2019-2020 Varsity Results
Week 14 Results (State Championships):
Well, the season is over and we finished off by wrestling at the state championships. Without a doubt, California has the toughest state tournament in the country. We are 1 of only 2 states in the United States that has a single state championship – a true state championship. Every other state has multiple divisions so they are watered down. In addition to that, California has the most high school wrestlers in the country and we are regularly one of the best states in the country in terms of talent (top 3 without a doubt). SO, making it to this tournament is a huge accomplishment and is something that a person will carry with them for the rest of their life.
This year, Bella Vista brought 5 boys and 3 girls to the tournament! Truly, something that is very impressive. 4 of the 5 boys won at least one match and 2 boys finished in the top 16. All 3 girls won a match and Emily Alderman finished in 5th place. Here’s a rundown of each person’s weekend:
Dylan Maples started his 2nd trip to the state championships with a very tough draw. Dylan had to wrestle the #3 seed in his first match and lost very quickly. In his next match, Dylan had to wrestle the 17th ranked wrestler in the country who was favored over Dylan. Dylan got taken down right off the bat, but battled back and ended up wrestling amazing and secured a victory. In his next match, Dylan had a guy who was ranked even higher! Again, Dylan was losing and came from behind to win by fall! This was very exciting and put him in the top 16 where he would have to win 2 more matches in a row to place. Dylan saw a top 8 guy from Poway high school and only lost 5-1. Dylan gave up 3 points in the last 5 seconds of the 2nd period. This guy ended up medaling and beat his next guy 9-0, which means Dylan would have probably won his next match. Dylan enters next year with his wrestling destiny at his fingertips. He can definitely stand on the podium at state next year, but he will have to put in the time during the offseason.
Tyler Maples wrestled in his first state championships and finished at 2-2! Awesome job! Just like every other BV wrestler, Tyler faced a seeded wrestler in his first match. Tyler lost his first match but battled back and beat 2 guys that were ranked higher than him in state. In his first win, Tyler chose top in the 2nd period, which is very rare for wrestlers, and his opponent looked towards his coaches like he was going to cry. Tyler was losing, but scored points on top, got a takedown in the 3rd, and ended up winning! We were all so excited for him to get at least 1 win at the tournament. Tyler was set to wrestle a kid from Oakland (easy win) and ended up getting a ff to get another win. In his 4th match, Tyler wrestled a top guy that ended Tyler’s season. We are going to miss Tyler terribly and he has been an integral part of the Bella Vista wrestling program for 4 years now. His growth and commitment has been tremendous and we wish him well in his future endeavors.
Carson Lee also wrestled in his first state championships and he finished at 2-2 and top 20 in the state! Carson’s first match was against a top wrestler from Poway (2nd best team in the state) and it was a battle. Carson actually got a beautiful takedown and only lost by decision. In his 2nd match, Carson wrestled a kid who was ranked 23rd in the state (Carson was only an Honorable Mention) and Carson rallied from behind to get a win. In the 3rd period, Carson was losing and locked up a cradle where he put his opponent to his back. Carson tried to hold his guy there, but there was about 90 seconds left in the period, which made it almost impossible to hold the lock that long. No matter, Carson was dominant and tacticle and won the match! All the coaches were pumped! In his next match, Carson wrestled another guy that was ranked ahead of him in state and Carson absolutely dominated this person and won 7-0. Carson is a good wrestle and it showed this weekend against top competition. In his last match, Carson wrestled the #5 in state who got upset early on. This was an unlucky draw for us and we lost the match, but Carson proved that he belongs with the best of them. Just like Dylan, Carson’s wrestling destiny is in his control. If he wants to stand on the podium next year he will have to put in the time during the offseason.
Vince Olivera wrestled absolutely amazing in his first trip to the state championships and finished in the top 16 in the state! In his first match, Vince was going against the #14 guy in the state but that did not matter to Vince. Although he was losing, Vince locked up a lateral drop and executed a beautiful throw and then secured the fall to upset the guy. This was right in front of where all the coaches stand and all of the gasped in excitement out of the beautiful throw. Vince lost his next match, but because he won in the championship bracket prior to that, he jumped 2 spots forward in the consolation bracket. Vince faced a kid from our section for the 3rd week in a row. Vince lost at sections by 1 point and Vince won at Masters by 2 points. We knew this match would be close but told Vince to let it fly. Vince ended up dominating the match and was up by 8 points in the 3rd period before he strategized the victory. In his last match, Vince went up against a high seed from Clovis North and was winning 2-0 at the end of the first period. The other kid rallied from behind and won 5-3 to finish Vince’s season/career. After not being able to wrestle his junior year, Vince finished his senior season on an extremely high note. I’m so proud of Vince and we will miss him terribly next year.
Bryan Henkel qualified for the state tournament as a junior without doing any offseason wrestling. Bryan is a 3 sport athlete, and although he doesn’t do any offseason wrestling, once he is in season he is 100% committed. Bryan didn’t cut any weight and he always wrestled the same regardless of who he was competing against. Bryan drew the #1 seed in the tournament (who ended up winning state) and lost in the 2nd period. Bryan went after the guy and didn’t worry about his name. In his 2nd match, Bryan went against a Poway wrestler (2nd best team in the state) and lost at the very end in a close match that went back and forth. Bryan has nothing to hang his head about and we are so proud of him this year! We will follow Bryan in golf in the spring and on the football field in the fall and wait for his arrival next year!
Amaya Yoshizumi qualified for the state tournament as a sophomore, which is very impressive! Amaya lost her first match and then dominated the girl in her 2nd match to get a victory! In her third match, Amaya was losing big at the end and hit a throw that got me jumping up and down because I thought she was going to get a win, but the other girl ended up rolling through and ended Amaya’s season. Look for big things from Amaya next year as she will gain momentum from her sophomore campaign and look to improve next year as a junior.
Meadow Titus, also a sophomore, entered her first state tournament and ended up going 2-2! Great tournament by Meadow! Meadow’s highlight was winning her 3rd match of the tournament in overtime! Very exciting. In her last match, Meadow wrestled a top girl and lost by fall in a cradle. Much like Amaya, Meadow is going to have a ton of momentum from this tournament into next year and both girls can medal at the state tournament next year. If they choose to put in the work during the offseason, these girls will be able to place in state next year.
Emily Alderman was completely disrespected by the seeding committee and she was not seeded in this tournament. Emily is a returning state medalist and was a terrible draw for every single girl. In her 2nd match, Emily beat the #7 seed 15-1. In the quarterfinals, Emily beat the #2 seed 7-5 to secure a spot in the semifinals and a guaranteed top 6 finish. Emily lost 3-2 in the semis and fell just short of making the finals. Emily dropped her next match at the last second but won the 5th place bout to finish in 5th place. A 2x state medalist in California is absolutely amazing and Emily has drawn the attention from many college coaches. We will miss Emily and wish her the best of luck if she chooses to wrestle in college next year.
Well, what a season we had. Absolutely incredible. The first varsity travelled to Fresno 2 times, Vacaville, Elk Grove, Los Angeles, Yuba City, Corning, Stockton, and Bakersfield. We were CVC League Champions, 2nd at Section Duals, 3rd at the Section Tournament, 5th at Masters, and 3rd at the California State Duals. We also won the Corning tournament, finished in 7th in Los Angeles out of 100 teams, and got 3rd at the Vacaville Dual Tournament. We had 7 league champions, 11 Masters Qualifiers, and 5 state qualifiers. The girls brought 3 to state and got a medalist. I love this team and the offseason opportunities will be there for every single person who wants to have a better season next year. I’m willing to put in the work and I know that next year’s
Week 12 Results (Masters):
The Masters Championships just concluded and this tournament, as per normal, took all of us on a roller coaster of emotions – high, low, and every direction in between. This tournament literally has the best wrestlers in the SJS section, which ranges from Yuba City to Merced, Grass Valley to Vacaville, and everywhere in between. We have the 3rd or 4th toughest section in the state, so these wrestlers are legit. To place in this tournament is a true accomplishment and is something a person will carry with them for the rest of their life.
Our team wrestled absolutely incredible and we are definitely peaking at the best possible time. I will go through the girls and then through each weight class of the boys, but we qualified 5 boys to the state championships and qualified 3 girls! Awesome! The boys finished in 5th place, which ties our best finish since the early 1980s. We finished in 11th last year where I responded by bragging to the world how well we did. This year put us at the elite level in our section. Vacaville got first, Oakdale 2nd, Del Oro 3rd, Pitman 4th, and then Bella Vista 5th. If you didn’t notice, 3 of the top 5 teams are from the D2 section, which is the toughest divisional (that one is ours btw). With only 3 wrestlers, the girls earned 3 medals and finished in 8th place! The girls’ Masters expands more territory than the boys and they include the entire Northern section, so our girls showed up and performed.
We qualified 3 girls from the regional tournament for the Masters Championships and all 3 of them made it to state! This was the first time that the boys and girls wrestled side by side at the masters tournament so I got to watch a lot of our girls’ matches. Meadow Titus went out there and picked up a couple of big wins and ended up finishing in 5th place. Only a sophomore, this will definitely propel Meadow’s wrestling career where she has a bright future. I was afraid Meadow was going to be satisfied with qualifying for Masters but she made it to state. The state tournament experience will show Meadow that she can go with anyone and is good enough to place at state. Amaya Yoshizumi, also a sophomore, wrestled amazing and finished in 4th place. Amaya has a lot of great technique and experience and can beat any girl she faces. In one of her last matches, Amaya’s opponent went upper body with her and Amaya threw her to her back to win by fall, which was very exciting. Look for Amaya to threaten a state medal this year. Emily Alderman, who is a senior, didn’t finish where she planned to finish for this tournament, but the state tournament is where it really matters. Emily came into this tournament as a returning masters champion and state medalist but lost in the finals to finish in 2nd. Most people would be ecstatic to finish in 2nd, but Emily was not happy and she wants a state title next weekend in Bakersfield. Emily can beat every single girl in the state and can win a state championship next week if she does everything right both on the mat and off the mat. Look for Emily to not only place, but to threaten a state title next week. Bella Vista has won 3 state championships in the past 4 years and Emily can legitimately be the girl to continue that rich tradition.
