Respectful, passionate and compassionate on the mat, Cupertino High School senior wrestler George Sakkas is no pushover.
“He’s dangerous,” says Roberto Dixon, director of Santa Clara Valley Wrestling Association.
It’s the second year in a row Sakkas has been named to the all-star team that is picked by Dixon and a panel of coaches.
A “student of the sport” Sakkas has an unorthodox style, Dixon says, both of which only add to his athleticism.
“I’ve never had to coach against George, but my best advice to someone would be: ‘Try and survive. See if you can score a point and survive.’ Fortunately I’ve never had to coach against him,” says Sakkas’ coach Ken Amezcua.
Compassionate and passionate are just starter words Amezcua uses to describe Sakkas.
“He takes the time to be a role model. I don’t think he even realizes that he does it. He takes the time to talk to the kids that don’t understand the sport,” Amezcua says.
Sakkas is a good person on and off the mat, Amezcua says, with a maturity level that is “off the charts.”
That could be the “something different” he brings “to the floor” that Dixon sees in the senior.
“He doesn’t wrestle like a traditional wrestler,” Dixon says.
In the same nontraditional mode Sakkas, 18, is considered equally as good in both Greco and freestyle wrestling, something Dixon says is unusual.
“You don’t get many wrestlers that can wrestle both styles,” Dixon says.
He may not win every match, but Amezcua says you can see he walks away with knowledge from each one.
Athletes are motivated by competition and the win, and Sakkas has both within him Dixon and Amezcua agree, but his level of respect for the sport and his opponents elevate him to another level.
“This may sound funny, but it’s almost like he’s taking it to a samurai level. He has that much respect for his opponents,” Amezcua says.
“Every athlete is in it to be the best. I think George’s underlying motivation is he simply enjoys the purity of the sport.”
California Association Duals will be held at Santa Cruz High School, 415 Walnut Ave. in Santa Cruz May 18 through 20.
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