Wrestling his way to top 10

BVH senior ranks #10 in California

On March 14, 2022, senior and star
wrestler Isaac Lopez practices a with
his partner in the Wrestling room.
By the end of the 2021-2022 winter
season Isaac Lopez ranked tenth place
in California as a wrestler.

lauralai gilbert

On March 14, 2022, senior and star wrestler Isaac Lopez practices a with his partner in the Wrestling room. By the end of the 2021-2022 winter season Isaac Lopez ranked tenth place in California as a wrestler.

Jose Solis and Nadia Martinez

A star wrestler who readies up on the mat starts his attack with a forward offense. He moves in, keeping his body low, swiveling as he slowly but surely slams his opponent onto the mat, using more technique rather than strength. Then the referee calls for two points to this wrestler as he takes his opponent down; he has won. He takes off his headgear after his win and is able to smile, knowing his hard work has paid off. This has been Bonita Vista High’s (BVH) wrestling Captain and senior Isaac Lopez’s reality for the past four years. 

“Ever since I started wrestling, it’s been a big thing,” Lopez said. “My stepdad has offered me all the resources I need to get better.” 

Wrestling coach and Lopez’s step-father, Joe Marcotte, took it upon himself to start coaching BVHs wrestling team when Lopez entered high school. He pushed his players, especially Isaac, to work hard for their matches. 

“Isaac was with me every single day; [during] the season and the offseason, for four straight years. In four years, he only missed five practices,” Marcotte said. “He won CIF last year, and he would have gone to state, but COVID took that away.” 

When Lopez wrestles, his specific style is technical yet natural. For Lopez, it’s integral to how he acts on the mat. Despite the large physical commitment of wrestling, he manages to carry on as he follows a thoughtful approach to the sport.

¨You have to be technical [and] strong,¨ Lopez said. ¨You have to be quick thinking on your feet, you can’t panic. Plus, you have to do all that while cutting.”

Cutting in wrestling is a specific way someone can lose weight quickly and healthily so that someone can easily meet a weight requirement. To do this, according to teammate and junior, the best way to cut would be lean meat, often being chicken and rice. However, he advises not to dehydrate oneself as it can lead to worse problems while leaving wrestlers with little energy. Once someone follows the dietary restrictions, they cut weight through intense workouts and losing water weight right before the tournament.

“For the whole week, we can [workout and] get ready for the match. Once we do the weigh-ins, we can just start drinking water and we’ll feel good. We’re not dehydrated or tired, [so we’re] wrestling at our best,” Romero said.

With the science that is behind cutting and following weigh-ins, wrestlers have to hold some commitment to the sport with proper cutting and dietary restrictions. This commitment makes the wrestlers work for their physique to push themselves to meet the rigorous requirements per weight class.

“I don’t like cutting, because I feel cutting weight has stunted my growth a bit through high school,” Lopez said. “It’s not healthy [to incorrectly cut]. During masters, [the qualifying tournament before state], I had to get hospitalized because I was dehydrated. I couldn’t move my body. Every time I felt a little movement, my body was stiff and [started] shaking. They had to put two IV bags in [me].”

Lopez is a graduating senior this year and has made a lasting impact on his teammates. As Marcotte recounts his experience in viewing Lopez’s leadership and how proud he is of one of his most accomplished wrestlers. 

[I’m] working harder because [Lopez is] always out there; working out, going to every practice, he barely misses anything.  It’s inspiring me to work hard on things outside of wrestling, especially if I see him [working] like that”

— Issac Romero

“Then, he goes and [pulls off another] hobby, and does both, making it work. That shows me that I can do anything too, especially when he’s working hard,” Romero said.

As he moves onward from his accomplishments in wrestling, Lopez enjoys his time off the wrestling mat. He enjoys the slower, more casual times when he can put himself in a leadership position outside of tournaments since, according to him, he “enjoys wrestling, not the competition.”

“[Lopez is] great [and] leads by example. Other kids see him working hard, showing up on time, always being the last one to leave. He’s just a great role model for [the other] wrestlers because he has such a great work ethic and never had a bad day, he’s just a great coach,” said Marcotte.