So, today was the NCS Dual Meet championship at Washington High in Fremont. College Park defeated Granada 32-25 to win the 3A title and De La Salle won the school’s first NCS title in wrestling with a 51-27 win over Miramonte in the 2A final. The CP/Granada match was extremely intense and came down to the final match. Here’s a few thoughts on the day that was:
1. Granada gave up six points to CP with a forfeit at 285 pounds when Stephen Bringuel couldn’t go because of an injury he suffered earlier in the day. Matadors coach Clark Conover was very clear after the meet was over, telling me that he sat Bringuel so that he would have a better shot of doing well at the NCS Individual Tournament in two weeks. I know the six points would have been big for Granada today, but Conover was looking out for his guy and I respect that. As a result, I would not be surprised to see Bringuel do very well in two weeks because he’s been solid all year long.
2. Big points go to CP’s Rick Erlec today. He has had a rough year, describing it simply as “hard” when I asked him about it today and to see him succeed was nice. There’s no substitute in high school sports for senior leadership and Erlec gave a little today.
3. Granada could have won the title with a win in the final match but CP’s Blake Nichols dispensed with that theory immediately, taking a technical fall victory at 130 pounds. Nichols is naturally a 125-pounder and he stepped it up big time today.
4. When the California Interscholastic Federation lengthened the football season, they might have done a disservice to those wrestling programs that rely on premier athletes coming from football to do well. De La Salle was in that boat but the Spartans never made an excuse out of it despite the fact that two of their best wrestlers, Nick and Tito Pica, were still playing football. The Spartans relied on their young wrestlers to hold down the fort until their big guns got back and today that experience showed. Credit coach Mark Halvorson and the DLS staff for pushing all the right buttons all year long.
All right, next week we’ve got league tournaments and plenty of storylines. Why don’t we go with the same deal as I had at the end of the tennis season. Whoever finds me at a league tourney gets a blog mention. See you next week.