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Wrestling season preview for 2012-13
Last year's CIF State tournament ended like no other for the Calvary Chapel wrestling program.
No individual medalist.
The program with seven state titles and 12 top-five finishes was shut out of the medal.
"It was frustrating," Calvary Chapel coach Jacob Harman said. "I felt like we had more than a handful of guys that could have punched through and put themselves on the podium.
"It seemed like the fundamental things that we had been working on from the beginning of the year, those were the mistakes that we made in the final matches."
Calvary Chapel went to Bakersfield last year with five wrestlers (Gordon McDonald, 106; Adam Alvarado, 120; Peter Palacios, 126, Mike Longo, 132 and Elliot Taylor, heavyweight).
Only Taylor made it to the second day of the tournament.
"It still stings a lot," Harman said. "From specific techniques that we trying to address at the Santa Fe Scuffle (the first tournament of last season) and still making those mistakes that late in the season ... that's the part that was frustrating."
"Those guys weren't Morgan (McIntosh) and Tank (Knowles) type of guys. For a lot of those guys it was their first time in the big dance, but we tried to practice that facet of it as well. We took them down to the tunnel early, walked out with them ... but I could feel it when we were in the staging area, you could see the body language and tightness in their necks. That played a little bit more of a factor than I anticipated."
Combined, McIntosh and Knowles won five state titles. McIntosh became one of 16 in the state to win three (2009-11). Knowles joined a group of 64 to win two.
Now, with new faces and some experienced ones, Harman wants to re-establish the Calvary Chapel name.
Returning are Christian Claudio (113), Alvarado (138) and Aaron Negrette (145). All are ranked in the county individual rankings at their weights.
"This year, I have a bunch of gamers that are ready to go," Harman said. "You want me to do 10 pull-ups? I'll do 15 ... You have guys in here that are pushing each other and really working on getting themselves out there. Whereas before it felt a little bit tight ... Almost wrestling not to make mistakes."
The first full week of action begins the week of Nov. 26 with the Cossarek Classic at Westminster and the El Dorado Invitational, Nov. 30-Dec. 1. There will also be some county teams at the Carter Invitational in Rialto and the Santa Fe Scuffle. The next week, Dec. 5, El Modena is hosting a five-way with Marina, Servite, La Habra and Valencia.
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