Training for the National Junior Olympics, members of the King City and San Ardo Boxing Clubs (from left) Andre Mosqueda, Kaleb Almanza, Miguelito Cruz, Coach Rodolfo Tapia, Bryan Cruz, Aiden Almanza and Grettell Cruz ran the hills of San Ardo on July 3 to stay in shape. (Contributed Photo)

KING CITY — Six youngsters representing the King City and San Ardo Boxing Clubs are hitting the road this week to Lubbock, Texas, to participate in the 2021 National Junior Olympics and Summer Festival.

Representing the King City Boxing Club are Aiden Almanza, 12, at 75 pounds; Kaleb Almanza, 9, at 65 pounds; and Andre Mosqueda, 8, at 60 pounds. Boxers from the San Ardo Boxing Club are Miguelito Hernandez, 11, at 65 pounds; Bryan Cruz, 11, at 70 pounds; and Grettell Cruz, 12, at 75 pounds.

Head Coach Rodolfo Tapia and his boxers will leave South Monterey County this Friday and will be registering for the tournament on Sunday.

Boxers will be seeded into the tournament by weight class, and boxing will start on Monday, July 13, and continue through Saturday, July 17. The matches will be contested at the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center.

“This is the first time that the tournament is open to all boxers,” Tapia said. “When Aiden Almanza and Miguelito Hernandez qualified two years ago, they had to place in the Central Tournament and then place in the Northern California Tournament to qualify. All boxers of different levels can compete this year and it should be a huge tournament. We have parents that also will be traveling to the event, but I will be the only person allowed in the boxers corner.”

The boxing clubs have continued to train at the two boxing sites in King City and San Ardo and getting road work in by running at the San Ardo hills.

“We have not stopped our training, and it is paying off as all my boxers have been maintaining and boxing strong at their weight class,” Tapia said. “It is going to be an expensive trip, but I get lots of support from my work at Creekside Farms and we also made money on some other fundraisers. We are very thankful to everyone that is helping us to get to Texas.”

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