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California Community College State Championships Preview



Fresno, CA - With the strength and sure footed nature of their namesake, the Fresno City Rams have carved out a mountain top position to defend this weekend at the California Community College State Wrestling Championships. Fresno City has been on a season-long run, winning every tournament and dual meet they've entered. During last weekend's North Regionals their starting line-up placed in the top 4 at all 10 weight classes. A strong field of contenders stands poised, eager to make sure the Rams are battle-ready, and not distracted by the view from the top.

Going into the tournament, the top 5 teams are: #1) Fresno City, #2) Santa Ana, #3) Cerritos, #4) Sierra and #5) Santa Rosa. Santa Ana must make the best of their highly ranked lightweights if they are to have any chance to take the state title.

Fresno City College plays host to this year's tournament with action beginning Friday at 10 a.m. and continuing through Saturday, until all 10 Champions are crowned.

125 lbs - Chauncey Phillips, Sierra and Ivan Sanchez, Santa Ana are the favorites to reach the finals. Sanchez may have the tougher road with the experienced Kyle Crouch, Fresno City his likely quarter final opponent and an improving Taylor McCorriston, Santa Rosa likely to be there in the semi-finals. Jason Carrillo, Cerritos matches up well versus Phillips in size and strength and will make Chauncey earn his spot in the finals.

133 lbs - Carlos Alaniz, Cerritos and Gabe Aguilar, Santa Ana are the clear favorites at 133. They met last weekend at the South Regionals with Alaniz wining by fall. Eddy Ngo, West Valley, Ethan Hall, Palomar and Cody Gibson, Bakersfield are all wrestling their best of the season coming into the State Meet.

141 lbs - What once looked like a run away effort by Modesto's Jordan Keckler has turned into a 4-man race for the crown. Leland Gridley, Sierra, Joe Serrato, Santa Ana, and Edgar Mercado, Fresno City have all had big victories in the last month and are all legitimate contenders. Serrato, Keckler and Mercado are all on the same half of the bracket, giving Gridley the clearer path to the finals.

149 lbs - Alfonso Sanchez, Fresno City is one of the dominant wrestlers in California. Alfonso is undefeated for the season and has won 7 individual tournament titles. Henry Kofa, Lassen has emerged as a legitimate challenger and should meet the talented Orlando Barragan from Santa Ana in the semi-finals. Joe Barajas, Palomar and Travis Wood, Sierra should make up the quarter final with the winner moving on to face Sanchez.

157 lbs - No one has taken control of this weight class and the top 4 wrestlers are interchangeable. Sinai Pezzat, Fresno City has been the most consistent wrestler this season but JD Thrall, Sacramento City, Devin Velasquez, Santa Ana and Matt Giffin, of Sierra have all won tournaments. Jeff Bridges, Shasta had a surprise 2nd place finish in the North Regionals and deserves attention.

165 lbs - Glenn Shaw, Palomar and Nick Bardsley, Fresno City have won all the individual tournament titles this season and are the favorites to make the finals here. Bardsley's half of the bracket has some possible tough challenges from Michael Williams, Cuesta and Jack Porter from Cerritos, while Shaw will have to take care of the quick and dangerous Tony Moser from Lassen.

174 lbs - California's other undefeated wrestler, Kyle Griffin of Santa Rosa has dominated this weight class. The #2, #3 and #4 state ranked wrestlers on other side of the bracket. #3 Tom Eaton, Santa Ana should meet #4 Marcus Garcia of West Hills in the quarters with the winner meeting #2 Shaun Ceremello of Fresno City in the semis.

184 lbs - Easily the deepest weight class of the tournament is 184. Tim Hawkins, Mt San Antonio is the favorite, but he will have to make his way through a group of wrestlers that are quick, strong, and can rack up points in a hurry. Cory Compton, Sacramento City is a quality terminator. Louie Audelo, Cerritos is great on his feet, and Marques Gales of Santa Rosa is one of the better tilt artists. That is just the upper half of the bracket. Steven Urquizo, Fresno City and Jason Carrasco, from Bakersfield are the likely semi-finalists from the lower half of the bracket. Anyone who loses focus here, even for a second, will have to pay the price.

197 lbs - This weight class has had a lot of different looks this season beyond the much tattooed Jayson Collard, Santa Rosa and Ryan Silvera, Mt. San Antonio. Jerred Dixon of Sacramento City enters the tournament ranked 2nd in State but must fight his way through a tough quarter against either Norman Nail, West Hills or Al Kinslow of Cerritos just to likely face Silvera in the semi-finals.

285 lbs - Erik Nye, Sierra often wins his matches quicker than you can say - Erik Nye. Josh Marquez from Bakersfield should be Nye's semi-final opponent. The other half of the bracket is very competitive, but look for Brandon Doran of Cerritos to emerge and meet Nye in the state finals.
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