Wrestling in the 285-pound heavyweight class at the CIF Div. III Championships, Serrano pinned John del Valle of Central High in El Centro in just 1:06 to take the title and send his Pointer coaches and teammates into a frenzied celebration.
“Mike really earned this,” said Pointer wrestling coach Phil Moore. “He is such a great kid who has shown up every day for four years at practice and put in the work, and even came in to work on wrestling during his football season.”
Serrano was also named Most Valuable Wrestler among the upper weight divisions at the meet.
“I saw the glare in his eyes,” Moore said, “and I knew he wanted the championship.”
Serrano, meanwhile, was humble in victory.
“I’m blessed to have great coaches,” he said later.
Serrano will add the wrestling title to his football career where he was a member of the All-Western League first-team offense and received the Bennie Edens Award from football coaches for his selfless attitude, personal qualities, work ethic and football skills, all traits that Edens admired in the young men he mentored.
Serrano’s championship earned entry in the CIF Masters Meet between Feb. 28-March 1 at Mission Hills High. Also earning spots were 106-pound Chase Harris and 152-pound Nathan Maracle, who finished in third and fourth place, respectively, at the event.