Mater Dei's Smith earns title in season debut


SANTA ANA – Jed Smith made his season debut on the mats Saturday at the Scott Davis Invitational and it was a successful one.

Smith, a senior at Mater Dei, is one of the top returners in the state. After helping the football team advance to the CIF-SS Pac-5 Division semifinals, he didn’t waste time getting back on the mats.

Smith won two matches by fall, one by technical fall and added a major-decision victory in the final over Aliso Niguel’s Josh Mackey to wrap up the 182-pound title in the one-day tournament hosted by Mater Dei.

“I didn’t know how I would come out, coming off of nothing,” he said. “My (offensive) shots are there, but I have a lot of work to do before I get to the big tournaments.

Smith finished seventh at last year’s state tournament. He sat out last week’s Cossarek Classic.

“I started (wrestling) practice immediately (after football),” Smith said. “I had to get back in shape for this.”

Smith said he weighs 180 and that he finished the football season at 179-180. The biggest challenge is getting back into wrestling shape.

“Football, you have a 20-second break between each play,” Smith said. “In wrestling, you have to go, go, go. That’s the difference in practice as well. Wrestling you have to be ready to go for the full 6 minutes.”

He didn’t have to worry about even the first 2 minutes of his first couple of matches of the day, winning by fall in the first period. Even though it appears he had an easy run of the tournament, he isn’t thinking that way.

“I have to work on my top game,” he said. “Last year, I had problems keeping guys down. A lot of my matches, in the close ones, were 2-1. I can’t let that happen. I have to make sure they can’t get out and I have to turn the guys.”

Smith is currently ranked fourth in the state.

“He’s still a little raw coming back from football,” Mater Dei coach Luis Renteria said. “He’s not there yet, but hopefully by March, he will be peaking.”

Villa Park was the top county team, scoring 135 points and finishing third behind Walnut and Downey. Fountain Valley and Santa Ana, were fourth and fifth, respectively.

Villa Park, Fountain Valley and Mater Dei had two champions apiece: Diego Jimenez (126) and Josh Luton (132) for the Spartans, Karson Ayres (138) and Blake Vasquez (160) for the Barons, and Devin Pacheco (145) joined Smith for the Monarchs.

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