Mike Villavicencio never lost confidence, even as the score grew increasingly in favor of Summerville High’s Devin Conklin.
Trailing 7-3, the Gregori senior turned the tide in the 145-pound final at the Lloyd Engel Tournament with a pair of takedowns from the standing position, delighting a pro-Villavicencio crowd at Escalon High.
With his grandparents, aunts and uncles, and immediate family in the stands, Villavicencio continued his march toward Bakersfield with a gutsy 11-9 victory over Conklin. Villavicencio was named the Outstanding Middleweight.
“It wasn’t the first time I faced that guy, so I knew I could beat him,” said Villavicencio, now 3-0 against Conklin this season. “In my head, I thought ‘Oh, you can do this. I’ve taken this guy out before.’ I also had a lot of family out to watch me, so I didn’t want to disappoint anybody.”
Villavicencio, a world champion jiu-jitsu artist, is 17-3 on the season and seeking a return trip to the CIF State Championship, where he went two-and-out last winter.
Parents: Mike and Christe Villavicencio
Place of birth: Doctor’s Hospital
Favorite class: U.S. History
Favorite teacher: Mrs. Rodriguez
Favorite meal: Green enchiladas
Favorite athlete: Josh Koscheck
Favorite superhero: Flash
Favorite app: Snapchat
Favorite emoji: Laughing face
Can’t stop listening to: J. Cole’s “2014 Forest Hills Drive”
3 things you’d want on a desert island: Phone, Wi-Fi, sleep number bed
Finish this sentence: I want to be ... “a role model.”