Koby Ansel wrestled in his first ever masters championships and it took him a couple minutes to adjust to the huge arena and atmosphere. Koby got taken down in the first period of his first match, but stormed back to score 5 straight points. Koby was winning by 3 with about 5 seconds left but got reversed to his back to give up 4 and lose by 1 point. Very disappointing, but this is an amazing experience for him and he will learn and grow from this. Koby got a forfeit and then won his next match. In match 4 Koby lost to a kid from Turlock who ended up qualifying for state. 2-2 at Masters is awesome and will springboard Koby tremendously into next year. If Koby puts some time in to the offseason, he will qualify for state next year at minimum.
Connor Willey had an AWESOME weekend and finished in 7th place! This was Connor’s first time wrestling in the master’s championships and he wrestled the best he’s ever wrestled. All season long Connor struggled to finish in the medal rounds at tournaments, but I always knew that he was a state level wrestler. I even wrote that in the season preview. Well, Connor wrestled lights out all weekend – strategically and tactically, and was in phenomenal shape. Connor went 5-2 at Masters and missed making it to state by 1 match. If Connor continues to improve this offseason he will threaten a deep run at the state tournament next year.
Dylan Maples came into this tournament truly believing that he was going to get first. On day 1, Dylan went 3-0 where he won by pin, major decision, and technical fall to make the semifinals and become a state qualifier for the 2nd year in a row. In the semis, Dylan took an early lead against the Oakdale kid and later on, the match was tied 2-2 with about 30 seconds left. Dylan got caught in an awkward situation and got taken down and ended up losing the match. Dylan made the finals of Masters last year and was very disappointed. It is EXTREMELY hard for a person to respond to losing a close match in the semis like that and secure a win. Dylan was dealing with some major adversity, and in his next match he found himself losing by 1 with about 30 seconds left. Dylan wouldn’t have it and got a reversal at the very end to win and put him into the top 4. The 3rd place match was a rematch of our league finals and our dual against Yuba City. Dylan was down 2-0 early, but he responded to the adversity by scoring 6 straight points and then getting a pin to finish in 3rd place at Masters! Dylan lost his self there for a minute but dug deep like a champion does and found his self again. Coming back for 3rd is awesome and look for Dylan to make a deep run at state and find a way to get into the medal rounds.
Tyler Maples! Holy moly. I’ll say it again: Tyler Maples! This guy went out there and wrestled to his true ability and qualified for the state tournament for the first time in his career! Although Tyler got 3rd in our division, he faced the #1 guy in our section in match 2 and lost. In the very next match in the consolations, Tyler faced Solso from Roseville, who beat Tyler at our league tournament 2 weeks ago. Well, Tyler won when it mattered and actually won 10-2. Tyler put together a few more wins in a row and it came down to the match to qualify for state or to end his career. Tyler was in this same spot last year where he was winning and then got caught and lost by fall where he ended up in 7th place. Tyler’s match was tied after regulation, tied after the 1st overtime, and then tied after the 2nd overtime. In the 3rd overtime, it comes down to a 30 second ride out for a victory. If the person on top rides out the person on bottom, they win. If the person on bottom escapes or gets a reversal, they win. 30 seconds in triple OT to determine who would go to state. The entire arena was watching and the other kid chose down (our advantage). Tyler got the ride out and qualified for state as a senior! Tyler lost his next match 6-3 against a very good kid from Vacaville then won to take 5th against a top guy in our section! Tyler went 6-2 on the weekend!
Carson Lee had an extremely tough weight class at sections and ended taking 5th place. In fact, 4 of the top 5 finishers at the D2 section finished in the top 5 at Masters. TOUGH! Carson’s first match was against a guy who got 2nd in his section and Carson controlled the entire match and won 4-0. In his next match, Carson wrestled a guy who was very good and ranked higher than Carson, but Carson had an amazing game plan and dominated the match to win 4-0. Both of his first matches were considered upsets on paper, but Carson and the BV coaches knew that Carson could win those matches if he could put it together, which he did. In the quarterfinals, Carson had a kid from Vacaville who Carson beat by 1 point the previous week. Vacaville kids are well coached and make great adjustments, but we were ready for the challenge. Carson ended up winning by an exciting pin and made the semis where he punched his ticket to the state tournament! In the semis, Carson wrestled a top guy in the state and lost. On the way back, Carson lost a very close match but ended up in 5th place. Carson proved that he belongs and he should make a run at the state tournament. After this great season, if Carson puts in the time during the offseason, he will be a legit top 10 wrestler in the state.
Derrik Carstensen did everything right this season and came in with an awesome draw at the Masters tournament. I was so happy and felt like DC would at least make the semifinals of the tournament. Well, within about 25 seconds of his first match, DC’s knee was injured in a major way and his season was over. The kid who he was wrestling, who I felt like we would have dominated, ended up qualifying for the state tournament when he got DC’s spot in the bracket. I am so proud of Derrik to come back after not wrestling his junior year and have such a great season where he was also a league champion.
Vince Olivera wrestled the best he’s ever wrestled and ended up finishing in 3rd place at Masters! 3rd place is legit and very impressive. Vince won his first 2 matches pretty handedly where he actually won by 8 points over a guy who was favored over Vince. This put Vince in the quarters against a guy was ranked #3 in Masters and Vince was ranked #11. Vince scored some points and so did the other guy, but Vince’s pace and conditioning was so high that the other guy completely gassed out (ran out of energy). The score was 5-5 and approaching overtime and Vince was shooting a double leg that took the guy out of bounds. Vince let go, but the other guy was so tired that he couldn’t prepare his body for the impact on the ground and his head slammed against the floor just off the mat. He ended up getting a concussion protocol and couldn’t continue, which put Vince in the semis. Vince did nothing wrong and he did everything right and was going to win in OT anyway because the guy was so tired. Vince lost in the semis 13-8 against a top 10 guy in the state and fought back to a 3rd place match against a guy who beat Vince last week. Well, this week Vince won 9-7 and is sitting in a great place entering the state tournament. Vince can beat anybody and go with anybody.
Caden Stockett won his first match, lost a very close match to Del Oro in match 2, and then faced a kid from Roseville who has dominated Caden all year long. Caden wrestled better than ever and the match was tied going into overtime. In overtime, Caden was about 1 cm from getting the win then the kid fought out of it at the last second. Then the match went to double overtime where Caden lost. This match showed Caden’s continued growth day by day, week by week, and season by season. If Caden commits to the offseason he will qualify for the state championships next year.
Danny Harris had a very tough section tournament where he finished 5th, which gave him a horrible draw at Masters. In his first match, Danny ended up having to wrestle the guy who finished in 1st place for the weekend. Talk about a bad draw. In his next match, Danny had to wrestle a guy from Pitman who finished higher than Danny did at the section tournament last week. Danny was winning, and then found himself losing with seconds to go but dug deep and found a way to win 6-5 at the very end of the match! Really exciting. Danny dominated his next guy and then had to face a guy from Rodiriguez who dominated Danny last week (still a tough draw). This time, Danny wrestled awesome, and his coaches know that he has this ability every time he steps on the mat (we just hadn’t seen it in some time). Danny ended up winning 5-0, which qualified him for day 2 and top 12 in Masters. In day 2, Danny wrestled a kid from Vacaville who beat Danny last week, but this guy won again and ended Danny’s junior season. One thing I haven’t mentioned yet is that the trainers at Masters took an in depth look at Danny’s injured hand and pretty much told us that Danny has a torn ligament and a fractured bone. So, Danny has been wrestling without one hand for almost 2 months straight and still performed at a very high level. Danny is taking care of his hand ASAP this week.
Bryan Henkel continued to impress this weekend and qualified for the state tournament as a junior! Bryan is a multi sport athlete and doesn’t do any offseason wrestling, but once he’s in season, he is all in and works extremely hard, he’s athletic, and he has a great attitude every single practice and competition. Bryan is also very coachable. That formula is a great recipe for success. Although I’d love to see Bryan in the offseason, I know that he is all in with all of his other teams/sports as well, which helps him become a better wrestler. Bryan finished in 2nd at sections where he lost in overtime, which put him on the tough side of the bracket at Masters. Bryan didn’t care and won by major decision, pin, and then major decision to make the semifinals and qualify for state. In the semis, Bryan faced a top kid in state who pinned Bryan in about 30 seconds earlier this season, This time, Bryan kept the match close and went the distance. Big improvement! Bryan lost his next match at the very end and almost won but fell just short. Bryan ended up in 5th place and will be wrestling in Bakersfield next week. Btw, the kid who Bryan lost to in OT last week at sections was in the better half of the bracket and made the finals at Masters, which proves that Bryan is right there with everybody.
Lucas Cody has improved so much over the past year I can’t even explain it. Seriously, Lucas had a tough time getting even 1 win at the section tournament last year and then he was out. I know I’ve mentioned this all year, but Lucas put in a huge offseason and had an awesome senior campaign. Not only did Lucas qualify for Masters, which is a huge accomplishment, he made it to day 2 and finished in the top12 at Masters! Lucas came from behind more than once at Masters to get some wins and lost his last match in overtime, which would have put him in the top 8. Lucas never missed a day unless he was forced to, he worked extremely hard, and he was always trying to learn by listening and adjusting to the feedback from his coaches and teammates. Lucas was also a relaxed and funny guy to have on the team and we will miss him. Just as a testament to his character, Lucas offered to practice this next week as Bryan’s training partner because Bryan doesn’t have anybody to practice with. We will miss our seniors!
That’s it! Whew! I love this team! State championships next week!
