CIF State Wrestling: Day One

10 pm: Alright ya’ll. I finished my two stories and I’m going to go back to my hotel and sleep. Match of the night, without a doubt, was Tito Pica’s 11-9 win over Clovis’ Tommy Burriel. It was a rematch of the Mission San Jose final and Pica made it through two injury timeouts for a hurt right knee, scored a takedown with six seconds left, and scored the win. Unbeliveable. Tomorrow, we’ll have Jason Welch, Tito Pica and David Klingsheim all in semifinal matches. You better believe I’ll be here bright and early for Klingsheim’s match at 112 pounds. I’m glad everyone enjoyed the blog and, if I get some strength, I’ll post final reflections on day one later tonight. If not, see you tomorrow! 

7:30 pm: We’re still waiting for the next championship round to begin. I swear we’re getting close.  

6:10 pm: We’ve started the third consolation round and we have to clear it before we get to the championship quarterfinals. Locally, we have David Klingsheim, David Rios, Stephan De La Cruz, Tyler Sheridan, Aaron Drake, Jason Welch and Tito Pica left. I’m not sure how much blogging I’ll get to do, as I have to focus on getting interviews with all those guys. See you in a while.

5:50 pm: I’ve returned from interviewing Central Catholic’s Louis Bland. Great kid. He’s headed to Washington State next year to play football. 

5:30 pm: I’ll take a break for a few minutes while I go try to track down Central Catholic’s Louis Bland. Be back in a few. 

5:15 pm: Welch is up against Gilroy’s Ethan Ogle. Welch is up 2-0 near the end of the first period. Took him a while to score his first points. End one and it’s still close. 2-0 Welch. Welch on bottom to start the period. Escapes easily and it’s 3-0. Welch is getting aggressive now. Ogle wants no part of Welch and he continues to back up constantly. Meanwhile, Pica just won across the arena. Welch takes Ogle down but rolls out and doesn’t get the points. Welch takedown and it’s 5-0. This is not a fun match to watch. Welch lets Ogle escape. 5-1. Welch takedown, 7-1. End of two periods, 7-1. Welch reversal to start the period. 9-1. Takedown 11-1. Escape, 11-2. David Yi is arguing an extra point being given to Ogle. Everyone is frustrated right now. Ogle trips Welch but Welch gets out of it. 54 seconds and this one’s in the books. Takedown and escape. 13-4 Welch. Takedown, 15-4. Escape, 15-5. So, it won’t be a tech fall but Welch with a takedown to make it 17-5. That’s the final.

5 pm: Welch will be the next local up. Be right back. 

4:55 pm: End of one period, 0-0 between Webb and Drake. Webb warned for stalling one minute into the second period. Still tied at zero. End of two periods, 0-0. Webb gets two and it’s 2-0 Webb. Webb called for stalling and Drake gets a point. 30 seconds left and 2-1 Webb. Webb gets called for stalling again and its 2-2. Lets go OT! Drake rolls Webb over anad PINS him. Wow. What a big win for Drake. Unbelievable finish.

4:55 pm: Cal’s Aaron Drake is about to wrestle on Mat 5 against La Costa Canyon’s TJ Webb. Should start in a second.  

4:40 pm: Sheridan snuck up on me. He’s up 2-0 early in his match. Sheridan went for a near-fall and his opponent escaped. 2-1. He’s facing Lemoore’s Vincent Rubio. End one, 2-1 Sheridan. Rubio escapes and it’s 2-2. Sheridan with a takedown. 4-2 Sheridan. Two more points and it’s 6-2. Near-fall near the boundary and it’s now 9-2. End of 2 periods, 9-2. Rubio scores four points and it’s a match again, 10-6 Sheridan. Rubio takes an injury timeout and they resume with the score 11-6 Sheridan. Sheridan a takedown and that gives him some more room. 13-6. Rubio escapes. 13-7. Sheridan a takedown and two-point nearfall and that’s all she wrote. 17-7 the final.

4:35 pm: The next local to wrestle will be De La Salle’s Tyler Sheridan at 145 pounds. That won’t be for a little while though. Hang tight. 

4:30 pm: Today’s first day video from Jose Carlos Fajardo is up on our web site. Check it out here. 

