Christian Murabito strives to fulfill family wrestling legacy

December 7, 2012 — by Michelle Leung and Bruce Lou

Living up to an older sibling’s legacy is a difficult challenge for many younger siblings. For sophomore Christian Murabito, having a wrestling legend as an older brother makes it much, much harder.

Living up to an older sibling’s legacy is a difficult challenge for many younger siblings. For sophomore Christian Murabito, having a wrestling legend as an older brother makes it much, much harder.

Christian’s brother is Alfred Murabito, who is now wrestling at the University of Pennsylvania. Alfred was also captain of the SHS team.

“I would describe my brother as one of the most hardworking and determined people I know, and one of the most supportive,” Christian said.

Christian, the fifth in a family of nine siblings, said that having such an accomplished older brother can be hard, but also motivates him to perform well.

“The inspiration [to start] wrestling for me was my brother, who was on the middle school team,” Christian said. “He’s still the wrestler that I look up to the most.”

According to Christian, the sport has taught him a lot more than just wrestling techniques.

“I wrestle because it teaches character, keeps me in shape, and hopefully will get me into college,” Christian said. “I’ve learned to not give up in order to succeed at anything in life.”

He also enjoys the independence of the sport.

“I like wrestling because I don’t have to rely on anyone else,” Christian said. “Success depends on me.”

Christian’s wrestling skills are also impressive. He has already wrestled his way to third in the El Camino League in the 170-pound weight class and hopes to eventually win League and CCS.

“My goal is to place at states,” Christian said, “but more generally to be recognized.”

He enjoys both the physical and mental challenges of wrestling.

“The hardest parts are keeping weight, keeping up with schoolwork and keeping up with  conditioning,” Christian said.

Other wrestlers see Christian as a role model. Many of them admire his grit and tenacity. Senior wrestler Henry Wei recounts a time when Christian’s perseverance shone in a tough match.

“Once, Christian took on a much bigger senior as a freshman. It got to 6-0 and he was about to lose,” Wei said. “But then he started trying really hard, and only lost by one point. He nearly won the match.”

The wrestling team has undergone several coaching changes in recent years. Despite disappointing seasons in previous years, new coach Armando Gonzalez hopes to overcome team size difficulties and reach the next division level. The Falcons currently consist of only 15 athletes, making it a challenge to compete against other, larger teams.

"This year, my goal is to win a majority of our [matches] in league to move to the upper division, and just to continue improving," Gonzalez said. "My goal is to have everyone stay healthy and compete at a high level. The team is a lot smaller  in number than most high school teams, but we have great talent."

According to Gonzalez, Christian is among the more talented wrestlers.

"Christian is very hard working," Gonzalez said. "He's focused on goals. He has the talent to become a great wrestler. As a sophomore he's well on his way, if he keeps his attitude."

Wrestlers have enjoyed getting to know Gonzalez.

“The new coach knows how to work with us," Christian said. "He knows more about the sport, he knows more technique, he knows what each of us needs.”

Senior team members also approve of Gonzalez's work and experience.

“I love [new coach Gonzalez]," Wei said. "He knows a lot about wrestling. He’s really well versed in the sport.”

Despite difficulties and disappointments in past seasons, the wrestling team continues to view this season with optimism.

“I expect the rest of the season to go really well because everyone seems to be working hard,” Christian said. 

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