Week 11 Results:
The postseason in wrestling is always filled with highs and lows, and this weekend was no exception. I’m sitting at home right now, hours after a very successful tournament for our team, and I’m still feeling a ton of emotions from the weekend. I LOVE these guys and I wrestle every single position of every single match with them in my head, and I live and die with them every single match. I might not show it, but I feel all the feels WITH them and through them. AND, I know that Coach Harris and Coach Lee are the exact same way…
So, wrestling is a tough sport, and I’m reflecting on our great weekend. We competed at the D2 Section Championships, which had 4 different leagues in attendance. The top 8 wrestlers qualify for the Masters Championships the following weekend and we had 11 Bella Vista wrestlers finish in the top 5 of our section. There are 5 section tournaments this weekend, and without a doubt, our section tournament is the toughest out of the 5. In addition to the excitement of qualifying 11 wrestlers to Masters, our team finished in 3rd place at the tournament! Vacaville was 1st, Pitman was 2nd, and we were 3rd. As of last week, Vacaville is the 10th ranked team in the state and Pitman is the 12th ranked team in the state. If you look at our Masters rankings, Vacaville is ranked 1st and Pitman is ranked 2nd. Did I mention that our division is tough?
At 108, Koby Ansel is competing in his first every postseason because he’s been behind some of our top wrestlers the past 2 years. Koby looked like a seasoned veteran all weekend and ended up getting 4th place in the tournament. He wrestled exceptionally well and lost 2 close matches to the same person. Koby showed some major improvements this weekend, which is exciting from my perspective. We will improve this week and Koby will threaten state next weekend…
At 115, Connor Willey faced some major adversity and ended up getting 5th in the section. Connor is pretty much wrestling in his first postseason as well after being behind our top guys (last year he went up 2 weight classes in the postseason and was way undersized). Connor showed some glimpses of greatness this weekend but made a couple of small mistakes that cost him a couple of matches. When Connor lets it fly and trusts in his instincts, he is extremely tough to stop. We will clean some things up this week with Connor and I truly believe that he is a threat for a state qualifier next week...
At 122, Dylan Maples won his 2nd section championship (1st as a freshman, 2nd last year, and 1st this year). 122 is a tough weight with a lot of good wrestlers in it and Dylan came out on top. In the semifinals, Dylan found himself losing after the first period, but he responded to the adversity by scoring a bunch of points in the 2nd period before he won by pin. Dylan has wrestled a lot of the top guys in the state/country this year and he is ready for everything thrown his way. Dylan is on a roll and has now won 4 tournaments in a row. Unfortunately, Dylan won by default in the finals because the wrestler from Pitman hurt his knee in the semifinals. Dylan was a Masters finalist last year so look for Dylan to threaten a Masters title this year…
At 128, Tyler Maples had an incredible weekend and finished in 3rd place in our section. Tyler’s only loss was to a returning CA state medalist, 5-2, in the quarterfinals. After that match, Tyler pretty much dominated the rest of his guys – both strategically and technically – and won 4 straight matches against some top guys in our masters. In his 3rd place match, Tyler went against a guy who's ranked higher than him at Masters and won 7-2! Tyler got 7th at Masters last year and is a favorite to finish in the top 6 this year and qualify for the state championships…
At 134, Carson Lee rode an emotional roller coaster all weekend and wrestled extremely well for the most part, but “only” got 5th place in the section. On day 1, Carson faced a very good Vacaville wrestler in his 2nd match and beat the kid to make the semifinals. On day 2, Carson went against the #21 ranked kid in the state in the semis and was winning until about 2 seconds left in the match but the other kid reversed Carson for the win. After that, Carson wrestled another ranked wrestler and had a tough time getting back into the swing of things and lost. Now that he was going for 5th place, Carson faced a kid from Roseville whom he beat in the league finals in the previous week. After the 1st round, the other kid was winning 4-0, but Carson dug deep and won 15-6. Our section had 5 of the top 8 guys in masters in it and Carson will definitely threaten to make state next week…
At 140, Derrik Carstensen (DC) had a fantastic tournament and finished in 3rd place. DC is such a competitor and wrestles hard in every single position for every single moment of his matches. DC made the semifinals and lost to a very good Pitman wrestler and then won his next match only to face the same wrestler from Vacaville that he beat 3-0 the day before. All Vacaville wrestlers can wrestle well and they are coached very well, so we knew the other kid would make some adjustments for round 2 against DC. Derrik turned it on and won by fall in his 3rd place match. DC will definitely be in contention next week to qualify for the state tournament…
At 145, Vince Olivera wrestled extremely well in all of his matches and ended up getting 3rd place. Vince’s only loss came in the semifinals to the eventual champion in a very close match. In the semis, the match went back and forth, and Vince took the lead with about 30 seconds left in the match, but the other kid scored to secure the win at the last moment. I am very proud of Vince’s response to that match because he took a breather, accepted the situation, and then focused on the next task at hand. Vince won the next 2 matches against some very good wrestlers and will definitely be in contention for a qualifying spot for the state tournament next weekend. When Vince lets it fly and trusts his instincts, he is a very good wrestler…
At 152 lbs., Aaron Li continued to wrestle better than ever but came up just short of qualifying for Masters. This was Aaron’s first true season wrestling varsity and he still didn’t find himself in the starting varsity position until the beginning of playoffs. Aaron rose to the challenge to the best of his ability and showed some great skills. If Aaron commits to an offseason in wrestling he is going to have a very successful senior season…
At 162, Caden Stockett dealt with a TON of adversity and finished in 4th place. Last year, Caden went 1-2 at the section tournament and is now top 4 this year! Huge improvement. In the semifinals, Caden was wrestling the #5 ranked wrestler in the state from Pitman. The other kid was winning 13-0, and after getting frustrated that Caden was still putting up a major fight against going to his own back, the other kid knee’d Caden directly and intentionally in the nose. This was very intentional and was while he was holding both of Caden’s arms away from defending himself. This is even illegal in MMA. The ref called a penalty and awarded Caden 1 point, but the ref did not call it a flagrant penalty, which would have automatically disqualified the other wrestler from the tournament. During injury time for Caden, the athletic trainer went onto the mat and called for concussion protocol. This gave the trainer 5 minutes to assess whether or not he thought Caden showed signs of a concussion. After about 45 seconds, the trainer said Caden showed no signs of a concussion and said Caden could continue. Although I tried to talk Caden out of continuing, he was pretty obsessed with continuing the match. At the time, I didn’t believe that telling my wrestler to lie and say he couldn’t continue to wrestle so we could secure a win was the right decision to make. The ref, trainer, and Caden all said he could go, and at the time, I felt like that was the most honest and sportsmanlike decision to make. Now that I’ve had time to watch the video of the incident over and over, I’m wishing that I could go back in time. The video has been circulated on social media and I've had many refs tell me the kid should have been automatically disqualified, and I've had other officials tell me the original call was the correct call. In the finals, the same Pitman kid slammed a kid from Roseville within about 30 seconds of the match, and although the ref knew about the repeated incidents, he only gave the Roseville kid 1 point for an illegal move from the same Pitman wrestler... Anyway, I’ve never seen Jordan Burroughs, Kyle Dake, or David Taylor act like that and they are the best in the world. I’m really hoping this kid learns a lesson from his coaches because I don’t feel the like it’s my responsibility to teach other kids a lesson. Caden responded extremely well and did continue to wrestle where he won his next match to get in the top 4 but lost to a Vacaville kid in the 3rd place match. If Caden can put all of his skills together he can beat any of the guys in our Masters and has a legit shot at threatening top 6 at masters to qualify for state…
At 172, Danny Harris had a very tough weight class and ended up in 5th place. Danny looked amazing in his first 2 matches and then saw the #3 ranked guy in our Masters in the semis from Vacaville. Danny wrestled a close match against the kid but lost by decision to the guy who ended up placing 1st in the tournament. In the consolation semis, Danny wrestled the #5 ranked guy in Masters but lost a very close match to the kid after making a couple of small mistakes. In his last match of the day, Danny put it all together and pinned the kid in the first period. Danny can literally take every single person down that he wrestles, and once we clean up a couple other small things this week, Danny will threaten to be a state qualifier…
At 184, Bryan Henkel wrestled extremely well all weekend and finished in 2nd place at the section championships. Bryan is such a competitor and is always working to score points and find a win. In his first 3 matches to make the finals, Bryan won by fall, tech-fall, and then tech-fall in the semis. Once he was in the finals, Bryan faced the #2 ranked guy in Masters (Bryan is ranked #3). This was a very exciting match that ended up going into overtime where the other kid got the takedown. I felt like Bryan did all the work all match long and the other kid kind of fell into a couple of the points, but we will clean up a couple of positions for Bryan this week and he has a legit shot at qualifying for the state tournament next weekend.
At 195 lbs., Lucas Cody did an amazing job and finished in 4th place. If you’ve read my posts all year, Lucas had a tough time finding any sort of win a year ago, committed in the offseason, and now he finished in 4th place at the section tournament. What hurt Lucas in his 3rd place match were the lack of years of experience/feel that wrestlers obtain strictly through wrestling. Lucas doesn’t have that luxury and made a couple of small wrong turns and missed some strategy in that last match that cost him at the very end. Lucas actually fought way back and got a takedown to tie the match up with 10 seconds left, but the other kid escaped and won. Lucas can take anybody down and we will sharpen some other things this week for him to threaten a deep run at Masters for him.
At 222 and 285, we had 2 guys qualify but they did not wrestle in the tournament because they had family vacations scheduled ahead of time.
I’m very, very proud of our guys (obviously). One good thing about wrestling top competition is that they can show us the areas that we need to improve upon, which they did for us this past weekend. We will definitely work in those areas this week and we will be ready for Masters. One other thing to consider about this team is that we finished 3rd at sections without a returning state qualifier in Dakota Gutierrez, who could not finish the season due to injury. We were also without Reno Grenier, who was ranked #24 in the state and was having a phenomenal season before an injury cut his season short. Although Dakota is done, he was there with the team at sections. Reno is recovering right now and we will have him back on the team next year.
THE GIRLS! - I don't have all the results yet for the girls, but Emily Alderman, Meadow Titus, and Amaya Yoshizumi all qualified for Masters. Emily was dominant all weekend long and got 1st place at Regionals. Emily is a returning Masters Champion and state medalist and is on a mission right now. Meadow Titus lost a close match in the semifinals but battled back and got 3rd at the regional tournament. Meadow is about 8 lbs. underweight right now but has a legit shot to qualify for the state tournament. Amaya faced some adversity all tournament long but battled to come back and take 5th. Amaya can also beat any girl in front of her and qualify for the state tournament. Anabella Tan came up just short, 10-8, in her last match and Katelynne Hall lost in overtime to be an alternate for the Masters Championships. Kara Larson finished her first season ever as a wrestler by going 1-2 and Hanna Ebby made day 2 at Regionals and fell just short of qualifying for Masters. Those girls will be back and will be wrestling extremely well next year if they commit to an offseason!