4:20 pm: Vinny Maraj defaulted out of his consolation match, confirming my suspicion that he’s hurt. Anyway, De La Cruz is trailing 2-0 early in his match. He escapes to start the second and it’s 2-1. Takedown for Miller but a reversal by De La Cruz and it’s 4-3 Miller. Takedown by Miller and it’s 6-3. The scorekeeper is doing something funky as DLC now has two points. He’s definitely got more than that. They’ll conference to figure it out. Consensus is the score is 6-6.  The scorekeeper is really bad. It’s now 7-7 and I have no idea how. DLC allows Miller up and he gets an escape point. 8-7 Miller. DLC scores a takedown and is up 9-8. Less than a minute left. Stalemate called. DLC warned for stalling and now there’s 11 seconds left with DLC still up 9-8. DLC warned again for stalling and now it’s down to six seconds left. Miller escapes with one second left. Wow. We go to OT, 9-9. De La Cruz with a takedown and this thing is over. 11-9 DLC and he moves on to face Clovis West’s Nick Fisher.

4:20 pm: West and Rios each won their divisions at the Tim Brown Invitational earlier this year. West was at 135s and Rios at 145s then. Next match is Livermore’s Stephan De La Cruz against Natomas’ Jerin Miller.  

4:05 pm: Here we go, Rios vs. Kapler. They’re on Mat 7, so I can watch (woo hoo). Rios starts by looking to turn Kapler. Not successful so far. Stalemate called and they’ll reset at neutral. Kapler looked like he might have something and Rios turned it into a takedown of his own. 2-0 Rios. End of one period. 2-0 Rios. Rios on bottom to start the second. Kapler’s looking to turn Rios but it isn’t happening. Rios reverses the hold and scores two. 4-0 Rios. End of two periods, Rios leads 4-0. Rios with top position this time and now assistant coach Rudy Dizon is imploring him to circle left.  It worked and Rios scores two. 6-0 Rios. Rios scores two for a near-fall and Kapler gets warned for stalling. 8-0 Rios. Rios is your winner, 8-0. He moves on to tonight’s quarterfinal round where he’ll likely see Oak Ridge’s Kyle West.  

4 pm: Next match on tap is Liberty’s David Rios against Liberty’s (Central Section) Greg Kapler. Should start in a few. By the way, if anyone with the CIF is reading this, everyone on press row would love it if you could fix the wireless.

3:50 pm: Some guy just got thrown down the stairs. That was crazy. Someone seems a bit confused that the fighting is supposed to be happening on the mats and not in the stands. The testosterone is flowing freely on this end of the building. In other news, Logan’s Ruben Baca is wrestling. He’s down 9-4 currently. Baca loses and will try the outbrackets later this afternoon.  

3:45 pm: Something I haven’t updated today is College Park’s Gerson Nkunku is through to the third round. Hey, a fight broke out in the stands. One guy lost his shirt. Bad vibes all around. 

3:35 pm: Good luck strikes as Aura and Orona will wrestle on Mat 6, right in front of us. This is a tough one for Aura, as Orona is No. 4 in the state. Orona scores the first takedown. 2-0 Orona. End of one period. 2-0 Orona. Orona with a slick reversal to start the second period and he’s now up 4-0. That was impressive. Aura with an escape and it’s 4-1. Orona another takedown and it’s 6-1. Orona is pouring it on now and it’s 8-1. End of two periods, 8-1 Orona. Aura an escape to start the period and it’s 8-2. Orona takedown makes it 10-2. Orona wins 10-2.  

3:30 pm: The next local who will take the mat will be Foothill’s Chase Aura. He’s got Santa Fe’s Marcus Orona. I think people are still trying to digest Acosta’s win, that was way too close for the state’s No. 2. 

3:25 pm: Klingsheim with the first points on a takedown. 2-0 Klingsheim. Klingsheim riding on top. Klingsheim with a pin. The bigger story is Acosta, who just scored a takedown with 11 seconds left to go up 5-4. A stalling call on Acosta. Wow. 5-5. Let’s go overtime! Acosta with a takedown and this baby is over. What a close call for Markjay Acosta, beating Canyon Springs’ Estevan Cabanas 7-5 in OT.

