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Johnson Mai (H.M. @ 103) Named The Daily Breeze Wrestler of the Year
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Johnson Mai (H.M. @ 103) of North Torrance didn?t mind that he had a huge shadow, caused by the achievements of older brothers Kevin and Kenny, cast over him.
Knowing what they accomplished in previous years didn?t slow Johnson down. Didn?t faze him.
Armed with the knowledge that they were the area?s best wrestlers in each of the last two years, Johnson went out and bettered them.
Mai, who posted a 40-2 record and won the first CIF state championship for North Torrance, is the 2010-11 Daily Breeze Wrestler of the Year.
He is the South Bay?s first state wrestling champion since 1990.
?I spent the last two years watching (the state finals) and I felt that it might be scary (to compete in the finals),? Mai said. ?But when I got up there, it was just another wrestling match.?
Mai defeated Isaiah Locsin (103) of Live Oak, 6-4, in the 103-pound final at the massive Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield. Locsin had defeated Emilio Saavedra (H.M. @ 103) of Pitman in the semifinals. Saavedra is the reason Mai had two losses on the season.
But Mai is convinced that had they faced each other, he would not have finished the season with a different record.
?I was ready to face (Saavedra). I was prepared for him,? Mai said. ?I felt that after the tournament people were doubting me because he was undefeated (before his semifinal loss). When we had wrestled, it was close. I lost because of my mistakes and I don?t think I was going to make any mistakes.
?But it didn?t matter who I faced, I was going to win.?
For Complete Article by Mike Mitchell, Daily Breeze
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