Keith Shimada / Special to the Home News
Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2009 | 10:54 p.m.
Considering the month senior Daniel Maman had going into Basic's wrestling meet with Liberty and Green Valley High on Jan. 27, it's a wonder he even suited up for the Wolves.
Maman had been suffering from strep throat throughout most of January, forcing him to the emergency room on one occasion after coughing up blood.
He sat out a dual meet and a tournament but was determined to return for the three-way dual competition that would decide Southeast Division title.
"I had just one day of practice before that crucial Green Valley match," Maman said. "It was just tough luck. I wasn't at the top of my game."
Maman, who competes in the 145-pound division, won by a pin against Liberty's Anthony Terrell but lost by decision to Green Valley's Chris Fehlman. Green Valley rolled to a 45-20 victory to clinch the league title for the third straight year.
It was a bitter loss for Maman and one he hopes to avenge in the Sunrise Region championships on Feb. 6 at Las Vegas High.
"I told him he didn't have to wrestle (against Green Valley), but he wouldn't hear of it," Basic coach Mark VanDamme said. "I love to coach him because he has so much heart and he never gives up. He's a real competitor."
Maman was having a strong season until his strep throat seemed to derail him.
He took third at the Las Vegas Holiday Classic on Dec. 20 and won his weight class at the Bulldog Grappler invitational on Jan. 10.
But after the invitational win, what started as a scratchy throat turned for the worse.
His condition would worsen to the point where Maman could not swallow and had to be fed intravenously.
"As far as I can remember, it was the most miserable I had ever been in my life," he said.
With his health improved, Maman has been hitting the weight room everyday in hopes of making up for the 10 pounds he lost.
After recording a 39-31 win against Silverado and a 66-12 win against Coronado on Jan. 28, Basic finished the season second in the league and with an overall dual meet record of 30-11.
It was a respectable finish for a young team with a first-year coach, however the varsity squad hasn't hid its disappointment in losing to Green Valley.
"Losing to Green Valley made it more disappointing," senior Kelly Kofford said. "We got all ready for it, but when the time came, we blew it.
Sean Ammerman can be reached at 990-2661 or firstname.lastname@example.org.