3:15 pm: The next match I’ll be keeping my eye on is Liberty’s David Klingsheim vs. Hogan’s Terry Allen. Should start in a few minutes. San Leandro’s Markjay Acosta is about to take the mat across the arena. 

3 pm: The fun is beginning again. The first match of the next championship round is Temecula Valley’s Eric Reyes against Liberty’s Paul Gomez. Here we go. Reyes with a takedown and a near-fall. Looking for the pin. Only got the near-fall. End of one period, Gomez is down 5-0. Not much action so far in the second period. Reyes scored a takedown and that’s it. 7-0 end 2. Gomez scores a reversal to make it 7-2 but there’s only 45 seconds left. Unless he can turn it into a pin, this one’s pretty much over. Reyes wins 7-2.

2:35 pm: Not much going on right now for us. Consolation matches are in full swing. It’s only 2:35 and I’ve got a handle on our notebook for tomorrow so I feel a great sense of accomplishment and pride (yeah, right). Our snack tray has been consumed though, so we may need to go get more snacks. Jimmy is impressed with the bold colors that the Oakland Athletic League schools rock. I agree. Go big, go bold. That’s how you’re supposed to roll in Bakersfield. 

1:25 pm: In thumbing through the brackets, I’ve figured out that Clovis’ Scott Sakaguchi and Sultana’s Cody Bollinger, two big time names at 140 pounds, lost in the first round. Does that make Arcata’s Trent Stevenson the favorite? We’ll see. 

 1:20 pm: So, we’re nearing the end of the first championship round and things are officially dragging a bit. I don’t have too many kids from our area in the upper weights so we’ve taken to brainstorming ideas for our stories tonight.

1:15 pm: I’m done messing with the photo. Yes, there are 10 mats in play here. We’ll try to get some more photos later. No pizza yet. I’m banking on that for dinner. It was burgers and various salads for lunch. We have a snack tray here, courtesy of Hoose.

1 pm: Welcome to our world (picture credit: Steve “The Beast” Waterhouse):

Day one

12:55 pm: What up Bower. Hoose says Crosby Ben is “on the brink of elimination”. And yeah, that’s true. He lost to Kingsburg’s Bryan Eskew 11-2 in a pigtail this morning. Mighty Kingsburg, I might add. Also, Acosta lost this morning. Nah, just kidding. Acosta beat Jordan Elmer of Redwood 5-0. And, for the record, we already hit the hospitality room. What do you take us for?

12:50 p.m.: Welch officially won 20-5. Tito Pica is wrestling on Mat 9 and from the looks of things, is up 8-3. College Park’s Gerson Nkunku is getting set to take the mat also. Pica a takedown and a near fall, 13-3. Reversal and out of bounds. 13-5.  

12:35 p.m.: Alright, Welch is up on Mat 6 and that means I can see it since Mat 6 is the one right under us. Ramirez is trying some motion early but that only serves to allow Welch to tie him up. Ramirez sweeps Welch and takes him down. Whoa. 2-0 Ramirez. Welch escapes, 2-1. Welch is gonna get nasty here. Welch takedown after grabbing the left leg. 3-2 Welch. Welch with a near fall and it’s 6-2 Welch after 1. Welch takedown to start the period 8-2. Escape, 8-3. Welch drops down on Ramirez and now goes to the crossface. The score is now 13-3 after that exchange. Another near fall and it’s 16-4 with the escape. Welch takedown. 18-4. Takedown 20-4. It’s ovah.

12:30 pm: Welch should be up soon. He’ll face Bakersfield’s Jose Ramirez after beating his pigtail opponent this morning 21-6. 

