SHINGLE SPRINGS — Ponderosa High’s varsity wrestling program overcame Sheldon Wednesday night, handling the Huskies 48-21 in its first Delta River League dual meet of the year.
Zack Velasquez, Trae Providence, Nathaniel Moody and Zack Miller all managed to pin their opponents en route to victory, while Joshua Ferry, Joe DelValle and Kyle Jennings contributed points via forfeit to help boost Ponderosa’s advantage.
“It was a great start — we’re 1-0 now,” Ponderosa coach Tyson Escobar said. “We’ve got Pleasant Grove next, we’re looking to have a successful season and continue to be better every day.”
Action kicked off at the 152-pound division as Bruin Luc Deitchman fought hard but suffered a 4-2 decision that put Sheldon up 3-0. Velasquez answered immediately with his 160-pound pin late in the first period, throwing up six for Ponderosa.
Providence followed suit in the 170-pound class, tallying up three takedowns, two near falls and a conclusive pin midway through the second period. Following three consecutive Sheldon forfeits, Moody (HWT) made his presence known with a first round pin, putting his team up 36-3.
“We lost six seniors and 11 wrestlers total from last year,” co-head coach Soren Murphy said. “So the younger wrestlers this year knew they were going to need to step up. This group is so hungry and determined to get better every single day, it makes coaching and pushing them as a group that much easier. They come in ready to wrestle every day, and they are always looking to improve as a team.”
Bruin Austin Ward wasn’t able to get a pin in his 106-pound war of attrition, but found a way to tack up two takedowns in his 4-0 decision. Held scoreless in the first period, T.J. Holloway (113) came alive in the second and third periods with a definitive second period sequence leading from reversal to takedown to nearfall. Holloway gave an encore performance in the third period en route to his 10-4 decision.
Freshman 120-pound athlete Zack Miller was nails for the Bruins as well — pinning his opponent with three seconds remaining in the second period.
“Zack (Miller) has been doing an incredible job as a freshman,” Escobar said. “He’s an outstanding wrestler, he’s the epitome of hard work and is a great kid to watch out there.”
Sheldon picked up victories in the 132, 138 and 145-pound divisions on its way to 21 total points, as Bruins Pre Deitchman, Chad Reese and Dustin Schwietert suffered losses in their respective classes.
Reese’s 132-pound match-up was hard-fought and close, with both wrestlers trading reversals in the first period. Down by two points for much of the second and third period, Reese was inches away from cranking a tap from his opponent, but a late reversal pushed it out of reach at 10-6.