Week 10 Results:
Last week was the first round of the individual portion of the 2020 playoffs. We began with the CVC League Championships at River Valley high school where the top 4 wrestlers from each weight qualified for the D2 Section Championships. Before I get into the results, I will provide a general breakdown of how the postseason works for wrestling in California. We start out with the league championships where the top 4 wrestlers qualify for the D2 Section Championships (our tournament last week). At sections, there are 4 leagues who each brought their top 4 wrestlers at each weight class. The top 8 wrestlers from the D2 Section Championships qualify for the Masters Championships. At Masters, all 5 divisions combine into a single division. The Masters Championships are held in every section in California, and the top 6 wrestlers from our Masters Championships qualify for the State Championships in Bakersfield. California is 1 of only 2 states in the entire country that have a true state championship (1 division). We (CA) also have the most high school wrestlers out of any state in the country competing and we have the most grueling qualifying process to get to the state tournament, which makes our postseason the toughest in the entire country. League - Sections - Masters - State.
So, the league tournament last week was round 1 of the 4-weekend process, and as per normal, the BV wrestlers put together a very strong performance. Although we went 6-0 in dual meets against the other teams this year, the other coaches in the league voted to have the individual tournament count towards determining the league champion this year (they voted in the offseason) instead of having the criteria based strictly off of dual meets like usual. This didn’t sit well with me, but it didn’t matter because we won the individual league tournament as well and were crowned league champions! The wrestlers and coaches at Bella Vista have dedicated countless hours of work over the years, which helps me enjoy measurable moments like a league title. Great job, Broncos! There are 14 weight classes and we qualified all 14 wrestles for the section championships next weekend. We ended up putting 12 wrestlers in the finals, which means we had 12 wrestlers earn All-Conference this year. We “only” took home 7 league titles this year and had 5 wrestlers get 2nd place in the league. Koby Ansel, who has been balancing wrestling while being a member of BV’s Academic Decathlon (Aca-Deca) team, looked dominant and took home a league title. Just last week Koby won the Science division for the Sacramento area in his Aca- Deca competition and the BV team finished 2nd in the Sacramento area, which qualified them for the state championships. Koby has been burning the candle at both ends... Dylan Maples wrestled a tough kid from Yuba City in the finals and faced some early adversity where he found himself losing going into the 3rd period. Dylan has wrestled this kid a lot, and regardless of how good someone is, the more they wrestle someone the closer the match will be. We knew this match would be close going into it and Dylan responded to the in-match adversity by scoring 5 points in the 3rd period to take home another league title... Carson Lee also wrestled a kid who was trying to keep the match as close as possible by wrestling defensively. Earlier in the year, Carson tended to get flustered with kids like that, but in the league finals, Carson stayed the course and trusted that his points would eventually come. After a close 1st period, Carson pulled away and beat the kid 12-1 for another league title... Derrik Carstensen, who didn’t even wrestle during his junior year, has been hurt most of this season but is putting everything together and wrestling at a very high level right now. Derrik beat his guy in the finals 14-0 to take home a league title! Vince Olivera is another wrestler who missed out on his junior season and he is looking better than ever right now. When Vince opens up and trusts his instincts he is very fun to watch. Vince was winning 8-1 in the first period of the finals before he pinned his opponent in a very exciting move to take home a league title! Danny Harris obliterated all of his competition in the league and barely broke a sweat during his matches. In the finals, I was coaching on the mat next to Danny’s match, I looked over and noticed that Danny was about to start his match, I watched the BV kid on my mat for about 15 seconds, and when I looked back towards Danny he had already won. Danny took his kid down and pinned him in about 25 seconds for a league title… Bryan Henkel wrestled a kid from Inderkum who was ranked in Masters at 195 and dropped down to 184 for the postseason. During the seeding meeting with all of the coaches, I had to fight and argue for Bryan to get the 1 seed because half of the coaches thought the Inderkum deserved the 1 seed. Bryan got the 1 and Inderkum got the 2 and they met in the finals. Bryan scored the only takedown in the match but controlled most of the match and was never in danger at all. Bryan won another league title and is wrestling extremely well right now... All of those guys won a league title this year, but our other guys also wrestled extremely well. In the finals, Connor Willey was down 5-0 after the 1st period because the other guy threw him in a lateral drop. Connor fought back and almost won at the buzzer, but lost 7-8. Tyler Maples also found himself in a hole early and fought back against a very good kid from Roseville who is also ranked in the state. Tyler almost got the victory at the very end but came up just a little short. Tyler has wrestled this kid a lot and I feel like we will see him again this postseason and I’m confident Tyler will get the victory next time. Caden Stockett showed tremendous heart and never gave up in his match against the Roseville kid in the finals. Caden is battling some very painful injuries, he was hit in the face during his match and was bleeding all over the place, but still put the guy on his back in the final moments and almost won by fall. We all saw the pin, but the ref must have been looking somewhere else. Great job by Caden. Lucas Cody went up against a guy from Roseville who is ranked in the state and who also beat Reno Grenier, which means the kid is very good. Lucas almost got a takedown in the first and the score was 0-0 after the first period. We chose down to start the 2nd period and the other guy put in a tough armbar and ended up getting the fall over Lucas. Great job by Lucas and he’s All-Conference. Roman Peschke, who has barely seen the varsity line-up this year for various reasons, stepped up big and made the finals of the tournament at 220. Roman ran into a hammer in the finals but still made All-Conference! If Roman gets some mat time in during the offseason he can be a very good wrestler for us next year. Aaron Li wrestled the best I’ve ever seen him wrestle in his career. Aaron was unseeded and went out and pinned the 4 seed in his first match to make the semifinals. In the semis, Aaron faced a very good wrestler from Roseville who beat Vince Olivera a few weeks ago (that means this kid is very good). Aaron did not worry about the other kid’s accolades and focused on his own tasks. The match went back and forth and there was a questionable call at the end for Aaron to win, but the match went into overtime tied 7-7. The other kid got a takedown during overtime, but the fact that Aaron was that close was very impressive. Aaron came back to get 3rd place in the league. Erick Reckers is another guy who is stepping up to do whatever it takes to help the team out. Reckers was asked late in the season to jump into the varsity lineup at heavyweight and wrestle at the CA State Dual Championships for his first tournament, and then the section dual championships for his next. Tough start! Reckers works hard and keeps telling me he will do whatever he can to help the team out. The hard work paid off and Erick ended up getting 3rd in the league championships at heavyweight! Great work.
Aaron Li also won an academic award for our league with a cumulative 4.67 Grade Point Average! Very impressive!
Emily Alderman won the most outstanding wrestler award for all of the girls in our league! Great job, Emily!
Next week, all 14 of our wrestlers travel to the section championships at River Valley high school where we will compete for a section title and qualify for the Masters championships the following week.
Week 9 Results:
This past weekend the varsity team competed in the Sac Joaquin Team Section Championships in Stockton. This is a playoff tournament and the only teams invited are the ones who placed in the top 2 in their respective league. Although teams are separated by enrollment size, over the years, the best teams have been forced into D2 and D1. We ended up in Division 2 this year and got seeded #2 out of 8 teams. We wrestled Bear Creek in our first dual and won 70-9. Their team was a little short-handed but the Broncos got some good matches in. With the win over Bear Creek, we made the semifinals of the Section Championships for the 18th year in a row. This means that we have been in the top 4 of our section for all of those 18 years. Truly remarkable. In the semis, we went up against Granite Bay who was the 3 seed. Granite Bay always has a good team with some stars sprinkled in and they are well-coached. Our wrestlers did not care about whom they were wrestling and focused on their own wrestling. Well, we wrestled about as well as we had all season long and won 61-10 to make the finals of the section championships. Granite Bay was a test for us and proved to us that our technique, improvement, strategy, and conditioning are all coming together at the right time. In the finals, we went up against the 1 seed, Pitman. Pitman has a few guys who are expected to place in the CIF State Championships this year, with one of them already a 2x state medalist. Those guys are wrestling at a very high level. Outside of their stars, every other person on their team is a good wrestler. Although we were short 2 starters, we went out there and competed with Pitman and had a legitimate shot at beating them. There are 14 matches in a dual meet, and after the first 6 matches with Pitman, the score was tied 12-12. After 9 matches, Pitman had a 20-16 lead Pitman but pulled away down the stretch and eventually beat us 35-23. We finished 2nd in the team section championships, which is something to be proud of. Very few schools get to compete at such a high level and I’m proud of all of the people on our wrestling team. The individual part of the playoffs begins this week with the league championships at River Valley High School. The top 4 in our league at every weight advance to the D2 section championships the following week. If a wrestler does not finish in the top 4 at league their season is over. We will focus on the details for sections during the week of sections.
Week 8 Results
We started week 8 with a CVC League dual against Roseville High School at Roseville. Both teams were undefeated going into this match and both coaches knew it would be a very competitive dual. Here’s some background information: Last season, the league championship came down to a dual between BV and Roseville, where we prevailed, but the dual was very close. This year, both Roseville AND Bella Vista returned all of their starters. In addition to that, Roseville got a star transfer who was a Masters Champion and one of the top guys in the state, so we knew it would be a challenge for us. Unfortunately, their star transfer did not wrestle in the dual. Although that helps us, we want to beat them at their best. Like us, Roseville works hard in the offseason and is well-coached. (Back to this year) The dual started at 145 pounds and we faced some early adversity. After the first 8 matches, we were losing 21-17 with only 6 matches remaining. Well, this was a true team effort and the lighter guys on the team put together a really good streak and we did not lose another match. Typically, if our lighter guys face adversity, it’s the heavier guys pulling through for the team so it was very cool to see the bottom half of our team go out and deliver. They did not get too excited or shut down because of the "pressure," which was exciting to see from my perspective. After the dual, I told them they didn’t even “rise to the occasion,” they simply went out there and did what they do every single match and wrestled the exact same regardless of any sort of external situation. Bella Vista won the dual 40-21 and we finished undefeated in league dual meets this year at 6-0. Great job, Broncos!