12:20 pm: Drake and Maraj are up on Mat 5. Maraj has a sleeve on his right shoulder, which can’t be good. Maraj tried a shot and Drake defensed it well. Drake tried to hook the right leg and missed. Maraj a takedown and he’s got Drake on his back. They go out of bounds and Maraj is up 2-0. Reset with Drake on bottom. Drake gets out and scores the escape point. 2-1 Maraj. End of one period, 2-1 Maraj. Drake on bottom to start the period and Maraj gets warned for stalling. Drake escapes and it’s 2-2. Maraj with a really sloppy shot and Drake locks him up as a result. They go out of bounds and will restart at neutral. Drake caught Maraj sleeping and scored a big takedown. 4-2 Drake at the end of two periods. Drake has top position to start. He’s grinding Maraj into the mat, trying to avoid the escape. Maraj looks lifeles at the moment. Drake scores a point for stalling on Maraj. 5-2 with 44 seconds left. Drake looks like he’s gonna do this. 20 seconds left and still 5-2. And there it is, the first big NCS win of the day, Cal’s Aaron Drake beats Yucca Valley’s Vinny Maraj, No. 2 in the state, 5-2.

12:20 p.m.: I’m waiting for bout 249 to come up. Yucca Valley’s Vinny Maraj against Cal’s Aaron Drake. Should be a good one at 152 pounds. Granada update: Both Nick Hernandez and John Banke lost their first matches. Hernandez dropped a pigtail and Banke lost in the first round.

12:15 pm: Tyler Sheridan is in complete control of his 145-pound match aagainst Casa Roble’s Aaron Pickard. It’s across the arena so I’m straining to watch. And there it is, Sheridan wins. Granada’s John Banke is trailing 6-4 in the second period in the mat in front of us. Also, bad new for Alhambra fans. Aaron Westphal lost an 11-9 decision to Kernan’s Kevin Rojas.

12 p.m.: Good news for Miramonte fans. Sam Worth is giving it a go today, as his match was just announced. He’ll face Oakdale’s Trevor Machado-Ching, the Sac-Joaquin champ. 

12 p.m.: The CIF people are giving us updated brackets weight-by-weight now. Foothill’s Chase Aura is through to the second round and he’ll face Santa Fe’s Marcus Orona in the next round. I saw Aura trolling around the merchandise table earlier, so the day is rolling along smoothly I suppose. Also through to the next round, Liberty’s Paul Gomez and David Klingsheim. Gomez has won two matches already today and next faces Eric Reyes of Temecula Valley, the Southern Section champion.

11:30 a.m.: One of the kindred souls in California wrestling, Al Fontes, strolled through the box and let me know that the NCS hasn’t had any big suprises so far. Westphal is tied early in his match and Liberty’s David Rios is about to take Mat 6. 

11:30 am: The first local casualty of the day is Logan’s Lawrence Blanco. He lost his pigtail against Central Catholic’s Andrew Perez 10-6. Raphael is down 8-1 to Arredondo in the second period and Alhambra’s Aaron Westphal is taking the mat. 

And we’ve reached the Rabobank Arena. We’re looking down on 10 mats and the PA announced just announced Albany’s Taylor Raphael is taking the mat against Buchanan’s Justin Arredondo. So, action is well underway and we’re in the middle of the first championship round. I’ll go scan the brackets and make sure no pigtail surprises happened this morning and I’ll be back.


  • Get Waterhouse and ask him what Crosby, Ben has done thus far. He probably is in the hospitality room.

  • What up, Enos…5-0, he should stroll to the title match. You had me worried when Welch was down 2-0. Thoughts of Triggas last year popped in my head.

  • Ha, did they have the pizza again? Guess i’ll be on your blog for the wrestling championships tomorrow night and you have to come over to Prep Corner for the basketball title games. If I am a fan, I just have both windows up and keep hitting refresh. I am outta here!

  • whoops, wrong post….that was a close call for Markjay, though. That would have been a disaster.

  • Go Knights

    Thanks for the blog, Ben. Walnut Creek wrestling fans are reading. Go J & go College Park!

  • Old Rebel


    You make me feel like I am there. Old coach and wrestler in Danville. I love this stuff!!!

  • Mike Mac

    Well done Ben, great match by match info. What happened to Sam Worth? Did you his Dad Mike was a FAL league champ at 140s in 1973 for Miramonte.

  • Ben Enos

    Mike Mac, good knowledge. I always welcome that kind of stuff. Anyway, Sam lost in the third consolation round to Matt Melendrez of California (Southern Section) HS. If that shoulder was as bad as I heard, I give Sam all the credit in the world for wrestling this weekend.