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Wrestling preview: O.C. top 10 teams
Preseason O.C. wrestling top 10 for the 2015-16 season:
1. Servite: The Friars returns seven from last year’s lineup that had one of the best seasons seen in recent years in the county. The good news for Coach Alan Clinton: The other half of this year’s 14 is made up of freshmen and sophomores. Liam Cronin headlines the group of senior returners.
2. Calvary Chapel: The Thomas Brothers (Jeremy and Justin) join a lineup with three returning state qualifiers (Elijah Palacio, Johnny Knowles and Morris Wilner) and Masters qualifiers (Shawn Portillo and Gabriel Collins).
3. Santa Ana: This has the look of a strong squad. Santa Ana returns four CIF medalists and are boosted by a strong senior class, with Ricky Navarette, Miguel Ramos and German Prudencio leading the way.
4. Laguna Hills: The Hawks will be strong through the middle weights with James Oliveros, Phillip Zamora and Anthony Le. How the upper weights mature will be crucial for the Hawks as they battle in the tough South Coast League.
5. San Clemente: The Tritons return a strong lineup with CIF champion Tyler Meisinger and CIF runner-up Kyle Marshall leading the way. Coach Mark Calentino likes this group and believes the next two years should be fun.
6. Fountain Valley: New year, new set of seniors ready to lead the Barons. Blake Vasquez inherits the leadership role. He’s ranked in the top 20 in the state at 170 and will likely go back to 160. Keep an eye on Karson Ayres and Merrick O’Donnell, a transfer who becomes eligible Jan. 4.
7. Trabuco Hills: The Mustangs have a solid foundation in junior Matt Roxas and seniors Jason Sarabia and Lukas Howa as they prepare for another tough South Coast League schedule.
8. Canyon: The Comanches will be an intriguing team to watch. Returning state qualifier Ethyn Ewing begins the season ranked 11th in the state at 132 pounds.
9. Yorba Linda: The Mustangs are always in the mix. They were second in the race for a CIF title, third the previous year and they won the title two years ago.
10. Villa Park: Diego Jimenez and Josh Luton are key returners to build around as the Spartans contend in the tough Crestview League.
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