Week Seven: Only one dual match this week, no tournament. Bella Vista took on Roseville High in our fourth CVC Conference dual. Bella Vista came away on top with a 53 - 21 victory; BV is now 4 - 0 in CVC action. Leading the way were Tyler Maples, Derrik Carstensen, Dylan Maples, Carson Lee, Vince Olivera, Danny Harris, Colton Labanowski, Matt Yang, and Zach Orr - all getting pins or at the very least bonus point wins for the team.
Week Six: This weekend the Bella Vista wrestling team headed up North to Chico for a big tournament. This tournament had nearly all of the power teams from the Sac-Joaquin and North Sections; along with three teams from Nevada. There were 58 teams in attendance and the Broncos placed 9th. We brought nine wrestlers to this tournament, all nine wrestled into day two. Leading the way was Matt Yang who placed second. Matt pinned his way to the finals; one pin was against the #13 ranked wrestler in the state. In the finals Matt wrestled very well but came up short and lost 4 - 6 to the #5 wrestler in the state. A surprise (and it shouldn't be) was Derrik Carstensen who placed 3rd. Derrik's family spent a good deal of the Christmas break in Hawaii, so Derrik had little practice but that didn't show, he was amazing. He was seeded 7th, but knocked off the number 3 seed in the quarter-finals; and obviously placed 3rd, four spots above his seed. Five other wrestlers placed in the top 12, scoring lots of points to help the team crack into the top 10 teams. We sent a few varsity starters to a tournament in Escalon. At the Escalon tournament you're guaranteed 5 - 8 matches, so we sent some younger wrestlers there to get more match time. Connor Willey ended up placing 4th and Carson Lee placed 3rd; a great showing for two freshman at a varsity tournament. That's all good stuff, but the biggest win on the weekend was by Yelena Makoyed. Our girls team attended a tournament in Napa that is regarded as the hardest girls tournament in the state; nearly all the top girls and girls team attend this. Yelena, who placed 7th at state last year, was the tournament champion this weekend with a second round pin in the finals. Yelena is really putting together a dominant season. Placing 8th was Emily Alderman, who also had a really nice tournament; placing at this event is a big deal.
Week Five: The Bella Vista wrestling team attended a new tournament we had never been to before, the Tournament of Champions at Cerritos College (Los Angeles). There were 109 teams in attendance and the Broncos placed 6th! There certainly were not 109 full teams, many brought partial teams as families go on holiday vacations, but the brackets were 64 man brackets, so it was a very big tournament. Number 4 ranked California team (Poway) won the tournament, with another dominant team (state #5) St. John Bosco placing second. The Broncos claimed 4 medals: Dalton Lee (3rd), Tyler Maples (4th), Matt Yang (5th), Colton Labanowski (7th). The team wrestled very well and got lots of pins; 8 pins in our first 13 matches, so lots of bonus team points. We brought nine wrestlers due to some sickness by some starters, by the end of day one we had only six left, all six were in the quarter finals. Even the three that were eliminated on day one, each won two matches before being knocked out. Of the six quarter finalists, four made the semi-finals, things were going well. The semi's didn't go as well, we lost all four matches; but each wrestler came back and won at least another match to place at higher medal positions. Dalton Lee had a dominant tournament getting two pins and one technical fall; of his seven matches, four of them he did not surrender a point. Tyler Maples is quietly having a really great season; he's 22 - 5 thus far this year, and only a sophomore. Tyler doesn't get a ton of recognition as compared to some of our seniors, but he deserves the recognition for a great job. A good tournament against many Southern California schools we don't normally see. We'll take a couple days off for New Year's and come back with another tough tournament in Chico so we can face all the teams in the upper portion of our state.