The NSBCART awards its scholarships at its annual awards dinner. The 2020 dinner was cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The state tournament appearance was the successful culmination of a wrestling career Gonzalez said started at age six.
“I first started wrestling for Guadalupe Wrestling then the California Gladiators,” before he wrestled for St. Joseph, said Gonzalez.
“It’s been quite a journey.”
His college plans are set. Gonzalez will attend Fresno State and major in criminal justice.
As to whether or not he will try to walk on to the Fresno State wrestling team, “I’m kind of 50-50 with that right now,” Gonzalez said.
Santa Maria had a powerful attack that 2004-05 season, featuring Division IV Offensive Player of the Year Edgar Miranda, Jose Villalba and Eric Navarro, and a defense that Division IV Defensive Player of the Year Eduwiges Aguila anchored.
With school facilities closed in the wake of a statewide shelter-in-place directive California Governor Gavin Newsom issued because of COVID-19, Gonzalez said he has still been able to work out on his own.
“I have a wrestling mat at home,” he said. “I shadow wrestle.”
Gonzalez said he eventually wants to become a homicide detective.
“Honestly, I’ve always been kind of into the police field,” he said.
“First of all, I always wanted to be a cop and help people. I think cops get kind of a bad rap.”