A Sports Feature – Written By Reilly Kneedler
Originally published in the Dec. 24 issue of the Wenatchee World
“I want him to be better than me.” Those words are rare coming from a competitive athlete, but for Eastmont’s Julian Arellano, they couldn’t be more true about his brother Louis.
The brothers have found themselves on the podium time and time again for the Wildcat wrestling squad. So far this season, they can credit a majority of that success to each other.
“I’ve tried to make his experience good (this year) and push him farther than he thinks he can go,” Julian said. As a senior, he has been an integral part of the Eastmont team for years at the 113 weight class. However now that his freshman brother Louis has made it to the starting varsity position for the 113 pound class, Julian’s goals have shifted to reflect Louis’s progress.
“Since we started wrestling together, I’ve seen him kind of look up to me and watch my matches and see how I wrestle,” Julian said. “Having him on the team is fun cause I can actually teach him before I leave.”
The brotherly teachings have been paying off for the Arellano brothers, who have been taken wins and titles left and right this season. Last Saturday at the Best of the West Tournament, one of the largest that the Wildcats will travel to this season, Louis pushed his way to the top eight in his class and Julian took first place overall.
While Julian has experienced some success in the past, this is a whole different ballgame for Louis.
“Seeing him place high like I do, makes me really happy for him,” Julian said.
However he isn’t the only one taking notice of young Louis’s surprising success.
“When we saw (Louis) come in at the first tournament, he was kind of shutting down and got really defensive,” Eastmont head coach Matt Prazer said, “and then he opened things up and it was like he went out there and just wrestled.”
While the brothers have had an unusual amount of success this year, Prazer has seen a few sets of siblings come through his program; however not duos have had the best working relationship.
“If they’re willing to work with you it’s great, we’ve seen both (over the years). We’ve seen the big brother that doesn’t want anything to do with the younger one and just pounds him into the ground and doesn’t help him at all,” Prazer said. “But these guys have a good relationship. Julian looks out for (Louis).”
Unsurprisingly, the fact that they compete in neighboring weight classes has helped prep both boys for the challenge that wrestling can bring.
“We wrestle each other a lot during practice, he’s learning a lot off of me… but I learn from him too,” Julian said.
“At a lot of the good programs you see, if they have a state champion at say 126 pounds, all of their kids from 113 to 130 are all really good because they have this guy in the room to work with. That’s what Louis has, a guy to work with that helps make him better,” Prazer said.
What the future holds
Eastmont is at roughly the halfway mark in its season, so eyes are starting to look towards the post-season. The Arellanos brothers already have goals in mind for the one chance they have to make it all the way.
“I can see (Louis) getting to state this year and then being a state champion in a year or so,” Julian said. “My goal (this season) is to take state, be state champion and take back the title for Eastmont.”