The boys brought home second- and fifth-place medals
PASO ROBLES — The Davidson family has wrestling in their veins, so it’s no surprise that brothers Christian (age 17) and William (7) competed in the Reno World of Wrestling Championships (Reno Worlds) at the beginning of last month.
The competition took place at the Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center from April 7-10. The Reno Worlds feature Open, Girls, and HS divisions.
“The Reno World is probably the biggest tournament that we’ve ever gone to; we’ve been going to the Reno Worlds on and off over the last, I would say even before Christian was born,” said Christian and Will’s dad, and coach, Jayson Davidson. “I used to coach the middle schools in Paso Robles, and we would take kids up there. It’s just such a tough tournament. Sometimes you get 4,500 [wrestlers] at that wrestling tournament, and you’re getting kids from all over the country, and you get kids internationally there. It’s such a huge tournament,”
Jayson Davidson started his own wrestling career when he was a teenager. He was a football player, which was his main sport, but his football coach told him that he would be a better player if he started wrestling.
“That’s how I got into wrestling and the Monteiros, Chris Monteiro, he coached me in wrestling, [and] he coached my kids in wrestling,” stated Jayson.
Matt and Mitch Monteiro, Chris’s sons, also coach Christian and Will.
“They’re like family; they’ve been this huge influence on my kids and wrestling too,” added Jayson. “It’s just a big wrestling family.”
Christian, a junior at Paso Robles High School, made it all the way to State earlier in the year and ended up taking home second place in the 18-U Open Tournament (weight class 195).
“He’s been working really hard,” Jayson said of Christian, who has attended the Reno Worlds five times but never fared well in the past.
Christian’s first match at this year’s Reno Worlds was against an opponent from Seattle, and Christian won the match with a tech-fall, which is when you win by besting your opponent by 15 points. This was Christian’s first win in Reno. His semi-final match was against an opponent who was on the Oregon national team; Christian beat him 9 to 4.
“It was a big confidence booster for Christian,” stated Jayson.
Christian then went up against another Californian, whom he had not wrestled before, in the finals. Christian got pinned by his opponent in the second period.
“In Reno, their format is called the true second,” Jayson said. “If you lose that match, whoever won the third-place match can challenge for a true second. So he lost that match [the finals], and then he had to wrestle again for a true second. So the third-place winner got to challenge him for true second.”
Christian ended up pinning his challenger, who wrestles out of Oregon, maintaining his second-place title.
Younger brother Will competed at the Reno Worlds for the first time this year. At just 7, but with a birthday in September, Will qualified for the 6-U category.
Will, who has been wrestling for the past year, had only participated in three tournaments prior to the Reno Worlds.
“Will’s never been to a tournament that size. He’s gone to Reno with us, but he was so young, he doesn’t remember the magnitude of what Reno is like, and we kind of had to convince him,” Jayson said. “Like, ‘hey, you’re gonna be wrestling against 6-year-olds, and you’re seven.’ We got him signed up, and he trained, and Mitch Monteiro has been working with him. He wrestles with a club out of Paso Robles called Smash Mouth Wrestling Club. They practice three days a week.”
In Will’s first match, he went up against the top-ranked U-6 wrestler in the nation and the Tulsa national champion. After losing his first round, Will won his next three matches and got into the medal rounds, eventually placing fifth.
“I’m proud of the boys. I’m proud of their hard work,” Jayson said. “I appreciate their coaches, their high school coaches. Christian’s high school coach Nate Ybarra has been great.”
Jayson also thanked Zander Wick, who trains Christian out of the Central Coast Regional Training Center in San Luis Obispo.