The coronavirus may have left Sean Yamasaki’s prep golf career at bay, but he’ll soon be bringing his wrestling talent to the Bay Area.
The Dos Pueblos High senior announced that he is signing a National Letter of Intent to compete at San Francisco State next year. DP is planning to video stream a signing ceremony for all its college-bound athletes later this month.
“The program there is really trying to improve, and that’s something I want for myself, as well,” said Yamasaki, who was ranked among the state’s top high school wrestlers in the 132-pound weight division. “I want to become the best wrestler and person I can be, and I think they have the best environment for me to do that academically and athletically.”
Third-year Gators’ coach Jason Welch, a former All-American at Northwestern University, was one of the biggest factors in Yamasaki’s decision. He was also considering San Diego State and Colorado State at Fort Collins.
“Coach Welch is a super-nice guy and he was an NCAA Division 1 finalist, so he knows his stuff,” he said. “I’m really excited to learn from him.”
Yamasaki, the son of Mike and Kate Yamasaki, became only the third wrestler in Channel League history to win four-straight individual conference championships.
His father accomplished the feat (1979 through 1982) while on his way to winning a state championship. Camarillo’s Ron Wilson also won four titles, the last coming in 1971 when the Scorpions were still members of the Channel League.
Sean Yamasaki’s senior season began with a championship at the Newbury Park Tournament where he was voted as the Outstanding Wrestler of the Lower Weights.
He also won titles at the Asics So Cal Championships and the Silver Spring Tournament. He was third at the California Invitational Tournament in Morro Bay, losing only to the state’s No. 2 wrestler, and placed fifth at the prestigious Battle of the Belt in Temecula.
After winning his fourth Channel League title, he finished third at the CIF-Southern Section Divisional Championships to advance to the Masters’ Meet. He missed qualifying for the State Championships by just one place.
Yamasaki, an honors student, plans to major in kinesiology at San Francisco State.
“They have a cool honors program there in which, after five or five-and-a-half years, you can earn a Masters degree, as well,” he pointed out. “It fast-tracks the whole process of getting your Masters.”
Yamasaki had been playing on Dos Pueblos’ varsity golf team when the COVID-19 pandemic brought an end to the season right after the Chargers’ March 12 match against Santa Barbara.
“It was definitely unfortunate to see everyone’s spring seasons end like that,” he said. “This is also the time of year everyone gets to celebrate, and losing all that is unfortunate, too.
“Our school is still trying to preserve some form of normalcy with things like the online national signing ceremony. They’re doing their best to try to keep everyone’s spirits up and keep things as normal as they can in unusual times.”