By Bill Tamburrino
Devin Rhodes, Ramona Sentinel’s Athlete of the Week, is taking up where he left off last year. The 170-pound grappler wrestled his way to the finals in the El Dorado Holiday Invitational and took second place in the tourney.
Rhodes recorded one pin and won two decisions. He is more of a technician than a brute.
“His semifinal match was the best match of the tourney,” said Coach Steve Koch. “He was very sound and he wore down his opponent.”
Last year Rhodes was the CIF champion and took second at the Masters to advance to the State Meet. When asked his record, he had a quaint answer: “I am not all that concerned with records or stats. I just like to go out on the matt and compete and try to improve.”
When asked what has been the highlight of his wrestling career, he had a similar answer: “Most wrestlers would say going to the State Meet or winning the CIF, but for me it was beating a guy that beat me as a sophomore. He was from a very good program and he beat me pretty badly. Last year I faced him at Asics and I beat him. That showed me that I have improved.”
Rhodes has the grades to go on to college, but he is contemplating joining the Navy.
“After a tour in the Navy, I will be able to afford to go to college on the GI Bill,” he said.
His brother, Dakota, is a Marine. He said that his parents, Alan and Angela, have supported his efforts since he started grappling at the age of 10.
Rhodes might be able to gage his improvement this year. He lost to Connor King at El Dorado who, according to Koch, transferred to Poway High School after winning the state championship in Colorado last year. The two will square off in a dual meet in January in the Dawg House.
“They will probably square off again in the finals of the Masters,” said Koch. “They are both that good.”