Joseph Duran has life pinned to the mat

The CIF wrestling champ and ASB president has his eyes set on the future


Courtesy Duran Family

Joseph Duran poses with his CIF awards at this year’s event.

On February 13, Joseph Duran, Colton High senior and ASB President, became CIF champion for his wrestling weight class. At 145 pounds, he devastated opponents in the Southern section and earned himself a spot at the Masters tournament.  

Wrestling has been part of Joseph’s high school career, and an important part of his relationships with his father and brothers. Becoming CIF champion is a great capper on a terrific high school experience.

Before wrestling, Joseph first learned Judo from his father. His father was a judo champion, and taught all of his sons the grappling-based martial art.

The competitive Duran brothers are all highly decorated Colton alums. (J. Dollins)

Joseph got excited about wrestling at 8 when he attended his older brother’s wrestling tournaments with the family. All of his brothers wrestled at Colton High, and their father coached them.

With their dad as a coach, Joseph feels as though he has both the extra support and extra pressure to become better. His father pushes him both mentally and physically. “He pushes me the hardest just because he knows my potential.”

But even though his father pushes him, Joseph still gets the support he needs. No matter the outcome of a match, Joseph can rely on his father to either give him pointers or reassurance that he tried his best.

Family is a huge influence as to why Joseph is the hardworking wrestler and ASB president he is. However, he also attributes his confidence and will to his mentality. 

“You have to believe that you can win, and in yourself.”

He pushes himself every match. Despite winning CIF and MVP of his weight class division, Joseph doesn’t keep track of his victories. Instead, he tracks the losses so that he can improve. 

He even sees how his teammates, despite being younger, have the same mentality. “They impress me,” he said.

Besides wrestling, Joseph’s path to becoming ASB president was also influenced by his family. He and his brothers are highly competitive, and are constantly trying to one-up each other. One of his older brothers, Isaiah, was also ASB president, and Joseph’s competitiveness motivated him to also seek the position.

“We are always trying to one-up each other,” Joseph said. “I try to be better than them in a friendly brotherly way.”

Even though he likes to compete with others and his brothers, Joseph is still confident in his own uniqueness.

Duran gets Eisenhower’s Joaquin Castro down on the mat to force submission during round three of their match. (J. Dollins)

He considers himself a “funky wrestler” because he has developed his own personal wrestling style, influenced by judo. Unlike a lot of other wrestlers, he doesn’t spend time scouting out his competition, choosing instead to fight each fight on its own terms. He also doesn’t ever post anything about his wrestling success on social media, knowing that there are other competitors out there looking for any advantage they can find.

With high school nearing its end for Joseph, he has his eyes set on college, but not necessarily wrestling. He is content with what he achieved so far and “would like to branch out and do different things.” If opportunities to wrestle present themselves, he isn’t against it, but that is not his intention for continuing his education.

What Joseph wants is to become an engineer.

Even if college proves to be a transition time for Joseph, as he leaves high school and potentially wrestling, he is certain that “on the outside, I look ready, and all I can really do is give it my all.”