Feb 27, 2013 6:40 PM by Bill Halter

Legend in the Making: Righetti wrestler Luke Wilson eyes state title

Luke Wilson was a great two-way player for the Righetti High football team, playing wide receiver and safety. He uses some of the same traits on the mat that made him successful on the gridiron.

"Wrestling's not one of those sports for the most part where you get a lot of marquee athletes compared to football, basketball and sports like that so any time you can start with somebody, who has a lot of athleticism underneath it and the same kind of work ethic and dedication you can really take that a long way in this sport," said Righetti coach Justin Bronson.

As a football player and as a wrestler, there's no doubt Wilson loves the thrill of competition. "Really it's just like a passion, you want to be the best out there, have everyone keep their eyes on you, want everyone to know who you are," said Wilson.

The 152 pound weight class knows, who he is. Wilson is ranked number two in the state. The top ranked guy is one of two wrestlers to beat him this season and a guy Wilson could see in the finals.

"The biggest thing to be successful in this sport is you've got to be willing to throw yourself in there, into a fight. And he's shown that throughout this year in there. He's battled through some tough matches and at other times in there just going after people to the point where staying so aggressive that he's going against real quality tough opponents where they can't even get back into a match because we're constantly on the attack," said Bronson.

Something that sets Wilson a part from others in his weight class is the length of his arms. "It helps me because I can get in on shots easier and it keeps me farther a part from them," said Wilson.

Mentally, Wilson believes, in his senior year that he's prepared to become just the second Righetti wrestler to win a state championship. Wilson's coach agrees. "Just how he prepares, his whole approach to it. He can be the biggest goofball in the world but when he comes to approaching whether it's practice or getting ready for a match, it takes a real kind of maturity that isn't quit as normal as you'd see with other high school kids," said Bronson.

The CIF State Meet in Bakersfield starts on Friday and ends on Saturday. There are 40 wrestlers in Wilson's bracket. He finished eighth at 145 pounds last year.

Paso Robles High's Kevan Garcia (145 pounds) and Colton Madrigal (170 pounds), as well as Pioneer Valley High's Miguel Ruiz (220 pounds) also earned spots at the State Meet.

Ray Martinez is the only Righetti wrestler to win a CIF State Wrestling title. He captured the title in 1977 at 175 pounds.

Six wrestlers from the Central Coast have won State titles since the State Championship started in 1973. Willard Grossi from Lompoc won a title in 1973 at 127 pounds. San Luis Obispo's Scott Heaton at 145 pounds and Craig Troxler at 154 pounds won titles in 1976. Righetti's Martinez won in 1977. Cabrillo High's Jim Filarsky won the 191 pound title in 1978. The last local to be a state champion was Arturo Basulton of Arroyo Grande High. He won a heavyweight championship in 2002.



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