Chad Caraway will miss a couple of practices at Corona del Mar High during the holiday break. He left for Colorado on Thursday to spend time with family.
He definitely earned the time off.
Caraway has not had much of a break from the wrestling mat since the season began last month. He has been too busy winning.
The 152-pound senior is off to a rousing 16-2 start, his best with the Sea Kings. The beginning of a match is where Caraway has enjoyed much of his success this season.
Caraway does not mess around. He is determined right from the time he shakes hands with the opponent. Ryan Montgomery, an assistant coach at CdM, likes the approach.
"He's a pinner," Montgomery said. "He likes to finish the match early."
At the Battle of the Bay last week at Newport Harbor, Caraway showed how fast he is able to take care of business.
It took 42 seconds for Caraway to pin Newport Harbor's Ben Nordstrom. The fall marked the third of the Sea Kings' five on the night and it was Caraway giving them the lead for good.
All Caraway had to do was wait around. Four matches later, Caraway celebrated with his teammates after CdM won, 37-30, and claimed the framed Golden Singlet for the second straight year.
"We were confident because we knew we could get more pins than them," Caraway said. "Only one of our guys got pinned. That was the difference. Our guys showed up with big victories."
Caraway will rejoin those guys before the New Year. He said Coach Gary Almquist excused him from practice while he is away with family.
Just because Caraway has time off does not mean he is going to sit around. He said he already found a gym to work out near his grandmother's house in Dillon, Colo.
Caraway might not be doing too many curls. He said his left bicep tendon is sore from competing earlier this week at the competitive Mann Classic at Ayala High in Chino Hills.
The bicep held up during the two-day tournament, allowing Caraway to place seventh. Some of the top wrestlers from the CIF Southern Section and CIF Central Section participated.
The event challenged Caraway, who fell into the consolation round after losing his quarterfinal match to Laguna Hills' Jason Newcomer on Tuesday. The next day, Caraway fought his way back. He went 4-1, two wins via pin, securing a spot in the top eight.
Caraway said the tournament had the feel of a postseason one. The experience will only help Caraway reach his goals.
"I'd like to win [a] CIF [Southern Section title], place high in Masters, if not win it, and my main goal is to place at state," said Caraway, who is CdM's second straight 152-pound senior with state aspirations after Danny Busch was unable to make it last season.
Caraway understands the road to state starts as soon he returns to CdM from his holiday break.
Hometown: Newport Beach
Born: Sept. 3, 1993
Weight: 158 pounds
Coach: Gary Almquist
Favorite food: Crab legs
Favorite movie: "Gladiator"
Favorite athletic moment: "The regional championships when I was in gymnastics [about seven years ago in Hawaii]."
Week in review: Recorded a pin in 42 seconds in his 152-pound match, helping the Sea Kings to a 37-30 victory against Newport Harbor in the Battle of the Bay.