Coach McPherson says that since CJ was 4 years old he’s been committed to this process. When he was 5 they were talking about one day he’d be a state title winner. CJ was 100% committed over the years to the process. In the last 11 years Coach McPherson says CJ has missed less than 10 practices and any practice he missed was a legitimately excused practice.
CJ came into his freshman year with numerous expectations. With that level of pressure on a young man at that early age it would have been easy for CJ to stray but Coach Mcpherson and his assistants made sure that CJ kept the course towards the goal of a state title.
CJ went through the Trico League undefeated and suffered only 1 loss during the entire season which was at the Pac West invitational (A top level wrestling invite only tourney held at Mt. View High School). CJ’s only loss came to a 6A state champion from West Linn High School in Oregon. Coach McPherson says: “it was the perfect loss and came at a perfect time as it sent us back to the drawing board as it pertained to tactical strategies while wrestling high level opponents. Specifically opening up his “upper body” attacks not just lower leg attacks. All of those adjustments helped us profoundly at the state tourney.”
After wining the Tri Co League title CJ was poised to sweep the regionals when weather through a wrench in everything. The state made an adjustment and canceled all regional events and went from a 16 man state bracket to 32 man bracket doubling the field he’d have to compete against for a title. CJ showed no affects with these distractions and he swept through his first four matches by pin or “technical fall” which advanced him to the 1A state championship match!
In the championship match CJ faced the two time state runner up in the final. A senior from Deer Park. All of those lessons from earlier in the season came into play as CJ wrestled a very tactically sound match. His positioning was almost flawless other than one quick scramble where he managed to roll out of without giving up any points. With a 2-0 lead CJ’s opponent was able to create an escape and brought the match to 2-1. CJ was able to hang onto the lead for the remainder of the match and became the 1A 145lb State Champion!
Coach McPherson says ” we are very excited about what is to come as this year was a cornerstone season laying a foundation for years to come!
Congrats CJ! We are proud of you!