Jurado seals Servite's CIF-SS Dual Meet title
HUNTINGTON BEACH – With a second consecutive CIF-SS Dual Meet title within reach, the Servite wrestling team left things in the hands of senior Michael Jurado.
Jurado stepped on the mat Saturday night with his team leading Trinity League rival St. John Bosco by two points and in need of a win to seal the victory.
In a pressure-filled moment, Jurado (152 pounds) was calm and confident, and it translated into a 10-3 victory, leading the Friars to their 33-28 win over the Braves in the Coastal Division finals at Marina High.
“I didn’t feel it,” Jurado said of any possible pressure with the match on the line. “I knew I was going to win. The moment it (the match) hit 138, it had to be me. Wolfgang (Bernal), Troy (Madrigal), me … that’s how it was going to end and that’s how I knew it was going to end.”
Servite trailed, 28-22, with three matches left in the match. Bernal (138) and Madrigal (145) won by major decision to give the Friars a 30-28 lead heading into Jurado’s match. The dual started at 160.
Jurado took the lead early in the first period and wrestled like someone with tons of confidence. He continued to apply the pressure, taking a 4-1 lead after the first period and 8-2 after the second.
“I wasn’t nervous for a minute,” he said. “I was cautious, but I wasn’t nervous. I knew I was going to win from the moment we shook hands.”
Through the first 11 matches, Servite had just two non-forfeit victories, with Cortez Murguia winning by fall at 220 and Liam Cronin by major decision at 113.
St. John Bosco gave up forfeits at 170 and 182 pounds.
After winning the first match by fall (Jacob Bueno 160), the Braves didn’t retake the lead until their trio of Benji Angel (120), Ray Cordova (126) and Josh Solomon (132) picked up victories by decision, fall and major decision for a 28-22 lead, heading into the final three matches.
“What is interesting about our team, no matter where you go in the lineup, when you need that group to rise, they do,” Servite coach Alan Clinton said. “You’re not planning on Angel (Cordova) getting pinned (at 160), so that means somebody else has to step up and Cortez Murguia (220) goes out and gets a pin. That’s what makes this team unique and what makes us be as successful as we are.”
Servite defeated St. John Bosco, 38-23, in their league dual last month. Clinton knew that the second time around would be tighter.
“When they met me this morning, that’s what they were talking about, they couldn’t wait to get me in the finals,” Clinton said. “When people are after you, you have to keep working a little bit harder, that’s just the way it is.”
Servite had a first-round bye and then defeated Irvine, 62-5, and Trabuco Hills, 56-13, to advance to the final.
Trabuco Hills defeated Capistrano Valley, 69-6, and Canyon, 54-22, before losing to Servite.
Santa Ana defeated Troy and just missed knocking off St. John Bosco, losing 34-31 in the semifinals.
Troy opened the tournament with 31-30 victory over the 10th-ranked team in the county, Los Alamitos.
Contact the writer: firstname.lastname@example.org