About 50 feet from the blue mat in the center of the gymnasium, the members of the Burbank High wrestling team huddled before doing something for the first time in the inaugural season of the program: celebrate a victory.
It took a couple of matches before the Bulldogs experienced triumph. However, it put things together Wednesday.
Burbank won four bouts and another eight by forfeit to record a 69-11 Rio Hondo League home victory against shorthanded Hoover.
“It’s definitely great to get that first league win and we’ve been wrestling a lot better the past couple of weeks or so,” Burbank coach Jonathon O’Brien said. “You keep learning from your previous matches, and you see what you can do out there.
“Today, we got some solid victories, and you can see things going our way. They earned the win.”
Burbank (1-2 in league) received victories from George Sahakyan, Jayden Dela Rosa, Vahagn Ghazaryan, and Narek Ghazaryan to turn aside Hoover (0-3 in league).
Sahakyan got things going for the Bulldogs in the 113-pound weight class. Sahakyan posted a 20-7 victory by way of a pin with 1:38 remaining in the third period.
“I just put my head down and was focused,” Sahakyan said. “I didn’t come all this way to lose, so I had a good idea of what I needed to do.
“It’s all mental. I picked up some big points along the way. I feel like I’ve been wrestling a lot better in the past month. It’s just great to get that first [team] win.”
Said O’Brien: “George picked up a lot of points early on and he’s been getting better every match. He’s been making the transition from Judo to wrestling.”
The Bulldogs also got a win from DeLa Rosa in the 126-pound division. DeLa Rosa won, 18-3, by technical fall with 1:30 left in the third period.
In the 138-pound weight class, Vahagn Ghazaryan won, 4-0, by pin with 1:30 to go in the second period. Narek Ghazaryan won, 2-0, by pin in the 160-pound weight class with 12.4 seconds left in the first period.
Burbank picked up victories by forfeit from Nathan Hinojosa (106), David Tsaturyan (120), Luis Mercado (132), Thomas Adzhemyan (145), Troy Cedeno (152), Anthony Vardumyan (182), Dylan Vo (195) and Niko Hovhannisyan (285).
On the girls’ side, Burbank’s Kendall Chapman won the lone bout. Chapman recorded a 9-2 via pin with 1:46 remaining in the second quarter.
Burbank will participate in another league match at 4:30 p.m. Jan. 24 at Monrovia. The league tournament will take place Feb. 1 at Monrovia.