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California Coming in Waves to RMN...

By Associated Wrestling Press, 03/05/18, 2:30PM MST


Red Wave bringing elite wrestlers...


Family values are important! The family is the core institution that helps to stabilize our society in so many areas. It doesn't matter which side of the political aisle you stand upon; almost everyone agrees that it is the family which provides the cohesive glue that helps to hold us together.

The gang problem we have in our nation is most likely the result of families that are falling apart in some significant way. When opposing gangs clashed in the past they called it a rumble. The outcomes of "Rumbles" generally were not very pleasant. However, there was recently a rumble that didn't fit the typical definition of a street fight. The rumble of course was the "Rumble in Reno"; it was attended by teams supported by families which formed their own wrestling clubs.

One of these "wrestling families" is called RED WAVE WRESTLING, and Red Wave rumbled their way to the top of the list taking home the first-place trophy. The reason why I have focused this article on the importance of family is because that is the one term that describes team Red Wave; as a matter of fact, Red Wave has a motto that carries a lot of weight around their club. That motto is: REP THE FAM! It is their creed, their battle cry, the driving force that helps them to rumble so well as they "represent the family."

Head Coach Damani Buckley was the key factor in getting the Red Wave ball rolling, and although he wasn't available on the day I interviewed the team, Coach Sergio Montoya spoke very highly of Coach Buckley with the vision he had for the team. Coach Montoya, who works for the Department of Defense, is also very key in keeping the Red Wave rumbling in their home-state of California. 

Red Wave is very young for a championship club; it has been around for less than 4 years, but the nature of their success comes from being a cohesive unit where everyone including parents all pitch in to making the team successful. From its humble beginnings in a garage to a larger facility and a traveling bus, everybody involved with Red Wave continue to "REP THE FAM" in practical and meaningful ways.

Coach Sergio said of himself that he could be a little "impulsive" at times like turning his garage into a wrestling gym, or the time someone mentioned the team needed a bus, so he went out on a limb and bought one. When impulsivity meets up with risk and challenge producing a more than successful outcome, I call that visionary leadership ... apparently that is what the Dept. of Defense sees in him as well. 

When I had the chance to interview the kids who did so well at the Rumble in Reno, I asked them all the following questions:

  1. What is your goal as a wrestler?
  2. What was your most memorable win?
  3. What do you see yourself doing as an adult?

Here are the individual wrestlers answers:

  • Wyatt Lewis, age 9, a 6-year wrestler said that he wants to wrestle in the Olympics. His most memorable win was his 3-time world finals and his 3-time state championship to get the Triple Crown. He aspires to go to Oklahoma St. or Fresno St. to both compete and study engineering.
  • Thunder Lewis, age 11, an 8-year wrestler expressed that he wants to wrestle on the collegiate level and wrestle in the Olympics. His most memorable win was when he double-bracketed and won two awards at the same tournament. He has a very healthy sense of personal pride when it comes to wrestling; he would like to pass on his knowledge to others as he becomes an athletic director and coach at the college level.
  • Damian Montoya, age 12, a 6 year wrestler states that he doesn't just want to go to the NCAA Championships and the Olympics ... he wants to win them, and with his wins in Reno and the Grand Canyon Championship where he took first place, and was named MVP as he double-bracketed, I believe he can do whatever he sets his mind on doing! He wants to be a project manager when he works for the government like his dad. The apple doesn't fall too far from the tree in the Montoya family. No doubt Damian will make everyone around him a better employee.
  • Junior Montoya, age 14, a 6-year wrestler said, " I don't let defeat stop me. I can always learn something from a defeat. I have a lot of love and support, and I want to make everybody around me better." What a great statement from a great wrestler! I know a lot of adults who can use this young man's perspective on life.
  • Junior Montoya's most memorable win came when Team Cali faced off against Team USA in 2017 in Michigan, where the closely contested tournament came down to the final two matches. Junior let it all out on the mat and his win made the difference in the tournament as Team Cali took home the hard-fought win. Junior would like to be a doctor/surgeon as an adult, where he will continue his value of "making everyone around [him] better." 
  • Junior is starting his personal health practice by practicing personally, Junior is recovering from a broken collarbone as he does all the right things to take care of his body and get him back on the mat is good shape again.
  • It was such a warm and inviting interview that when I hung up the phone, I truly felt as if this Red Wave Family had me over for dinner and treated me to some deep and meaningful conversation. They made me feel as if I were part of their crew. What a privilege! All of this from a team that is still in it's infancy.
  • No doubt that Red Wave Wrestling is a family-oriented community where future wrestler will continue to "REP THE FAM" as they continue in their winning ways at the Rocky Mountain Nationals coming up March the 17th and 18th which will be preceded by the Rocky Mountain National Duels on Friday March the 16th. We look forward to seeing Red Wave Wrestling and many others there.


Steve McNulty
Associated Wrestling Press