Jocelyn Moran, KPIX
VALLEJO (CBS SF) — The exterior walls of the gym at Hogan High School in Vallejo are painted with sports images. One is making an impact on students even beyond the halls of school: wrestling.
“The one thing about wrestling is that it’s about readjustment. Nothing is always perfect. It’s about how you adapt to your situation or your problem,” said Anthony Bonifacio, a former student of coach Peter Trave.
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Bonifacio said he joined wrestling in the eighth grade and uses the lessons he learned then even now that he is 20 years old.
“The analogy with life is that life is going to put you on your back and you have to try to fight that and get back on your feet,” Trave said.
Coach Trave has been teaching at the school since 1996. That message couldn’t be more relevant than it is now. The students are still going through a pandemic, and most recently, their mat room caught fire. They had to find another place to practice within days of the state women’s wrestling championship.
“It was almost like fuel for them because it was almost personal to them,” Trave said.
And despite the challenges, they still took second place.
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“I feel like we worked very hard for that,” said Maikah Jiménez Diolantla, a current member of the team.
Since Coach Trave has been in Hogan they have won many city titles and state championships. But what has been most important to him is what the students have been able to take with them beyond the tatami.
“It really helped me gain confidence in a lot of things,” Maikah said.
They are lessons that students have carried with them, even after high school.
“(He) always spoke from the heart. It’s always about who wants it more, who trains harder, that’s a great thing about how I approach things, every day of my life,” Bonifacio said.
Coach Trave wants his students to have the strength to believe in themselves.
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“If you want something in life, if you think you’re going to get it sitting down, playing on your phone, playing video games, that’s not going to work,” he said. “You have to work hard. Do you want a better life? Normally you have to work hard. And you appreciate it more when you work hard and achieve it.”