On Saturday, the varsity team traveled to Clovis North High School in Fresno for the first-ever California State Dual Championships. This inaugural event is a very big deal for California wrestling and I wanted our program to be a part of history. I signed us up for this tournament in April of 2019 and the tournament director, who knows Bella Vista wrestling history, was very excited to have Bella Vista join this historic event. He even emailed me multiple times last week about BV history and told me how special it was we were in attendance. If you haven’t noticed yet, Bella Vista has a storied program and is very well known for wrestling throughout California. This mostly goes back to Charlie Lee, who was the head coach throughout the 1970s and 1980s and built BV wrestling into a national power. David Lee (the coach’s son) was the first-ever 3x California State Champion. The program dipped a bit after Charlie retired, and then it dipped into nothing. Mike Lee took over the program in the early ’90s and almost literally started with nothing. Mike ended up coaching multiple state champions and state medalists; he had multiple teams win section titles and league titles. What’s even better than the wins is that Mike was a model coach who truly used wrestling as a tool to build the social and emotional character in all of his athletes. No pressure on me to follow, right? Anyway, Bella Vista wrestling is widely regarded in CA wrestling history and that’s why I jumped in immediately for our team to be part of the inaugural CA State Duals. The tournament was divided into divisions based on how good of a season the team had up to last week. There were 4 divisions and we got put into division 3 where we were seeded number 2. We wrestled Chico in our first dual and won 53-16. Chico is always a top 3 team in the North and I thought the dual would be close. They also finished 2nd at the Corning tournament a week prior to this (where we finished 1st). We looked great against Chico and made the semifinals where we wrestled Vista Del Lago. This team, obviously, is also very good and they have a lot of wrestlers ranked in the top 8 in our Masters. We ran into a little bit of Murphy’s Law, which basically means that if something can go wrong, it will go wrong. Unfortunately, we had 2 starters go down with injuries during their match and I had to pull them during the match. One of our guys was winning by more than 8 points when he got hurt, which was a 10 point swing (they got 6 points instead of us getting at least 4). We also lost some close matches and we had 2 other starters wrestling sick. No excuses, but we were in a tough situation. After we lost the match to Vista the message to the team was that we can’t control the things that happen to us, but we can control how we respond. I challenged them to unite together and respond in a way that they will be proud of. We wrestled Turlock for 3rd place in D3. Before the dual even started, we spotted them 12 points because of forfeits. Turlock is very good and has 2 returning state medalists on their team, which pretty much put us in a deeper hole before the match began. Our team delivered and we ended up winning the dual 39-31. In the end, we needed Lucas Cody to get a win to secure the dual for us. If Lucas lost by bonus points and then our next guy got pinned, which he did, then we would lose the dual. As a coach, it was really special for me to see Lucas go out there and win 6-0 and get the win for our team. If you remember from the preseason preview, Lucas was barely a varsity wrestler last year and put in a huge offseason where he did not miss a practice in the spring, summer, and fall. Lucas also works extremely hard in the room every single day. If Lucas didn’t put in all that time, the team would have lost the dual. Lucas is not the only person that puts in so much work, but the dual came down to his match. We have a lot of people who commit to our program and that’s why we wrestle at such a high level as a team. We ended up in 3rd place in the first-ever California State Dual Championships, we got a cool trophy, and all the kids got medals. Now, it’s time for playoffs.
Week 7 Results
We started this week out with a dual against River Valley. Actually, let me back up a bit. We started this week out by taking Monday off after our looooooong weekend hosting our tournaments. Thank you, again, to everyone who helped. So, our first competition during week 7 was another CVC League dual against River Valley. We traveled up to Yuba City in a very nice bus and we enjoyed the trip! Our team was ready for battle and performed as they always do. We wrestled well, got some good experience, and won the dual 83-0. There are 14 weights, and if we win every match by pin, the highest possible score would be 84-0. Carson Lee “only” won his match by technical fall (15-0) and got 5 points for the team in that win. Every other person won by fall. Great night for our Broncos!
On Friday, the varsity boys traveled to Corning, CA for a weekend of wrestling. We drove straight to Corning high school for a combined practice with their wrestling team, and then we held a dual meet against Corning. We (me and the Corning coaches) originally agreed to hold a traditional dual with 14 weight classes, but after some discussion, all the coaches agreed to get every single Bella Vista wrestler a match in the dual. We brought 21 wrestlers and every single one of them got a match in the dual. We ended up winning 19 matches! In the fall, when I signed us up for this tournament, I offered to pay for 2 varsity teams so I could bring a bunch of extras. The Corning coaches were very friendly and told me to bring the extras without paying extra money for them. Very cool. That’s why we had 21 wrestlers there this weekend.
After staying in the hotel on Friday night, we made it to Corning high school around 6:20 am on Saturday morning. This tournament had 38 teams in attendance, representing 3 sections in CA and 3 states (CA, OR, & NV). Bella Vista ended up winning the team tournament by accumulating 251 points. The 2nd place team had 175 points. We put 8 guys in the finals and came away with 6 champions. Just in case anybody is wondering, not all 21 guys scored points for our team; only the starters at the weight classes scored for us. The back-ups did not score team points for us.
In addition to winning the team trophy, Dylan Maples was awarded the most outstanding wrestler of the tournament by all the coaches!
We put 3 wrestlers in at 106, and all 3 brought home a medal. Honestly, we are so deep here we could have put in 5 wrestlers at 106 and all of them could have earned a medal. Joseph Terranova lost an early match and could only come back to get 7th, which he did (you can’t wrestler more than 5 matches in 1 day). Koby Ansel and Bruce Marlatt, unfortunately, met in the semifinals and Bruce won in overtime. Bruce got 2nd place after losing in triple overtime in the finals. Koby came back to get 3rd place! At 113, Brodi Herron-Williams also lost an early match but battled back to get 7th place and looked great in the process! At 120 pounds, Connor Willey came in as the 3 seed but that meant nothing to him. Connor wrestled amazing all tournament long and looked much improved after he fell short of a medal in Los Angeles 2 weeks ago. Connor ended up pacing 1st! At 126 pounds, Dylan Maples was on a mission and was determined to follow up his championship in Los Angeles with another championship in Corning. At the beginning of the tournament, Dylan told me he wanted to earn the most outstanding wrestler award by the end of the day. I told him to not worry about that and just wrestle, but Dylan won every match by pin to bring home the championship and the OW award! Dylan did not give up a single (earned) point all tournament. At 132 Tyler Maples wrestled methodical all tournament long and got 1st place. Although Tyler was not flashy with big moves, he’s always looking to score and slowly accumulates points as each match goes on. Tyler won by major decision in the finals, which is very impressive! Derrik Carstensen won his first 2 matches and then a flu bug kicked in. We all agreed to rest and hydrate instead of wrestling and I pulled him from the tournament. At 140 lbs., Carson Lee looked impressive all day long and wrestled an amazing match in the semifinals to make the finals. Carson’s semi match was tied up late in the 3rd and Carson got a takedown in the last 10 seconds of the match to make the finals. Most wrestlers wait for overtime to act in situations like his, but Carson decided to take control of his own destiny. Carson had a couple minor issues after his match, and even though he could have continued, we both agreed to rest him so he can be fresh for the next few weeks/playoffs. John Emory, only a freshman, traveled with the team and was the backup to Carson. John got a victory in the dual meet, lost an early match in the tournament, and then came back to earn a medal by placing 7th. John had a big match where he was losing and got a pin for the win. John never stopped fighting! At 145, Vince Olivera made it to the semifinals where he faced the #1 seed of the tournament. This semifinal match was very entertaining and both wrestlers scored a lot of points. Late in the match Vince was down by 2 points, got a reversal where he took his opponent to his back, but the ref only counted 1 swipe towards near fall. This exchange was one long scramble and Vince’s opponent got an escape with 3 seconds left in the match. Although we all agreed that the ref made the wrong call, the other guy won the match and advanced to the finals. Vince found a way to regain his composure and came back to get 3rd place! At 152 lbs, Aaron Li got some great matches and went 2-2 in the tournament. Jose Montano came back from injury and won a match in the dual and in the tournament! At 160 lbs., Caden Stockett made it to the semifinals but fell short 2-1. Caden continues to progress every single day and came back to get 3rd place. Danny Harris wrestled great all tournament long and beat a tough kid in the finals to take 1st place! Danny has been making steady progress each week this season and is wrestling well in all positions. At 170 lbs., Lazar Otashevich lost an early match but came back and got a 7th place medal. Lazar lost by fall to a guy from Corning in the Friday night dual, and had to face the same guy in the 7th place Match. Lazar showed how much he improved within 24 hours and beat the guy handily in the 7th place match. Bryan Henkel also continued his streak of wrestling well. Regardless of any situation, Bryan always gives it his all and fights to the end. In the semifinals, Bryan was down by 3 with about 15 seconds left and scored 4 points to earn a trip to the finals! In the finals, Bryan won by technical fall! Reno Grenier looked incredible all tournament long. In the semifinals, Bryan was facing a tough kid from Ponderosa and pinned his opponent in about 35 seconds. In the finals, Reno went against a guy who is ranked 24th in the state. That didn’t mean anything to Reno. After gaining a big lead, Reno won by fall to take first in the tournament. Lucas Cody wrestled great all tournament long and finished in 3rd place. Lucas is a fantastic example of how much a person can improve if they commit to the offseason program. Lucas barely won matches at the varsity level as a junior, didn’t miss an offseason practice, and now he’s won a tournament (Casa) and got 3rd place at Corning. Roman Peschke lost an early match and battle his way back to earn a 7th place medal. Overall, our team had a great weekend of wrestling and we will definitely attend this tournament next year. I got a ton of compliments from other coaches and parents about how good our team is and well we wrestled.
The girls’ team traveled to Santa Cruz for a big tournament and had a great weekend. Emily Alderman has been turning it on lately and got 1st place. Amaya Yoshizumi got 3rd place, and Katelynne hall got 4th place.
This week we will wrestle at Roseville for a chance at a league championship, and the varsity boys will be in Fresno for the California State Dual Championships.
