Stallions hosts first Arballo tourney
Tyler Takeda/The madera Tribune
Madera South 115-pounder Nathan Leon tries to get get his opponent into a near fall position during the finals of the Robert Arballo Holiday Hammer Memorial tournament at Madera South on Saturday.
At the beginning of every wrestling season for about the past 10 years, teams would gear up for the first big tournament of the season — the Chukchansi Invitational at Madera South High School.
This weekend wasn’t any different, however, it did come with a name change. Instead of the Chukchansi, Madera South wrestling coach Al Lopez introduced the Robert Arballo Holiday Hammer Memorial Tournament, in honor of his former mentor and coach.
“I’ve been thinking about this name change since he passed away last year,” Lopez said. “Coach Arballo was not just a great friend to me, but he was a father-figure and mentor. He took me under his wings and showed me how to do things right and with class and dignity. It’s a great honor to do this in his memory, and he deserves this for everything he’s done for Madera and what he’s done for wrestling. We’ve had nothing but compliments. The Arballo family is so grateful. This tournament has brought more people from all over the valley.”