Garden Grove resident and Western alum Dave Ogata saw a banner with his name hoisted in the school gymnasium, in commemoration of his 1972 CIF Sectional wrestling championship.
Ogata was a three-time Sunset League champion, three years All-City and All-Orange County, and his skills earned him an invitation to try out for the U.S. Olympic wrestling team.
The school recognized eight former wrestlers with banners for their achievements.
Above, Ogata is joined by fellow WHS grad Tom Hummel, who himself won the Sunset League wrestling championship in his senior year of 1969.
In a Facebook post, Ogata cited his faith and gave thanks to several people, including Hummel, Western Forever Alumni Association President Ron Flores and wrestling coach Jaimie Flores. Ogata also thanked his wife, Guyna, for “finding and cleaning my letterman jacket.”
Ogata was an all-around athlete with a slew of highlights outside the wrestling circle, including hitting three home runs in the 1969 Buena Park Baseball Championship. The third shot came with his team trailing by a run and gave his side a 7-6 walk-off victory.
Below, a photo shows Ogata in a 1972 match he won by knockout. Photos courtesy Dave Ogata