2016.04.15
Filipino Wrestlers come to Vallejo to compete in Tournament

By: Matthew Adkins

Wrestlers, coaches, and chaperones dined together Thursday afternoon in Vallejo to welcome special guests who are competing in the 19th Annual Boys and Girls Wrestling Competition Saturday at American Canyon.

Springstowne Wrestling Club coach, Jason Guiducci explained this is the first time in history wrestlers from the Philippines have come to the United States. "They are making history, trailblazing," Guiducci said. "Wrestlers from the Philippines have gone to other nations, like Korea, Europe, Bulgaria, Vietnam, but never in the U.S."

After undergoing a lengthy visa process, Anthony Arcilla Jr., 17, and Royce Tiu, 19, both of Safehouse Wrestling Team in Manila, arrived in the United States on Wednesday. They will throw their hats into the ring Saturday. "The kids are very excited," said Safehouse assistant coach Juan Alberto Balde. "It was very hard coming here, very tiring. I'm very confident we get two medals."

Female wrestlers from Springstowne joined Arcilla Jr. and Tiu Thursday as they ate at Keepin' it Island BBQ in Vallejo. "We invited them out tonight for a meet and greet to get to know these people as part of a cultural exchange program and to be ambassadors of our community," said Guiducci, who has helped guide the Springstowne girls to nine state titles, including one in 2015.

Arcilla Jr. and Tiu noted that one of the biggest differences between the two countries was the weather. "It's been great so far, but it's cold here," said Arcilla Jr. "It's pretty warm right now in the Philippines." Tiu echoed his teammate's thoughts. "The weather back home is very hot," Tiu said. "People are not wearing jackets." The two wrestlers have been training for many months for this competition, and said they are excited to take part in the competition.

"I do some drills and practice different techniques, but I am not familiar with Folkstyle (High School Style), so I'm adjusting how I will compete," said Tiu. As for the key to his future success, "Always be humble," Tiu said. The National Championship will take place 9 a.m. Saturday at American Canyon High School Athletic Complex for any child from kindergarten to 12th grade.

Spectator admission fees are $7 for general admission and $5 for senior citizens and students. Children under 5 years old get in free. For more information on the tournament, call 707-315-2947, email usgwa.usbwa@gmail.com or visit www.usgwa.com. Matthew Adkins can be reached at 707-553-6833.



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