Corralejo carries Colfax’s torch
Colfax High wrestler Vinny Corralejo may be sporting the Falcons’ signature green and white, but he will be riding with his friends from the Bear River wrestling team to the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters tournament today.
Corralejo, a senior, who wrestles in the 160-pound weight class, took his passion for grappling to the next level this year by practicing with the Bear River and Placer teams in addition to his own team. Corralejo is the ninth-ranked wrestler at 160 in the Sac-Joaquin Section and the only member of the Colfax team who will be making a bid for CIF State Championships. He said he felt he needed to practice with teams that had more experience.
“My practices at Colfax help me work on stamina and endurance. At Bear River they taught me more technique and moves to learn,” Corralejo said. “It has been a great help. They have been very welcoming to me.”
Bear River Coach Kevin Figueroa said he considers Corralejo one of his own.
“(Corralejo) is an adopted child of Bear River. My team and him have been a perfect blend,” Figueroa said. “He has a very high chance of going to state.”
As the top-ranked wrestler in the Pioneer Valley League, Corralejo earned several first and second place finishes at tournaments throughout the season. He placed third at last week’s Division III Championships at Natomas. With a strong record and offensive stance, Figueroa said Corralejo’s greatest challenge at Masters would be mental.
“His mind is his toughest opponent,” Figueroa said. “I would say it is 90 percent more mental than physical at this level.”
Corralejo has been wrestling for eight years, but said he was especially inspired his freshmen year by former Colfax teammate Elliot Lowry. Lowry had several conversations with Corralejo that motivated him to follow his heart and work hard year after year. One of the sacrifices he made was quitting football to focus exclusively on wrestling.
“He was a good football player, but decided to go with wrestling and it paid off for him,” said Colfax assistant coach Mondo Alonzo. “He has been a leader and one of the bright spots on our team.”
To prepare, Corralejo has stuck to strict diet and upped his training schedule. While right now state championships dominate his thoughts, Correlejo is considering wrestling for Sierra College next year. Until then his gaze is set on state championships.
“That would be the ultimate goal and all I could ask for myself,” Correlejo said. “That’s it. That’s the show.”
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