The "offseason" for Central Catholic High senior Ray Lomas topped off at five days.
Lomas led his Raiders to a state football title on a Friday and walked into the wrestling room the following Wednesday. So much for letting your body heal after 16 football games.
"I was definitely out of shape," Lomas admitted.
Yes, football fans, there's a huge difference between being in football shape and wrestling shape.
One thing that didn't change, however, was Lomas winning. He shook off the mat rust, after less than a week's worth of workouts, by winning the 170-pound title at Reno's Sierra Nevada Classic over the Christmas holidays.
He won all six matches in Reno, but it wasn't easy. In the finals, he outlasted Reid Shipley of North Medford Oregon's top-ranked wrestler with a reversal in double overtime, 3-2.
"I was bone-tired after the first match (versus Nathan Ah You of Gregori), but I got better after that," Lomas said. "I didn't get super tired again until the final."
If fatigue ever got the best of him on the football field, he hid it well. Lomas was unstoppable. He rushed for 2,084 yards and 34 touchdowns as Central Catholic's momentum reached locomotive-level during the playoffs. The Raiders were inspired by his refusal to be tackled from Game 1 until the final in Carson.
He enjoyed it all, of course, but he still saves a special place for wrestling.
"Football might have been more exciting but wrestling is right up there with it," he said. "In wrestling, it's all you. People can see how you do and how hard you've worked. I don't have to rely on anyone else."
Last year, Lomas won the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters titles at 145 and campaigned through a rigorous 5-2 showing for fifth place at the State Meet in Bakersfield.
Heavier and stronger this year he's already dropped about 10 pounds from football season Lomas likes his new weight class.
"I feel a lot faster than the other guys now," Lomas said. "They aren't as quick at 170."
Lomas did not fret over bulking up after he beat Oak Ridge star Keaton Subjeck, the Masters runner-up at 160, in both freestyle and Greco-Roman competition last spring.
The next test for Lomas will be the Doc Buchanan on Saturday at Clovis High. Closer to the truth, however, he's already looking ahead.
"It doesn't feel like another long season one after the other. Wrestling was already started before I did," he said. "I'm anxious for the postseason."
NOTES Another powerhouse team is forming at Oakdale. The Mustangs placed second at Sierra Nevada in the 81-team field featuring 64-man brackets.
Besides 106-pound champion Nico Colunga the Wrestler of the Week Oakdale also was led by Tyler Noon (third at 152) Logan Eaton (fourth at 106, lost to Colunga in the semifinals), Ronnie Stevens (fourth at 120), Juan Garza (fifth at 113), Zach Fallentine (seventh at 220), Hondo Arpoika (eighth at 220) and Tyler Malone (eighth at 160). Coach Brian Stevens will send six of his wrestlers to the Doc B. ...
Ranked in the state top 10 this week: Modesto's Emilio Saavedra (third at 126), Trevor Smith of Ripon (fourth at 182), Lomas (sixth at 170), Tyler Noon of Oakdale (ninth at 152) and Angel Velasquez of Modesto (10th at 120). ... Gregori, the defending Modesto Metro Conference champion, is the favorite the entire starting lineup returns as dual meets begin next week. ... Central Catholic coach Anthony Gonzalez returned to practice this week as he rehabs after hernia surgery two weeks ago. "I can tell 'em what they're doing wrong but I can't show 'em," he said. ...
Coming up: The 21st Bulldog Classic at Turlock High on Saturday. Action in the 23-team competition starts at 9:30 a.m. with the finals scheduled at around 5 p.m.