Week 6 Results
I forgot to talk about the dual against Yuba City! My head was so busy with other things. We beat a very good Yuba City team 56-18. This dual put us at 4-0 in the CVC League. We will compete against Roseville high school during week 8 for a CVC league championship... More notes on the dual - we were out a few starters but our team is deep. We had multiple wrestlers rise to the challenge for us in the dual against Yuba City. I'm very proud of our backups (and our starters) for doing what they do in the dual against Yuba City.
We also got to celebrate senior night right before the dual against YC. Our amazing cheerleaders were ready with personalized signs, flowers, and goody bags for each senior. We love and will miss the following seniors:
We hosted the Winter Classic Middle School tournament on Saturday, and we hosted the Winter Classic Youth Tournament on Sunday. Thank you to every single person who helped out at this event.
The girls traveled to the biggest girls tournament in the country in Napa. Emily Alderman was our only medalist and got 2nd place! Awesome job! This is the type of tournament that college coaches attend to recruit future athletes and Emily definitely got noticed.
Week 5 Results
Week 5 was another positive step for our team and our process. We had 2 weeks off from school and everybody had the first week off so we could rest our minds and our bodies. The entire team practiced together on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday on the 2nd week of the break, and then the varsity team left for Los Angeles early Thursday morning. Before I get into the trip, I want to tell you all how proud I am of the people who showed up to run the Plumeria Hill Sprints on New Year’s Day – great work!
The varsity team left Bella Vista around 6:30 am on Thursday, and then my car broke down in the parking lot after everybody else left. Every parent rushed back to help find rides for the wrestlers in my car (thank you) and for me. The Maples offered their Explorer and I immediately said yes (thank you!). We drove straight to Redondo Beach for some R and R, and then drove about 5 minutes to West Torrance high school. We held a joint practice together and then we had a dual against them. The coaches tried to get everybody a match and we did not keep a team score, but Bella Vista won 8 matches, and West Torrance won 4. Good job, Broncos! After the dual (about 6:30 pm), we drove an hour to the hotel and checked in.
The tournament was at Sonora high school in La Habra and had close to 100 teams. Every single wrestler competed at a high level and we all learned a lot about where individuals need to improve, and where the team needs to improve. Every competition is an opportunity to measure ourselves and to practice the things we’ve been working on, and this tournament was perfect for us. Koby Ansel and Bruce Marlatt both made day 2, which is an accomplishment in its own for a high-level tournament (both barely missed out on making the podium). Connor Willey also made 2 and was winning his first match on the 2nd day before the guy threw him to his back and pinned him (we found out later the guy was a judo star). Brodi Herron-Williams, only a sophomore, went 3-2 on the first day! Great job to get 3 wins at this tournament! Dylan Maples had a fantastic tournament and ended up winning the entire thing! This is BV’s 3rd time at the tournament and we’ve never even had a person make the finals. In the semifinals match, Dylan was down 5-0 right off the bat to a kid from Arizona, but came back with a vengeance. Dylan ended up taking the other kid down 4 times in the final 2 minutes and won at the whistle. In fact, the ref said Dylan had lost and I asked both refs to convene and then they agreed that Dylan did get another takedown at the buzzer and Dylan won (it was the right call). In the finals, we knew Dylan was going against a thrower and we helped create a game plan. Dylan ended up winning by technical fall in the finals (you win if you get a lead by 15 points)! Tyler Maples made the quarterfinals and then lost 2 close matches to fall short of placing and finished in the top 12. Carson Lee started with an exciting win in overtime over the eventual 7th place finisher, but fell short of medaling. Dakota Gutierrez was at a wedding before the tournament and flew to L.A. late Thursday night to meet the team at the hotel (he got there close to midnight). Dakota made the quarterfinals in a very exciting and emotional 12-10 win, and then fell short of medaling and finished in the top 12 (he was about to get a takedown in his last match and then accidentally pinned himself in a scramble). Vince Olivera’s first match was against the 6 seed and Vince won. Vince looked incredible all tournament long and we had other coaches walk up to us and compliment us on his technique, energy, and athleticism. Vince ended up with a medal and got 8th place! Danny Harris won his first match and then lost to the 1 seed of the tournament. Danny actually took the guy down right off the bat and then the other guy battled back for the win (the other guy got 1st and Danny is the only person in the entire tournament to score a point on him). Danny had a long way to go and battled all the way back and got 7th place! Caden Stockett lost his first match and then won 3 in a row to make day 2 but fell short of a medal. Caden had a very exciting match at the end of day 1 and won in the final 10 seconds by getting the other guy on his back and getting a 3-point near-fall. Lazar Otashevich, only a sophomore, continued to show tremendous improvement and went 3-2 on the first day of the tournament, which is a huge accomplishment. Bryan Henkel didn’t practice for 2 weeks prior to the tournament because of a trip to Colorado, but he trained to the best of his ability while he was gone. Bryan arrived in Sacramento from CO around 11 PM on Wednesday (they drove) and then left for L.A. the next morning at 6:30 am (good stuff!). Bryan showed some rust in his first couple matches of the tournament, and then he improved in every period and every position for the rest of the tournament. There must have been 3 matches in a row where he came from behind for the win. Bryan ended up finishing 4th in the tournament! Lucas Cody was the only person to not pick up a win, but he had a very tough draw. Lucas lost to the 3 seed in his first match and then lost by 1 point to a kid who ended up placing in the top 8 in the tournament. Very unlucky draw, but Lucas proved that he is wrestling at a very high level.
Because of the team’s overall success and our 4 medalists, Bella Vista ended up in 7th place in the tournament (there were close to 100 teams there) and we got a huge trophy. The trophy is nice because it is a way to measure where our team is, but I’m proud of our guys for their commitment to their own process this season.
Varsity girls were off this past weekend.
Week 4 Results
The wrestlers were off during week 4.
Week 3 Results
The last week was really busy for our program. We started with a dual against Antelope high school, where we won 66-9, and we finished with 4 teams at 4 different tournaments on the weekend. Although we were down a few starters for the Antelope dual, we had people right behind them who were able to rise to the occasion and step up for our program. Freshman, John Emery, picked up a nice win by pin when he hit a beautiful Granby roll to a Peterson in his first-ever start in a dual meet. Basically, he rolled across his own back to flip his opponent over and secure the win. It looked really cool.
The first varsity team went to the Zinkin classic, which is held at Buchanan high school. Buchanan high school is the #1 public high school wrestling team in the nation and has won the team score at the state championships for the past 4 years in a row. This tournament is the toughest tournament we will attend outside of the state championships. There were teams there from California, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, and Arizona. Out of 54 teams, we finished in 22nd place with only 6 wrestlers entered in the tournament (out of 14 possible). In the week prior to the tournament, we had 3 guys on our team get a little banged up and we decided to be cautionary with their injuries so we can have them for the duration of the season. All 3 of those starters could have probably wrestled, and all 3 are ranked in the state, but we chose to be safe because we need every single person on our team to be healthy throughout January and February. All 6 guys we brought picked up at least 1 win. Reno Grenier finished in the round of 12 and would have medaled if he won his last match. Reno was actually winning his last match and then got caught and lost by fall. This is definitely a great experience for Reno and we will grow as a result of this tournament. Dylan Maples finished in 6th place and wrestled some really tough competition. There is nowhere to hide in this tournament and every single person is really good. The more a person wins in the tournament, the tougher the competition gets. In the match to medal or go home, Dylan was in a close, 5-4 match and decided to take control and win by fall. We had a great showing by our first team at Zinkin and a lot of people are starting to take notice of how good our team is this year.
Our 2nd varsity team attended the Marty Manges tournament at Casa Roble. We brought 11 wrestlers and finished in 4th place as a team out of 22 with only 3 regular starters in our line up (8 backups). We are deep and have a lot of people who are continually improving every single day. Koby Ansel and Bruce Marlatt were seeded 5th and 6th in the tournament, but both found their way to the finals where Koby ended up taking home first place. It’s definitely a good problem to have when you have 2 wrestlers in the same weight class in the finals of a tournament. Brodi Herron-Williams made the finals at 113 and finished the tournament in 2nd place. Brodi is only a sophomore and is gaining a lot of valuable experience right now. Elijah Shaw, in only his 2nd year as a wrestler, put in a lot of work in the offseason and is now starting to have success at the varsity level. Elijah is very athletic and picks up on things very quickly. Elijah finished in 5th place in the tournament. At 160 pounds, Caden Stockett took first place in the tournament! Caden is never out of a match and he never gives up, which are some great qualities to have. Although the coaches, and Caden, all know that he could have wrestled a LOT better, he still found a way to win the tournament. If Caden can improve in certain areas he will be a very dangerous wrestler by the end of the season. Lazar Otashevich is only a sophomore and placed in his 2nd straight varsity wrestling tournament. Lazar is very coachable and showed a lot of growth from match to match at Casa. By the end of the tournament, Lazar looked like a completely different person compared to how he wrestled in his first match of the day. At 195 pounds Lucas Cody is putting together quite the success story. Since last season, Lucas has done everything right. He trusts in the coaches, he makes every single practice, he doesn’t miss a rep, and he’s very coachable. Lucas was rewarded with all of his hard work by bringing home a championship at the tournament last weekend. In his finals match, Lucas was trailing late, got an escape, and then secured a takedown in the last 30 seconds to take first.
Our girls team was at the West Coast Tournament of Champions tournament in Rocklin. Amaya Yoshizumi finished in 5th place, Meadow Titus finished in 6th place, and Emily Alderman finished in 5th place. Definitely a good showing for our girls, but we know they can continue to improve and get better every single week. This tournament is part of the process and gave us information on where we are doing well and where we need to improve.
