"He's put a lot of time into wrestling," head coach Greg Chappel said of Klingsheim.
"He wrestled close to 100 matches at a high level of competition over the off-season. And, he's always in the gym working out - he's very strong. He has a lot of heart and determination, and, I don't know exactly what makes a kid special, but he has it. He's a special kid."
Chappel sees a lot of the same qualities in Rios that he sees in Klingsheim. Rios is fiercely competitive and wrestles hard until the end of every match. During the Tournament of Champions Rios managed a maneuver Chappel had never seen anybody execute before, successfully leaping over an opponent who was shooting in to take his legs, contorting his body in mid-air, and landing square on the back of his onrushing opponent.
Paul Gomez (103 pounds), Roger Hutchison (125 pounds) and Mike Bodkin (130 pounds) each went 3-2 in their respective weight classes, and Anthony Thurgood (119 pounds) went 1-2.
"I'm always hopeful that when we get into league and section matches wrestling against this kind of tough competition will give us a sense that we've been there and done that before," said Chappel.
The team left Wednesday for Hawaii, where they are competing in the Iolani Invitational Wrestling Tournament and vacationing as a team to celebrate the New Year. The team returns Jan. 4, just in time to head to Clovis, where they're set to compete Jan. 5 and 6.