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Wrestler of the year: Alex Redmond, Los Alamitos
After a frustrating football season that was cut short by an elbow injury, Los Alamitos' Alex Redmond turned his attention to the wrestling mat.
Things were slow at the beginning.
Redmond had some success, going 7-0 at the Long Beach Millikan Duals, and he followed that with a title at the Irvine Invitational.
There was a period where he had to balance wrestling and preparing to play in a couple of all-star football games. On top of that, he was battling the flu.
At that point, the wrestling community didn't know if Redmond would be a factor in the race to Bakersfield and the CIF State Tournament. However, all questions were answered at the Five Counties Invitational.
Redmond pinned all five of his opponents, winning Upper Weight MVP honors along the way. That momentum carried him all the way to the finals of the CIF State Tournament, where he finished second at 285pounds, losing to top-ranked Nick Nevills of Clovis.
For his performance, Redmond has been selected the Register's wrestler of the year for 2012-13.
He finished the regular season 41-2, with 34 victories by fall.
"I was looking forward to state because I knew what he could do," Los Alamitos coach Kenny Torres said of Redmond.
Redmond suffered a dislocated elbow during a football practice in October, but he said he never doubted that he would be able to wrestle this season.
"I knew I was coming back," Redmond said. "I knew it was going to get me in better shape to go on to the next level."
After his dominating performance at Five Counties, Redmond went on to win a second consecutive Sunset League title. He also finished second at CIF and first at Masters, avenging a loss in the finals to Kenneth Clark of Carter of Rialto. Clark had defeated Redmond in the finals at CIF the previous week.
At the state tournament, Redmond won his first four matches to advance to the state finals.
"It was a fun run," he said after the state tournament.
As Redmond prepares for the start of his college football career in June — he has a scholarship to UCLA — he appreciates the difficulties that he had to overcome this year.
"Doing more than I thought I could," he said. "I thought I would make it (state), but I never thought I would be a finalist, the first in my school too, and that's something to be proud of. I'm proud of what I've done."
Redmond said he wants to be a starter on UCLA's offensive line as a freshman, so that means there is more work to be done.
"I'm hungry (to start)," he said.
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