Alumni results! I don’t normally do this, but we had some good results from our alumni girls this weekend. The senior national championships were held this weekend and Bella Vista had 3 girls place in this tournament. Just so everybody knows, this is the level AFTER college, which is the highest and toughest level of wrestling there is. Because this is an Olympic year, this tournament was also a qualifier for the Olympic trials that will be held in April. The top 5 wrestlers from each weight class qualify for the Olympic trials. Jennifer Page, Alex Hedrick, and Yelena Makoyed all placed in the top 5 in the nation and qualified for the Olympic trials. Truly amazing. I honestly do not think another high school had 3 people competing in the Olympic trials. Jennifer has been in the game for a while and has overcome some major injuries and looks better than ever. Jennifer has been all around the world and was 3rd place in the junior world championships. Alex Hedrick has also wrestled all around the world and is still competing at the NCAA level for Simon Fraser University. Yelena only graduated high school a few months ago and made the huge jump to the post-college level where she was unseeded and beat some of the top names that represent the United States at her weight. Yelena is currently a freshman at North-Central Illinois. We are very proud of all 3 of these women!
Week 2 Results
The past week was good for the Bella Vista Broncos. We started with a CVC League dual against Woodcreek on Wednesday night. Woodcreek always has a handful of good wrestlers and we were ready to measure ourselves against them. We ended up winning the dual 66-0, which is pretty amazing. The cool thing is that we all have a lot of room for improvement and we are performing well right now. We also had 21 JV matches that night, which made the dual last a long time. I spoke to a ref and we are not supposed to have more than 14 JV matches at a dual. Lesson learned. The highlight match of the night was Caden Stocket versus Woodcreek’s best wrestler. Caden was down early but never gave up the fight. By the end of the match the other guy was exhausted and Caden still had a lot of energy, which shows that he won that match in the practice room. Carson Lee was also down 1-4 early and came back to win by technical fall (15 points). If our entire team never gives up when they are behind in a match they will have a lot to be proud of this year.
Over the weekend, our first varsity team competed at the Curt Mettler Tournament (Elk Grove) and our 2nd varsity team competed at the Mark Fuller tournament (Lincoln). We have so many wrestlers who are at the varsity level that we have 2 varsity teams. The starters went to the very tough Elk Grove tournament, which had tougher competition than it has over the past few years. Although I wasn’t there, all of our guys faced some really tough competition, faced some adversity, and responded by coming back to finish on a positive note. Connor Willey (6th), Dylan Maples (3rd), Tyler Maples (4th), Carson Lee (5th), Dakota Gutierrez (5th), Vince Olivera (3rd), Danny Harris (5th), Bryan Henkel (3rd), and Reno Grenier (3rd). Very impressive to bring home so much hardware from the Elk Grove tournament.
Our 2nd varsity team competed at Lincoln high school last week. We got to the tournament around 6:15 AM, after leaving Bella Vista at 5:45 AM, and the tournament did not end until after 7:30 PM. This was a long day, but the BV wrestlers had a great showing. This tournament had around 25 teams, and Bella Vista’s 2nd team, with only 8 scorers, ended placing in the top 6 in team points. Roman Peschke (11) led the way with a 2nd place finish. Bruce Marlatt (11), Brodi Herron-Williams (10), Aaron Li (11), Lazar Otashevich (10), and Lucas Cody (12) ended up in 3rd place in each of their brackets. Bruce demonstrated a wide range of attacks to win his 3rd place match. Brodi came from behind and won in the final seconds to take 3rd! Aaron Li controlled his match from the get-go with his really slick attacks and never looked back. Lazar showed a lot of growth from match to match and got 3rd place in his first varsity tournament. Lucas Cody showed off how much he improved in the offseason to take 3rd. In the finals, Roman Peschke wrestled a very physical wrestler, but Roman never backed down and will be better because of that match. It’s great to see the growth in so many of the wrestlers who attended this tournament. The plan is to continue to develop every single person on the team.
Girls’ team was off
Week 3 is a very busy week:
Dual at Antelope on Wednesday
Girls are at a tournament in Rocklin on Friday and Saturday
JV is at the Whitney tournament on Saturday
2nd Varsity is at the Casa Roble Tournament on Saturday
1st Varsity is at the Zinkin tournament in Fresno on Friday and Saturday
Week 1 Results
Easy Summary of the week:
Girls' Folsom Tournament:
Emily Alderman - 2nd
Amaya Yoshizumi - 4th
Meadow Titus - 7th
League dual vs. Inderkum
BV won 78-6
Vacaville Dual Tournament (BV 3rd place)
BV 47, Granada 26
BV 59, McQueen 20
BV 63, Redwood (Visalia) 9
BV 54, Turlock 22
BV 23, Vacaville 40
BV 3, Clovis North 63
BV 49, Clovis East 27
Casa Roble Girls Tournament
Meadow Titus - 1st
Bella Tan - 3rd
Amaya Yoshizumi - 4th
Katelynne Hall - 4th
Summary of Week 1
Week one is in the books, and it was a busy one! Before I mention anything else, the highlight of the week was Tyler Maples beating the #10 ranked wrestler in California (story below). The girls’ team started out with a tournament at Folsom HS on November 30th and our team was led by returning CIF state medalist, Emily Alderman. Emily dominated her first 3 opponents and then faced the #1 ranked girl in the NATION in the finals. Emily lost by fall, but learned a lot about herself and how she approaches big names. Amaya Yoshizumi went 3-2 on the day and finished 4th. Meadow Titus also went 3-2 on the day and finished 7th.
On December 4th, our entire team had its first competition against Inderkum. This was a league dual and was our first step towards a CVC league championship. Nothing about this dual went smooth. We planned to have the dual on the football field, but rain prevented that from happening. Late Monday night the Inderkum coach emailed me and told me he was forfeiting the dual because he didn’t see any benefit to attending (basically, we are too good). Fortunately, I talked him into attending the dual. Inderkum fielded a small team and the Broncos were led by Connor Willey, Dylan Maples, and Tyler Maples – all who picked up pins against some quality opponents. The Broncos won the dual 78-6!
On Friday and Saturday (12/6-12/7), the first varsity team traveled to the very tough Vacaville duals. Traditionally, this is our first competition of the season and some of the best teams in the state are always in attendance. This year was no different. In fact, the Vacaville coach emailed me early in the week and said the competition this year would be tougher than normal. Our first varsity did a great job and finished 5-2 on the weekend as a team and finished in 3rd place behind Clovis North and Vacaville.
Ganada High School
We started out the tournament with a dual against Granada High School from the North Coast Section. The Broncos gained an early lead with wins from Caden Stocket, Danny Harris, Bryan Henkel, Reno Grenier, and Lucas Cody. Lucas was very impressive in this match (his first of the season) and showed how much growth can happen when a wrestler commits to our offseason program. Lucas did not miss a practice during the spring, summer, or fall, and his growth was evident this weekend. Dylan Maples wrestled one of the best kids in state and lost, but learned a lot about where he can improve. Derrik Carstensen (DC) wrestled his first match of the season and looked incredible. DC went against a very good guy and threw him in a lateral drop, out scrambled his opponent, and scored from a magnitude of moves. DC was very impressive. Granada had some great wrestlers, but we prevailed 42-26.
McQueen High School
Next up was McQueen from Nevada, who had some guys who placed at national tournaments over the summer. We won the dual 59-20 and gained some valuable information about areas we need to improve upon as a team.
Redwood High School
The 3rd dual of the day was against Redwood from Visalia (Central Section). The Central Section is by far the best section in the state and is arguably one of the best wrestling hot zones in the country. Any time we wrestle someone from this area we know that the person/team is very good at wrestling. Well, we beat Redwood 63-9 and finished day 1 with a 3-0 record. When I spoke to the team at the end of the day we did not feel like we wrestled very well, despite the fact that we went 3-0 against some good teams. This is good news! Although we didn’t wrestle to our ability, yet, we are still wrestling very well.
Turlock High School
On day 2 we knew we would have to win 2 of our 4 duals to place at the tournament. We also knew that we would face Clovis North (top 5 in CA and ranked in the nation) and Vacaville. First up was Turlock high school who always has a good team. Coach Harris and I looked at matchups before the dual and decided that the dual meet would come down to bonus points (getting pins, technical falls, and major decisions) and to not give up bonus points to Turlock. We also knew that Turlock had 2 guys ranked in the top 10 in state who would go against some of our best wrestlers and negate our advantage at those weights. Tyler started out with the first guy, who is also a returning CIF state medalist, and picked up the win. Tyler’s length is a huge problem for people and we are using it to our advantage. Tyler was not intimidated at all and almost took the kid down right off the bat where a scramble resulted in a stalemate. Immediately after that, Tyler got a front headlock on the state medalist, reached for the near hip, and locked up a cradle. Tyler put the kid to his back and got the pin! Our team was screaming in excitement!. Really cool. Tyler has improved tremendously each weekend since the start of last season (his junior year) and is continuing that trend. At that point, we knew we would win the dual. Derrik Carstensen was up next against their other ranked guy, and unfortunately, hurt his knee within the first 10 seconds of the match. We decided not to risk anything and forfeited the match. We still ended up winning the dual 54-22.
Vacaville High School
Next up was Vacaville, who are the defending Masters Champions and are always top 20 in the state. We learned A LOT about ourselves in this match. Vacaville showed why they are always such a good team and won 39-23. The positive take away is that we lost 4 matches in the final seconds of those matches where we had the lead with less than 30 seconds left. Although this is not a good thing to do, it proved to us that we are right there with one of the best teams. If we won all of those matches that we lost in the final moments, we would have won the dual. Nonetheless, I do not want to take any credit away from Vacaville. They wrestle great and are a very good team. Connor Willey wrestled great and got to his opponent’s leg about 10x, but only finished once. If Connor can improve on his finishes, he will be a very tough person to wrestle. Carson Lee was up a weight class and battled against the Vacaville Coach’s son, who is a very decorated wrestler. Carson lost a very close match and now we know that Carson can compete with anybody. If we can clean a few things up Carson can win the next time he faces the Vacaville wrestler.
Next up was Clovis North, who is a top 5 team in the state of California. CN is at another level from us and we had a lot of fun watching some of the top wrestlers in the state and nation. The only bad part is that they were wrestling against BV guys. We lost the dual 63-6. Tyler Maples wrestled the #1 guy in CA and was only down 2-0 late into the 2nd period. Tyler was frustrating the guy, and then after a weird scramble, Tyler got caught in a position and lost by fall. Bryan Henkel showed a lot of skills at his new weight class and picked up a big win for the Broncos.
