There is no Pitman wrestler to-date that has accomplished what Adam Velasquez has done.
His accolades include being the first Pride wrestler to win back-to-back Sac-Joaquin Section Championships and earning a medal in the 2016 CIF State Tournament.
These were just a few of the reasons why Velasquez earned a full-ride scholarship to Division-I Cal Baptist University and officially signed his National Letter of Intent last Thursday from the Pitman library.
“It was tough for me to decide between Ohio State University and Cal Baptist University,” Velasquez said. “Both are D1 and both offered full rides. I was committed to being an Ohio State Buckeye and accepted the full ride with a verbal, but I de-committed and turned it down two weeks ago.”
Ohio State is one of the best collegiate wrestling programs in the country and finished second as a team in the 2017 NCAA Wrestling Championships behind Penn State. They even had one National Champion and a runner-up.
With such a decorated program, Velasquez seemed to have found his new home, only it wasn't close enough to his old home, including his family which was one of the most important factors in his decision.
“There's a lot of different things that made me de-commit from Ohio State,” said Velasquez. “A free education has always been the ultimate goal, but the main reasons would have been family, distance, and the weather.”
The recruiting process was tough on Velasquez, but in the end, he knew what he wanted out of it. He stuck with it and kept on grinding.
“The recruitment process was amazing and terrible,” said Velasquez. “I was really excited and thankful, but by the end I just couldn't wait till it was over.”
Velasquez was one of the most sought out wrestlers in the nation when it came to recruiting after he was heavily looked at by a handful of top wrestling schools.
“Wisconsin Badgers, Campbell University and Kent State were my top five to choose out of,” he said. “But when it came down to it, CBU and The Ohio State Buckeyes were my top two choices. I verballed to Ohio State late April.”
Velasquez, injured while at this year’s CIF State Tournament, didn't medal, but he redeemed himself at the National Tournament in Virginia, where he placed fifth in the country.
“After the state championships going to Virginia to battle the best in the country was what I had to do,” he said. “I did just that with knocking off the No. 2 in the quarters in triple OT, and fell a close controversial match in the semis and ended up with All-American status placing fifth in the nation. I learned at Nationals, when you fall you have two options — stay down or get back up and work harder.”
Velasquez now hopes to put CBU on the map and compete with the best of the best.
“Goals to accomplish in college would be to win a D1 National Championship,” said Velasquez. “I hope to balance it just by staying on top of all of my priorities. I will not take this full scholarship for granted. I am going to put in the work that's asked of me and keep my head in the books.”
He also mentioned that numerous people were big assets to help get to where he is headed.
“There are so many people to name that have helped me get to where I am today and they know who they are. My parents are my rocks though,” he added. “Also, Kevin Sprague and Joey La Rosa are as real as it gets.”
Velasquez hopes to major in either civil engineering or business.