MOSES LAKE — Summer camps make winter champs, or so the adage goes.
It isn’t quite summer yet, but a handful of Moses Lake wrestlers are making the most of their offseason. Maximus Zamora, Cruz Vasquez, Hunter White and Saul Villa qualified for Junior Cadet Nationals in Fargo, N.D. in July.
“It’s the best,” Moses Lake Wrestling Club coach Duane Zamora said. “It’s the top of the line. Everybody who plans to go to the NCAAs some day will be at Fargo.”
The quartet is the largest group from Moses Lake to attend the event in about 20 years.
Villa, who is wrapping up his freshman year, placed Top 3 at the state tournament and did well enough at the Northwest regional to advance to nationals.
“He left a mark on his opponents,” Moses Lake head coach Jaime Garza said.
Maximus Zamora won the freestyle state tournament in the 138-pound cadet division, which is 16-and-under, to reach Fargo. More, Maximus Zamora won the Northwest regional tournament and scored a win over 1B/2B state champion George Trujillo of Mabton.
Hunter White placed second in Greco-Roman wrestling at 132-pounds.
Cruz Vasquez, only a few months removed from placing third at the Mat Classic, took third in freestyle and second in Greco-Roman at 160 pounds as a younger competitor in the 19-and-under junior division.
“This freestyle season is just giving them more confidence, I think, that they’re going to need to really come out on top next year,” Duane Zamora said. “When you go to a freestyle tournament usually it’s the best of all As — 1A, 2A, 3A and 4A. There’s no divisions. They’re all there and they’re kids that wrestle year round so that’s the difference — you get the best kids out of all those divisions.”
Many high school wrestlers take at least the spring off.
Not these four.
Between trips to the Inland Northwest Wrestling Training Center, practice sessions at the high school and upward of 50 matches this offseason, the Moses Lake contingent should be ready to compete against the nation’s best in July.
“I think they’re finding out who they are,” Garza said.
There is a fundraising car wash from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. this Saturday at State Farm Insurance located off Pioneer Way.