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Redlands East Valley wrestling has been a great program for about as long as Chris Mecate (No. 12 @ 135) and Nick Chavez Jr. have been friends.

Mecate and Chavez started sparring with each other when they were only 6 years old at a Redlands youth wrestling club.

That was about the same time Redlands East Valley started collecting Citrus Belt League championships regularly.

With the two senior wrestlers leading the Wildcats, this season was no exception. Redlands East Valley won its fourth straight CBL title, the 12th in its 15-year history.

But this was also an exceptional year for the Wildcats? program. Mecate won the program?s first CIF-State boys wrestling championship, taking the 135-pound crown in Bakersfield on March 5.

As the only champion from the Inland area, the Old Dominion-bound wrestler is HS GameTime?s boys wrestler of the year.

?He?s always working,? said Chavez, who earned a scholarship to wrestle at South Dakota State. ?He?s constantly going here or there to work out, sometimes doing two-a-day practices.?

But this season was not without its trials, including a scary moment at the Inland Division finals in February that was beyond any wrestler?s ability to gain an edge with two-a-day practices or extra workouts.

Continued Reading by Brett Lewis, The Press Enterprise