When it comes to the wrestling mat, there are few names as synonymous with success in Altus as the name Gomez. From Neno Gomez to Gage and Kobi Gomez, it is a name that garners respect when it is time to battle on the mat.
With Gage graduating this past May, the Bulldog wrestling program looks to his younger brother Kobi to take over the reigns and lead the Bulldogs to victory.
Kobi has worked tirelessly all spring and summer long to ensure that he is up to the task this winter when the season begins anew for the Bulldogs.
Since the end of wrestling season, Kobi has put in extra work in the offseason to make things come together and he appears to be peaking at just the right time as he prepares for the Fargo Junior Cadet Nationals in Fargo, N.D.
“It has been a good and busy summer. We started practicing freestyle and Greco in April. We had tournaments in April and June, including freestyle state and the qualifier for Fargo,” Kobi said. “We recently went to the Oklahoma State University camp and did very well for a young team. Cabe [Dickerson] and I went to a University of Oklahoma intensive camp a day after OSU and now Cabe and I are getting ready to go to Fargo.”
Kobi has his sights set on Fargo but he has had some time to reflect on his trip to Stillwater to participate in the OSU camp. OSU has had one of the nation’s best wrestling programs for many years and the experience of getting to compete and learn from some of the best to coach the sport inside the Gallagher-Iba Arena is something no young wrestler ever truly forgets.
“It is an honor to be coached by such great coaches and wrestlers. The environment is one of a kind. I love OSU and I love having been able to be there for the camp,” Kobi said. “I went into the camp with high expectations. Last year I lost three matches but we also had a very talented team. This year I knew I had to be a leader and set an example for our young team.”
Kobi did all of that and more for the Bulldogs as he finished the camp undefeated at 18-0 and won the OSU Camper of the Week award.
His leadership set the tone early for the Bulldogs and helped propel them to a fifth place overall finish out of 24 teams. The Bulldogs took 15 wrestlers to the camp and of those 15, nine were rookies.
The team finished 11-2 and earned wins over Canyon City, Colo. and Houston, Texas schools.
What was most impressive was Kobi’s unbeaten streak to end the tournament and the award he received because of his ability and desire to beat every opponent that stood across from him.
“At the time it wasn’t on my mind, but I didn’t think I would win the award,” Kobi said. “Winning it makes me want to keep going and strive to be the best I can be.”
Kobi credits the program that Coach Nick Williams built as one of the reasons for his success. The Bulldogs never really stop wrestling and at most only get a month or two off between the seasons.
“The summer wrestling program helps me stay locked in and focusing on the main goal of winning a state championship,” Kobi said. “Just doing freestyle in the summer benefits you in the long run.”
For now, Kobi turns his attention towards Fargo and the competition that is now before him on the biggest stage in U.S. high school wrestling.
“I’m really excited,” Kobi said. “It’s going to be a very tough tournament but I have very high hopes.”
Reach Ryan Lewis at 580-482-1221, ext. 2076.