Laguna Hills makes it seven in a row
With a virtually inexperienced, winning another CIF title might have seemed a dream for the Laguna Hills wrestling program at the beginning of the season.
Saturday, at the CIF-SS Central Division Individual Championships at Colony High of Ontario, the title became a reality for the Hawks.
Laguna Hills finished with 216.5 points for its seventh consecutive team championship and qualified eight for the CIF-SS Masters Meet, Feb. 25-26 at Temecula Valley High.
"It is always our goal," Laguna Hills coach Cliff Jarmie said of winning the title. "Realistically, when you look at the beginning of the year and young we were and how inexperienced we were, I don't think anybody expected this.
"I real pleased with these guys they've come a long way. They've improved a ton."
The Hawks had three CIF champions, seniors Frankie Arounvong (119), Blake Lowrie (125) and junior Jason Newcomer (152).
Freshman Mike Longo (130) and sophomore Wyond Mills (140) finished second at their weights.
Senior Ruben Acevedo (112) and junior Miguel Ramirez (135) were third at their respective weights.
Sophomore Joe Applegate took the long road to become the eighth medalist for Hawks.
Friday, Applegate suffered a 2-1 loss to Dylan Johnson of Rancho Verde in the championship quarterfinals.
In the fifth-place match, Applegate and Johnson again met. This time, Applegate scored a 5-0 victory over Johnson.
"It was a team effort," Jarmie said. "Everybody on the team scored points. He (Applegate) and a bunch of other kids, really wrestled their tails off."
San Clemente finished fifth in the standings (147 points) and qualified four. Zach Fishman finished second at 145, Hayden Yacobucci was third at 215 and Kyle Reese was fourth at 152.
Preston Quam dominated his competition at 189, winning all five matches by fall. He was selected Upper Weight MVP for his performance.
Magnolia also qualified four. Luis Ortiz was a champion at 103 with a thrilling overtime victory over Michael Nicolas of Arlington HS of Riverside.
Ortiz scored an escape in the fourth overtime period for the victory.
Jonny Santellan (112) and James Acosta (215) were second at their weights and Gerardo Medez was third at 119.
In the Northern Division
Calvary Chapel finished atop the team standings with 219 points.
Morgan McIntosh (189) and William Knowles (215) both won their fourth consecutive CIF title.
Calvary Chapel qualified eight for the Masters Meet, Gordon McDonald (103), Adam Alvarado (112), Peter Palacios (119), Aaron Negrette (125), Fisher Keene (130) and Christian Warden at 152.
In the Inland Division
Edison led the field with six Masters qualifiers. Brenton Visnoski won at 145 pounds. Cameron Bustos was second at 152. Erick Zumwalt (140), Greg Meline (160) and Charles Burks (215) were all third at their weights, with Josh Peth finishing fifth at 171 pounds.
Dean O'Bourke (Fountain Valley) won his second consecutive CIF title. Last year, he was first at 112 pounds, while at Calvary Chapel. This year, he was first at 119 for the Barons.
Marina had a pair of champions, Alex Anunciation at 130 and Colin Navickas at 140 pounds.
Los Alamitos qualified five for Masters.
Bradley Beaudette (Newport Harbor) was a champion at 189 pounds.
In the Coastal Division
Servite had the first day lead, but couldn't hold off Temecula Valley in the end. Temecula Valley scored 224 points, with the Friars finishing with 220.5 points. The Golden Bears qualified an impressive 10.
The Fighting Friars qualified six for Masters: Domonick Gambino (112), Colin Contreras (119), Gianpier Yanez (152) all finished second.
Luke McDonald (135), Nick McKinney (215) and Wyatt Baker (heavyweight) were all champions. McDonald was the Lower Weight MVP, winning two matches by fall, one by technical fall and two by major decison.
Baker won four matches by fall and another by decision.
Santa Ana finished third in the team standings with 173.5 points. The Saints also qualified six for Masters.The Saints led the field with four individual champions:Johnny Sanchez (112), Sammy Cano (125), Richard Vargas (130) and Alfredo Becerra (171).
Manny Rojas (Segerstom) was the other county champion, winning at 119 pounds.