Many associate wrestling with scrawny middle-school aged boys in skimpy uniforms and helmets resembling head gear. For varsity wrestler Stanley Cea, it’s anything but.
“He (Cea) as of right now, to this day, is the best Daniel Pearl wrestler we’ve ever had,” said Birmingham Community Charter High School coach James Medeiros. “He’s the only one that’s ever placed in city.”
Despite what seems like a lifetime’s worth of practice, Senior Cea has only been on the wrestling team for his last two years of high school. In his freshman and sophomore years, he was part of the basketball and baseball team. He’s rather proud of how far he’s come considering he was injured rather harshly in his junior year which left him unable to wrestle. Though out-performing others, Cea was not the lone victor. The boys varsity wrestling team as a whole placed quite high for the 2016 winter season, placing second in the city for boys, after the girls wrestling team.
“I see myself associated with wrestling for like a long period time because after I graduate I’m going to be doing mixed martial arts and I’ll be using wrestling for that too,” said Cea.
Although this is the last year 169-pound Cea will be wrestling on BCCHS team, coach Medeiros sees promise in other wrestlers, primarily those on the JV team. Freshman Alberto Alcantara proves to be one of these few, considering his exceptional performance “on and off the mat” (Medeiros).
Much like Cea, wrestling hasn’t always been Alcantara’s main focus. Before joining the wrestling team, he played soccer for nine years. Even with practices that could eventually equate to five hours a day and honors classes, he still plays soccer every day during nutrition and lunch, no doubt this dedication to the sport seems desirable to coach Medeiros.
“Definitely not as a career,” Alcantara said. “Definitely just a high school thing.”