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The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Same battle, different fight for Panthers’ brothers
The Landeros brothers Jorge (left) and Albert (right) came to City College as a package deal according to Coach Dave Pacheco. Photo by Gabrielle Smith // Photo Editor // [email protected]

Wrestlers typically work alone on the mat when they take on an opponent, and, to onlookers, it may appear that teamwork is not a factor in an athlete’s performance. But City College wrestling brothers Jorge and Albert Landeros consider themselves a supportive team on and off the mat.

Jorge, 22, and Albert, 19, hail from Tracy, California, and graduated from Tracy High School in 2010 and 2013, respectively.

Albert, the younger of the two brothers, has been wrestling since his freshman year in high school. Last season, his first year at City College, Albert took fourth place at the 2013 California Community College Athletic Association State Wrestling Championship in his weight class (125 lbs). According to Jorge, it was something that may not have happened if it weren’t for the push he gave his younger brother.

Albert said that he took wrestling seriously, but did not want to wrestle after high school. Jorge had other plans for his little brother, and decided to give him the extra motivation that he needed to go to the next level.

“I’d never wrestled before, but I told him, ‘If you go wrestle, I’ll go wrestle,’” said Jorge. “He told me to shut up and that it was stupid. But I ended up coming out and [Coach David] Pacheco said that it was cool for me to try out.”

Pacheco said he recruited Albert out of high school, but was reluctant to allow Jorge to come try out when he was told that he had no wrestling background.

“We usually don’t take guys that haven’t wrestled before, but it was kind of a package deal,” said Pacheco. “If we get one, we get both, so we did it.”

Albert came in and wrestled right away, but it took some time for Jorge before he could hit the mat and compete, Pacheco said. In his first year, Jorge was forced to take a season off as a red shirt so he could get acclimated to his new sport.

According to Pacheco, Jorge needed to work on wrestling technique but did not slack off during practice.

“A lot of guys get in that situation, and they’re not sure if they really want to do it, but he did everything he was supposed to do,” said Pacheco. “He worked hard, never complained, tried to do everything with everyone else. Of course, his technique wasn’t as good, but conditioning wise, he did everything we wanted him to do.”

Jorge said his wrestling career started with a freak accident at practice when he tore his rotator cuff and separated the AC joint in his shoulder while getting ready for a match. He said the injury caused him to be sidelined from workouts and practicing, which affected his weight and motivation.

“I got depressed. I started sitting on the couch eating ice cream every day,” said Jorge. “I started getting hella fat and got up to about 225 lbs. Right now, I’m at about 178 lbs, and I plan on wrestling at 165 lbs.”
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According to Pacheco, Jorge is on his way to being able to compete at an equal level with his teammates but has some more time to go before he gets there.

“He’s getting better, but he’s still got a ways to go,” said Pacheco. “There’s no substitute for experience, and he’s getting experience on the fly right now, trying to learn everything he needs to learn. But if you watched him in his drilling, you would never know he’d never wrestled before.”

According to Pacheco, Albert was an Academic All-American as well as an All-American in wrestling in 2013. Albert said that he’s not sure he wants to wrestle at the four-year college level, but he does want to transfer to a university and get an education to help his future career.

“I’m going to transfer to whatever school, because I definitely want the education,” said Albert. “I want to have a career in fitness or personal training, but I’m still kind of undecided on what I want to do.”

Separated by three years, the brothers had never competed on the same field, let alone the same mat. While the two of them were into football and baseball when they were younger, they took different paths when it came to fighting. While Jorge began to practice Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Albert began getting more and more into wrestling.

According to both brothers, now that they are wrestling on the same team, they use each other as motivation to improve and succeed.

“It becomes a lot more of a supportive type of thing,” said Albert. “Say I’m feeling down at a tournament because I lost a match. Instead of looking at the worst side of it, I think, ‘Jorge is still on the mat, too.’”

“When I see my brother in my corner, that’s like the biggest pump-up,” said Jorge. “He just walks over, and you know he’s getting ready for his match, but he comes over to make sure I’m good and give me a fist bump. And that’s a big thing. It’s a big uplift.”

With the 2014 season just beginning, Jorge and Albert have different goals. Since it is his first season competing, Jorge said that his goal is to come out of the season with a winning record. Albert, a seasoned veteran, said he has bigger aspirations for himself this season: taking first place in the state championship.

The Landeros brothers will be able to push each other to achieve their goals on the mat this season, and according to Jorge, it will be added motivation that they’re in each other’s corner.

“It’s a good little bump having blood in the room with you,” said Jorge. “All these guys are my friends and stuff, but having your actual brother in there with you is pretty cool.”

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