Lastly, we competed against Clovis East for 3rd place. The tournament director scheduled BV vs. Clovis East as the last dual because they predicted we would be competing for 3rd place against each other (and they were right). Both teams were 4-2 entering the dual. We started with a huge lead and were led by Koby Ansel, who showed a lot of grit and resilience by winning his match. Brodi Herron-Williams went against a stud every single dual meet up to this point and never gave up his fight. Brodi has a lot of heart, which is something we can’t necessarily teach. Brodi ended up getting a pin for us and set the tone of the dual. A lot of times in duals teams will get on a streak. If we win a few matches in a row it almost becomes a habit for the team to win, and habit for the other team to lose. Brodi’s win definitely established the habit of winning for our 7th dual of the weekend. Connor Willey received a forfeit and then Dylan Maples was up. Dylan got taken down early and the guy was close to turning him. Dylan escaped and the guy was looking to take Dylan down again. When the other guy went upper body looking for a throw, Dylan threw the other guy and picked up some nearfall points. Dylan turned it on after that moment and scored about 10 more points before he pinned his opponent. Tyler Maples won by fall and we were on a roll. Caden Stocket wrestled against a guy who is ranked in CA and competed very well and scored some points before losing the match. When Caden cleans up some of the mistakes he makes in certain positions he will be a very tough opponent. Reno Grenier picked up a win that put him with a 6-1 record on the weekend. Although Reno had a great record, he has a lot of areas to work on and improve in, which make him formidable against every single person he wrestles (just like all the guys on our team). Lastly, I do not want to exclude Vince Olivera. Vince is SO fun to watch. He is never out of a match and can go against anybody. When Vince lost by decision to a ranked guy from Clovis North, he was very frustrated because he knows he can beat those top guys. Vince came back and took advice from the coaches and will be a force to be reckoned with if he can continue his improvement. Overall, we had a great weekend wrestling and everybody got a medal for placing at the tournament!
The girls’ team competed at the Casa Roble tournament and had a good day. Meadow Titus went 3-0 on the day and took home 1st place. Bella Tan went 2-1 and finished with a bronze medal. Amaya Yoshizumi and Katelynne Hall went 2-2 on the day and got 4th place. The BV Girls’ team has created strong reputation and these girls are continuing that tradition.
Winter is here! Bella Vista has a lot of history and prestige in the wrestling world and this year has the potential to add on to our legacy. We are currently riding a 17-year streak of finishing top four in the section championships. We return a strong team on the boys’ varsity side where we have been CVC League Champions for the past two seasons in a row. We also return two state qualifiers in Dylan Maples and Dakota Gutierrez who are both looking to stand on the podium by the end of the season. Tyler Maples was a match away from qualifying for state last year and has put in a lot of work during the offseason. If we stay healthy and trust the process, this team will have a lot of “success” this season. Our schedule is tougher than it has been in quite some time because our team needs that step up in competition to match our level of wrestling. We start out with the Vacaville dual tournament and conclude with the first ever California State Dual Championships before the playoffs begin. We travel to Fresno twice, Los Angeles, Bakersfield, Corning, Stockton twice, and Vacaville this season, which means we will see the best wrestlers throughout the entire state. We also have so many varsity caliber wrestlers that we will have a 2nd varsity team who will be attending some tournaments that are separate from our 1st varsity team. On the girls’ side, we return state medalist, Emily Alderman, who is looking to be the 3rd Bella Vista wrestler in the past 4 years to win a CIF state championship. We always seem to have a rising star on the girls’ team so we are looking for that new person this year. Lastly, and definitely the biggest change with our team this year, is the departure of Mike Lee. Coach Lee built an empire out of nothing over the course of 24 years and I plan on honoring the Bella Vista Wrestling tradition and to continually grow our program in a positive way. Coach Lee has a ton of knowledge/experience and is a very positive coach, so although he says that you will see him in the stands, you will also see him helping the kids on the team during tournaments.
At 106: There is no clear favorite to start here and we have a lot of depth in this weight class. Koby Ansel, Bruce Marlatt, and Joseph Terranova are all juniors who have had past varsity success and will be challenging for the starting spot. Koby, who has been wrestling for a very long time and is showing a lot of good “feel,” is looking to make a mark this year after being stuck behind a state qualifier last year. Joseph made it to almost every single workout/practice in the spring, summer, and fall and then broke his arm within the first 30 seconds of the first practice of the year this year. Bruce Marlatt, who has continued to show growth every single day, will wrestle varsity all season long. Logan Marlatt (9) will immediately challenge for the starting spot. We have two freshmen in Nate Ross and Ocean Gutierrez who will most likely see varsity action by the end of the season. All of these athletes know how to wrestle and have been wrestling for quite some time
At 113: Brodi Herron-Williams, who has been involved in our kids’ club/program his entire life, will begin the season as the starter at this position. Brodi is an experienced wrestler with great “feel.” He is also very coachable and is a hard worker in the practice room. Freshmen Ethan Lopez and Vince Nguyen have put in a lot of work and will spend this season getting groomed into a future varsity position.
At 120: Connor Willey will begin the season as the starter at this weight class. Connor is a junior but has not wrestled at a natural weight class in the playoffs because he was barely behind the Maples brothers the last 2 seasons. Connor wrestled up 2 weight classes in the 2019 playoffs and still had post-season success. Connor is a very good wrestler and put in a huge offseason where he attended camps, tournaments, lifting, and practices. I’m excited to unleash Connor on the world this year.
At 126: Dylan Maples, who qualified for the state championships as a sophomore and won multiple matches at Masters as a freshman, is looking to continue his growth this season and he will threaten for a medal at the state championships. Dylan is a fun and slick wrestler to watch with a lot of exciting moves. Last year, Dylan could not start competing until January due to injury and was still a Masters finalist. Dylan has been working hard in the offseason and will start the season off in very good shape.
132: Tyler Maples will begin the season as the starter at this weight class. Tyler was a match away from qualifying for the state championships last year and is eager to improve upon his season. Tyler gets better each season, each competition, and in each practice, so the sky is the limit for him this year. His length is a real problem for his opponents and Tyler has definitely learned to use that for his advantage.
138: Carson Lee and Derrik Carstensen will be competing for a starting spot all season long. Carson has worked very hard in the offseason and has improved tremendously after being a section finalist as a sophomore and going 2-2 at Masters. Carson has always had great feel and he is adding improved technique and improved conditioning this season. Derrik, who did not wrestle as a junior, is back and better than ever. Derrik has been involved in our program his entire life and is a very experienced wrestler. As a freshman, Derrik was a better wrestler than almost every person he wrestled, but he barely weighed 90 lbs. Look for both of these guys to battle for the starting spot all year and then sort it out by playoffs. They will both be wrestling at a state level this season. Although it’s a good problem to have and representation of our strong program, a state level wrestler might be with the 2nd varsity throughout the season. Freshman John Emery is training with these guys every single day and has huge potential for the Broncos.
145: Returning state qualifier, Dakota Gutierrez, will be the starter here to begin the season. Dakota continues to grow every single season and looks a step above skill wise from where he was last year. He can pretty much score from anywhere and has had a lot of mat time in folkstyle, freestyle, and greco roman. Dakota hasn’t gained in size since last year and has been looking very dominant in the practice room and at our early season scrimmage.
152: Although he didn’t get to finish the season for us last year, Vince Olivera has been determined to finish his senior campaign on a positive note. A starter for us as a freshman and sophomore where he was a 2x masters qualifier, Vince brings a wide arsenal of technique and experience. Vince is very good and has been working very hard, which means the sky is the limit for him. When he wrestles to his ability, Vince can compete with anyone. Right behind Vince is Jose Montano, who also missed last season due to injury. Jose is another very experienced wrestler who has competed all throughout the country. If we can keep Jose healthy, he will compete for the starting position regardless of where he is.
160: Caden Stocket will begin the season as the starter here. Caden has turned into a student of the sport and continues to improve every single day. Caden made a huge jump in the 2nd half of the season last year and had post-season success in his sophomore campaign. Now a junior, and more of a natural for his weight class, Caden is going to surprise a lot of people this season. Just behind Caden is Sebastian Bravo, who was also a varsity starter for us in the past but missed out on a lot of his junior season due to a series of unfortunate family emergencies. Sebastian is back this year and did not miss an offseason practice or workout. Look for Sebastian to surprise a lot of people this season as well.
170: Danny Harris will start out at this weight class after bulking up a lot in football. Danny got the flu during the middle of his sophomore season and he never fully recovered. Despite the health issues, Danny still made a deep run at masters and almost upset a state medalist level wrestler in the process (before his lungs gave out on him). Danny also put in a lot of work during the offseason and is a student of the sport where he is always learning and asking questions. Danny is very slick and is a fun wrestler to watch.
182: Bryan Henkel begins the season as a starter here this year. As a sophomore, Bryan made a lot of progress and actually made a great run at masters where he lost an extremely close match to a guy who qualified for state. It seems as though Bryan has simply needed some “mat time,” because he gets better every single day. He’s working hard, he’s athletic, and he is very coachable.
195: Reno Grenier is probably the most athletic person on the team and improves at wrestling at an amazing pace. Reno is strong, yet very slick and agile. He is also another guy who is very coachable and very competitive. Reno made a run at masters as a sophomore but simply ran into some tough competition. Now a junior, Reno is going to be the bad draw for everybody else.
220: Lucas Cody will begin the season as the starter here. Lucas was a purely JV wrestler as a freshman and sophomore and then was asked to wrestle varsity as a junior when we needed him. Lucas rose to the occasion and actually gets credited with winning a dual against Yuba City for us. Lucas was going against their best wrestler by far, and ended up not getting pinned, which won us the dual at the very end. Lucas did not miss a spring, summer, or fall practice and made a huge jump in the offseason. Look for Lucas to surprise a lot of people this year.
285:We have a couple of very competitive and athletic wrestlers who will battle for the starting spot in league duals this year. They both need to get some mat time under their belts. One is only a sophomore, and he can have some serious success if he commits to the plan the coaches have laid out for our athletes.
That's it. If the Broncos can trust in the process and continue to improve, then this season is going to be a lot of fun.