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California Community College state championship preview



Sacramento City College continues to hold onto that top spot, despite taking 2nd in the Northern California Championships. Based on the draw and potential place winners they certainly have the capability of winning the title. Unfortunately for them several teams also have good draws and with that should push them for everything they have got. Moorpark dominated the south with seven finalists, yet only beat Palomar by a few points. Skyline won the North in a similar way as Moorpark with top placement points, but clearly has its work cut out for them at the state meet. The balance this year favors the teams with depth, not the teams with power; therefore, Moorpark and Skyline will need plenty of help to get into that top three. Sacramento, Fresno, Palomar, and Sierra seem to have the necessary depth to get it done and not far behind are Cerritos, and Golden West. It should be a very exciting race to watch - good luck to all the athletes and coaches. 125 - This year is very similar to last in that at least ten of the qualifiers have a legitimate chance to get into the finals. Jack Anaya (Cypress) threw a curve at the rest of the pack by cutting down from 133 for the Regional Tournament. By winning the South he takes over the # 1 spot, but Horcasitas (Mt Sac) is not far behind. When Horcasitas was in the top spot he had several close matches with McKinney (Fresno) and Washburn (Sac City) and I am sure they will be in the hunt as well. Others to watch are Stevenson (Skyline) and Welsh (SJ Delta) who have been really coming on down the stretch. 133 - The top three guys here have been battling throughout the season and with that it could be anyone's race. Robert Sepulveda (Fresno) is the returning runner-up and seems to get tougher in the big events, but his draw is not going to be easy. Rick Guzman (Rio Hondo) is 1-1 with Sepulveda this year and is very fundamentally sound wrestler that is definitely in the hunt. Justin Bedwell (Chabot) beat Sepulveda at the Regional Tournament and is getting stronger each week. Down the stretch he won the Cal-Poly Tournament and in winning the Regional he was named tournament Outstanding Wrestler. Others to watch include Bumper Fleischmann (Moorpark), Ryan Synhorst (Sac City), and Parris Whitley (Bakersfield). 141 - This weight is historically very tough and this year is no different. The class of the weight thus far has been James Guizar (Palomar) the returning 133 State Champion. James always seems to put it together for the run and I am sure he will be ready again. There will be plenty of competition for him as Pablo Sanchez (Skyline) and Fernando Flanagan (West Valley) try to claim the title as well. Flanagan has beaten Guizar this year and Sanchez has beaten Flanagan, but lost to Guizar. Look for this to be very interesting. Not far behind these guys are Scott Beck (Fresno), David Gomez (Rio Hondo), Gabriel Barragan (Cerritos), and Jaret Newton (Santa Rosa). 149 - Saul Lucatero (Moorpark) has dominated this weight all year and should be the favorite, except Casey Olson (Fresno) is the returning State Champion and will not give in easy. Casey and Saul have not met this year and last year only met one time with Lucatero winning the contest. Saul is very physical and Casey is a very laid back-counter style wrestler, so it really depends which type of match is wrestled. If Jesse Bastian (Sierra), has his way the top two guys will never see each other. Bastian has lost very close battles with these two athletes and with that could easily been in the hunt. Jesse is a warrior and often times those guys come out on top at the end. After these three guys any number of athletes could break in and they are Andrew Donadlson (Santa Ana), George Smith (Skyline), and Kevin Knall (SJ Delta). 157 - Parity! This weight has been strong all year with several athletes performing at high levels. 1998 State Champion Joey Martinez (Skyline) is the favorite right now, but has had close matches with many of the other athletes. It seems as though he is putting together a run, since he pinned all three opponents at the Regional Tournament to claim 1st place. At least eight different wrestlers could be in the finals here, with no draw being real strong it could be any of the following guys - Steve Hernandez (Moorpark), Sam Lopez (Cerritos), Danny Hawkins (Fresno), Jaxon Kochamp (Sierra), Ben Ward (Sac City), Royce Thomas (Santa Rosa), or Maurice Washington (Rio Hondo). 165 - Returning State Champion Brian Holt has to be the favorite, but will have his work cut out for him early in the tournament. Maybe the next best athlete here ended up in the same quarter bracket, which is going to be unfortunate for someone. Alman Kerste (Bakersfield) may have to wrestle Holt in the second round, which means someone is eliminated from the championship bracket. It is unfortunate that two tough athletes have to meet so early, but that is why they have the tournaments. Behind these two guys are Nick Cardenz (Palomar), Gerardo Rodriguez (Cypress), Rey Torres (Moorpark), and Nick Tatum (Sac City). 174 - Probably the toughest weight in the state. From top to bottom this weight is loaded with talent and will be very exciting to watch. Starting at the top is Terrence Carter (Skyline) who is currently ranked # 1 and has not lost since the Cerritos Tournament back September. At that time he lost to Brian Burnett (Cerritos) in a real close match and since then has had several other close matches as well. With Shamar Pigg coming down and Mike Beckman (Fresno) getting healthy this weight has plenty of potential champs. All of the ranked athletes have beaten each other and could easily do it again. In addition to the above mentioned any one of these athletes could finish on top - Sion King (Sac City), Wesly Tielens (Palomar), Jesse Juarez (Golden West), and Shannon Sams, (Moorpark). 184 - Right now it is primarily a three-way race for the title with Chris Gonzales (Moorpark), Shane Clark (Sac City), and Phillip Miller (Victor Valley) leading the way. Clark and Miller are 1-1, Clark beat Gonzales and Gonzales beat Miller. Good luck predicting here. Although it looks clear cut who the favorites are the following athletes have had good matches with the top guys and will be ready to show case their talents as well and they are Marc Banks (West Valley), Joe Evano (Mt Sac), and Isaac Mc Mann (Palomar). 197 - Dan Martinez looks to be in a class by himself here. Plagued by injuries this year Dan has not been quite up to par thus far but after a solid performance in the regional event he should be ready at the state. After Dan, Jeff Dahl (Sierra) has been putting together some good outings and could be a real factor for Martinez if he builds on the Regional finals. After these two athletes it gets a little blurry with Jay Foster (SJ Delta), Sean Read (Sac City), and Ben Fa anunu (Chabot) all capable of earning All-American honors. Hwt - Right now there is no question that Hossin Oshani is the guy to beat. He has been able to win with ease most times out and should be able to sustain that level for another weekend. Behind him is David Walker (Skyline) who lost a close 6-5 match to Oshani at West Valley earlier this year. Again this is another weight that has had some parity this season with everyone beating everyone. From top to bottom it is a very solid weight and could be a wait see. Ken Kragie (Cuesta), Ben Flores (Moorpark), and Jason Paul (Palomar) are all very strong and competitive athletes that could end up on top. In closing… This State Championships should be very fun to watch with as many as seven teams capable of breaking into the top three spots and who knows maybe even more than that. Many athletes will be challenged this weekend to hold onto to that top spot and many will be challenged to move into those top spots and that is what makes wrestling so great. ONE ON ONE - EVERYTHING YOU GOT - ONE WEEKEND OF FUN!
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