Cerrato grows into beast for Newport

Senior wrestler was a 119-pounder as a freshman. Now he's a strapping 171-pounder excelling for Sailors.

January 21, 2011|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza,
(Kent Treptow / Daily…)

Unlike most high school wrestlers who cut weight instead of moving up to a more ideal weight class each year, Ryan Cerrato chose to grow. And he certainly has grown at Newport Harbor High.

He used to be a 119-pounder three years ago as a freshman. That might be hard to believe, but Coach Dominic Bulone said he has the pictures to prove it. The amount of muscle Cerrato has packed on since probably matches his weight from when he first stepped on a scale for Bulone.

What Bulone sees now is a strapping 171-pound Cerrato. The senior receives compliments on his muscular physique.

Some think Cerrato is on steroids.

"It's kind of cool to say that I'm not," Cerrato said. "I'm a nice guy. I'm not one of these gnarly [buff guys]."

The only rage Cerrato exhibits is on the mat, where he has a record of 23-7 with 18 pins. The main objective for him is to flatten whomever he wrestles.


The match usually ends with the opponent on his back and Cerrato on top.

"It's one of the best feelings," Cerrato said of pinning an opponent and "hearing the tap on the mat and the whistle blow."

Cerrato wanted to hear those sounds on a bigger stage, at the Five Counties Invitational at Fountain Valley High.

A couple of weeks ago, Cerrato asked Bulone if it was possible to compete in the tournament with some of the best in Southern California in his weight class. Cerrato was already looking ahead, even though it was the first day of competition at the Asics Southern California Challenge at Godinez High on Jan. 7.

Cerrato asked Bulone, but he did not get the answer he wanted. Bulone explained that in order to wrestle at Five Counties you need to receive an invitation.

Six days before the event, Cerrato left an impression on someone who might just get him into Five Counties. Brady Woodbury, Fountain Valley's coach, saw Cerrato compete on the final day of the Asics Southern California Challenge and evidently came away impressed with his sixth-place showing.

"He asked my coach and invited me to it," said Cerrato, who gladly accepted the invitation.

The decision to invite Cerrato made sense. In a tournament known as the "Beast in the West," Cerrato certainly fits the bill of an imposing wrestler.

He went into last week's tournament fearless. He was just thrilled to be part of the 46th edition of Five Counties.

"I felt like I wasn't like supposed to win or supposed to place, so I could just do my thing," Cerrato said.

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