Holmes wrestlers win city title

       For the first time in 18 years, Holmes Middle School is the city wrestling champion.

Holmes Middle School's city championship wrestling team members pose for a photo with their coaches and other volunteers. Head coach Cam McElhany is at upper left.
Leonardo Martinez photo

       After going 7-1 in its eight-week, dual-meet regular season, the Hawk wrestlers claimed four individual titles and six seconds en route to the title in the recent tournament involving District 11's nine middle schools.
       “We're trying to build a really good program so we can be a good of feeder for Coronado High School,” said Cam McElhany, who is in his fifth year as the volunteer head coach. He would definitely know, with his son Carter one of the key senior returnees for a Coronado wrestling team that nearly won the high school state title last year. Holmes first places at the middle school city tournament were earned by Chase McElhany (108 pounds - also the coach's son), Evan Kay (135), Emilio Martinez (heavyweight) and Austin Polus (super heavyweight).
       McElhany emphasized that participation is not just about learning to wrestle. “We teach them how to be good student athletes,” he said. “They're at an age where it's all starting to become real. This is the kind of thing that gives them discipline, focus, self-esteem and the fortitude to stick it out when things are tough. I like to say that life is like a wrestling match.”
       Leonardo Martinez, father of Emilio, said he's been impressed by the dedication shown by the coaches as well as the students. “I've seen them practicing on Saturdays and Sundays,” he said. “It paid off for those guys when they were on the mat.”

Westside Pioneer article