May 24, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

Standout Beckman athlete overcomes adversity and earns All-American award from Marines

Carlos Dubon (right) was joined by Beckman wrestling coach Ali Rawaf at a ceremony hosted by the U.S. Marines. (Photo courtesy Marine Corps Recruiting Station Orange County)

Beckman High School’s Carlos Dubon had quite a junior season, helping the Patriots wrestling team win its first league title and making big contributions on the football team.

Dubon shined in athletics but also overcame a number of challenges outside of athletics, helping his mother, who he said was diagnosed with lupus about six years ago. He also helped take care of his younger sister, making sure she got to school safely every day.

In recognition of his efforts, Dubon was honored as a Semper Fidelis All American by the United States Marines last spring.

“The Semper Fidelis All American program recognizes high school students who face life’s battles with the conviction and determination to succeed,” accordng to an article on the Marine’s website.

Recipients must have a GPA of at least 3.5. Winners received an all-expenses paid trip to attend the Battles Won Academy, a multi-day experience held in Washington, D.C., which was scheduled for July 9. But the event was cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic. A local ceremony which followed social distancing guidelines was held at the Marine Corps Recruiting Station Orange County and wrestling coach Ali Rawaf and Dubon’s parents were on hand for the tribute.

“I got it for overcoming adversity, helping my community and doing sports,” Dubon said. “My adversity was helping my mom since she was diagnosed with lupus and my dad was an active duty Marine at the same time. It means a lot especially that the United States Marine Corps recognized what I do. I take part in lupus walks to raise awareness for lupus. She is doing better now and is doing well. It was a tough time, but I was able to overcome it.”

Dubon is now looking to continue his success with two Beckman programs this school year, first as a quarterback with the Beckman team that opens its camp on Monday.

Last season in wrestling, Dubon had a 21-8 record with 13 pins and 33 takedowns in the 138-pound division. He also placed second at the Laguna Hills Tournament and fifth at the Tom Bravo Tournament.

“In the wrestling season, we really stepped up,” Dubon said. “As a team, we won league, last year (in 2018) we almost did but we lost to Irvine, which was our biggest goal. Once we overcame that, we were just set for greatness. The whole week we had a whole different mindset, I haven’t seen a team locked in like that ever. We knew all the work we put in paid off, all the coaches pushing us and the team hyping each other up. We all had a team plan and we all stuck to it and that’s what sealed the victory for us.

“This was our first league title, so we really wanted it, especially for our seniors.”

As an individual, Dubon said he was hoping to advance into the state meet, but was still proud to make an appearance in the CIF post-season event.

“This year I changed my game and improved it and now I know I can hang with the top (wrestlers) in the state of California,” he said.

Coach Rawaf said Dubon displayed many attributes to the wrestling program.

“Carlos is one of those people you love to have on a team because he is always going to be the example of putting in the time and getting the job done,” the coach said. “He has an intense work ethic. He will wake up at 5 a.m. to get in a workout before school, maintain good grades in all his classes, give his best effort in practice, and somehow get himself ready to do it all over again the next day. Sometimes it’s a struggle to get him to add rest into his routine.

“He is a standout wrestler and someone we know will always take it to his opponent, no matter how good that person is known to be. We’ve come to rely on him for team points in our duals, and when we need to bump him up to win a weight class, he never complains. He just goes out and gets the job done.”

Dubon has been preparing to shift gears and help Beckman’s football team have a successful season. He’s looking forward to seeing his teammates soon. Beckman’s athletic camps, following social distancing guidelines and many others, opens on Monday, June 22.

“We’ve been doing a lot of things on-line,learning plays,” Dubon said. “It’s been real difficult, since we can’t go in person. A lot of us have big goals to make CIF (playoffs) since we haven’t been in a while. Hopefully we can go there together as a team. Our seniors want to make it far and get a league title. Getting out with the coaches and teammates is what I’m most excited for.”

Beckman football coach Marcello Giuliano said he is looking for a big season from Dubon.

“Carlos is a multi-talented athlete,” Giuliano said. “He’s been a QB by trade for a while, but last year he transitioned to linebacker and running back for the season. He stepped in at running back in league play and, like a natural, put together a couple of 100-yard games, which just shows his versatility.  He’s looking forward to getting back to his traditional role behind the center, and we’re looking forward to having his leadership and work ethic take a central role on our team.” 

With a strong work ethic, Dubon’s immediate future appears bright. He’s also considering competing in athletics in college but he has already decided he wants to join the Marines and be a military pilot.

“I’ve been fascinated with planes and my dad talked to me and I said, ‘that’s what I want to do,'” he said.

-Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone; timburt@ocsportszone.com