TEAM CALIFORNIA – Junior Nationals ’88
With the Cadet Freestyle Tournament scheduled to kick off things at Fargo, on Saturday. The California Wrestler decided to recognize all grapplers from the Golden State that became Cadet titlist.
In 1988, a large delegation of Juniors and Cadets from California made their way to Cedar Falls, Iowa, to compete at the National Junior Olympic Championships, now known as Fargo. The 1988 team had three wrestlers that went on to become Olympians – Dan Henderson (Greco-Roman, 1992 and 1996 Summer Olympics), Heath Sims (Greco-Roman, 2000 Summer Olympics) and Marco Sanchez (Greco-Roman, 1996 Summer Olympics). Henderson and Sims represented the United States, while Sanchez competed for Team Puerto Rico.
The 1988 tournament, which was held at the UNI-Dome on the campus of the University of Northern Iowa, was especial for team California as Bill Hunter (167) became the first wrestler from the Golden State to win a Cadet Freestyle title. The following year, Tony Okada (132) and Abram Ross (94.5) accomplished the same feat.
Since 1988, Team California has had 22 individual champions with Nicolas Aguilar (2014) being the last grappler to win a championship. This year, Team California will be locked-and-ready to attempt and bring back some stop signs to the Golden State.