the Gold medal.
Friar’s coach Terry Debold was extremely delighted with the performance of his young group. “Having 5 of 9 wrestlers make the finals is a very successful achievement, particularly considering how young this team was. It was truly a blessing, having Micah lead this team and earning the Outstanding Wrestler in his final outing as a Friar. He has been an inspirational leader throughout the season, and we certainly wish him the best as he pursues his career in college”. It shoud be noted that the other four members of the Friar’s team were Sophmore Gage Quitugua and Freshmans Nick Duenas, Cyril Maravilla and Kai Blas.
“These young men represented their schools and our Island proudly, with continued compliments about their performance, sportsmanship and behavior throughout the event. This is the second consecutive year that FD has participated in this tournament and we look forward to returning again next year.”