The conversation has come up a few times between Bakersfield College freshmen wrestlers Adrian Godinez and Jeremy Maas. But then again, they don’t like to discuss it much.
What happens if everything goes as planned this weekend and the two take care of business?
“It’s an interesting subject,” Maas said.
Godinez, the No. 1-ranked 184-pound wrestler in the state, and Maas, ranked No. 2, are on a collision course for a matchup between the two in the state tournament finals. Both have first-round byes in the two-day CCCAA Wrestling State Championships, which starts Friday at 10 a.m. at San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton.
The Renegades will have seven wrestlers vying for state titles, including Pedro Corona (133 pounds), Emmett Kuntz (149), Brayden Riley (157), Zavion Roberson (197) and Ramiro Macias (285). But only Godinez and Maas might have to go through a teammate to get there.
“If we could get all seven in the finals, I’d be happy and wouldn't care who we wrestle,” BC co-head coach Brett Clark said.
Godinez and Maas are two talented but different wrestlers, co-head coach Marcos Austin said. Godinez is dynamic upright while Maas works well down on the mat. Godinez excels with his footwork and Maas has heavy hands.
Maas admires Godinez’s passion and tactical knowledge within matches. Godinez said Maas is “super athletic” and turned a cocky, playful attitude into a focused one.
Maas started the year wrestling at 174 pounds, but midway through the season he bumped up to 184. He was getting sick after matches because of the weight cuts and decided with the coaches to make the switch.
“I feel like a new man,” Maas said. “It feels great.”
Over the course of the season, Maas and Godinez have fed off the every day matches in practice between the two. Godinez picked up a little bit of Maas’ work ethic, continuing to practice and work beyond the team's scheduled hours, Austin said. Maas learned from Godinez’s wrestling IQ.
The relationship isn’t just wrestling, though. It’s hours of video games, hangouts nearly every weekend and a concert trip planned for after the season. They were friends before the season and it’s only intensified since then.
“On and off the mat he’s been my best bud,” Godinez said.
“That’s my dude,” Maas said.
Godinez medaled twice at the high school state tournament while at Foothill. Maas was supposed to be Liberty’s first state placer, he said, but “choked.” Both said a state title at this level would mean a lot to them.
The two have decided two "matches" between them the last two weeks at the conference tournament and Southern California Regional Championships with rock-paper-scissors and a coin flip. Maas won both, but says he didn't earn those gold medals.
As far as how the match will go if Godinez and Maas do face off in the finals on Saturday, it’s anyone’s guess. Austin thinks it’ll be a barnburner but Clark believes it’ll be a one- or two-point match. They both know each other too well, Clark said, and it'll come down to which one makes a mistake.
Godinez said anything can happen and health and mindset at the time will be the deciding factor. Maas said he would expect a few scrambles but other than that, he doesn’t know.
“We just hope that we can finally get that match,” Maas said. “We just don’t want to disappoint anybody.”