TURLOCK — Jeff Camilli is headed to Fresno State University on a football scholarship. But for now, he’s putting all of his attention on the wrestling mat for Ponderosa.
Coming into the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Divisional I-A tournament at Pitman, Camilli won all four of his matches in the 287-pound class to claim the title, one of four Bruin grapplers to do so. Overall, eight Ponderosa grapplers placed in the top four at the tournament to qualify for the Masters Meet in Stockton.
Ponderosa, co-champions of the Delta River League with Folsom, won the DI-A title with 282 points. Folsom, which beat Ponderosa in a league dual meet, was second with 249.5 points. Oak Ridge was fifth with 196 points.
This is the second consecutive season that Ponderosa sent three grapplers advanced to the D-I finals since joining the Delta River League in the fall of 2010. In last year’s divisional meet, three Bruins, including Camilli, competed and lost their championship matches. The last time Ponderosa won a section divisional title in wrestling was the 2009-10 season when the Bruins won the Sierra Valley Conference and D-II crowns.
The top eight grapplers in each weight class advanced to the Masters.
“It feels good,” said Camilli on the Bruins winning the title. “We came out here and wrestled well. We’re peaking at the right time.”
Camilli claimed his top spot in his weight class by beating Sheldon’s Sam Alnassiri by a 4-3 decision. Camilli lost to Alnassiri in the league meet, also by decision. In recent weeks, Camilli said he’d been sick but has recovered and feels he’s gaining momentum going into the divisional meet. His opponents can attest to that by Camilli’s dominance during the two-day tourney.
“This week it was all about wrestling smart and I finally came out on top,” said Camilli of his match against Alnassiri. “It was a fun match.”
In his first match on Friday, Camilli pinned Ceasar Chavez’s Thomas Smith in the first period, then won by decisions over Elk Grove’s Jaharee Taylor, 7-4 in the second and advanced to the finals of his weight class when he decisioned Oak Ridge’s Jacob Proul, 7-1.
“We wrestled well for two days in a roll,” Ponderosa coach Tyson Escobar said.”It’s the key to winning tournaments. This divisional was a little tougher than what it was last year.”
The other three Bruins winning titles were Jimmy Scarr (128), Trae Providence (154) and Nick Troquato (184). Scarr, whose record is now 21-3 that includes 13 pins, won by a 4-3 decision over Turlock’s Rafael Herrera. He was also perfect on the day with a 4-0 record, recording a technical fall, pin and decision before beating Herrera. Providence posted a 3-0 decision over Elk Grove’s Braden Henderson. And Troquato, 14-1, posted a 10-2 decision over Joey Banks of Franklin of Elk Grove.
Ponderosa grapplers placing in the top eight of their weight classes were Tyler Shamblin (147), second place with a 3-1 record; Colin Hustrulid (134), third place, 5-1; Christian Canepa (140), third place, 4-1; Henry Sharoyan (222), third place, 5-1. Taking fifth place was Joshua Ferry (160) and sixth was Kyle Jennings (197).
Escobar noted that this grapplers were determined to find success at this year’s tournament.
“The hard work in the off-season has paid off,” Escobar said.
Another plus for the Bruins’ success at the divisional tournament, Escobar pointed out, is how his grapplers are placed at the Masters tournament, and the state tournament. The section released its Masters brackets Sunday afternoon. The top seven placing in each weight class at the Masters will advance to the CIF Wrestling Meet in Bakersfield on March 1-2.
Oak Ridge’s Keaton Subjeck dominated the 172-pound class, posting a 4-0 record. Subjeck registered a 15-0 technical fall over Lodi’s Colin Anderson.
This was the first meeting this season between Subjeck and Anderson, who is three inches taller than Subjeck. But that didn’t stop Subjeck from dominating Anderson in the mat.
“I knew I was able to take him down,” Subjeck said.
Subjeck acknowledged that this tournament was very tough. But felt he would perform very well.
“I feel I’m peaking at the right time,” Subjeck said. “Every point has been tough.”
Aside from Keaton, the Trojans qualified nine other grapplers into next weekend’s Masters event. Finishing in the top eight were Josh Pluke (108), fourth place, 3-2 record; Ryan Redhair (134), seventh place, 2-3; Brandon Claiborne (140), second place, 3-1; Kevan Cryan, (154), seventh place, 3-2; Ali Atebar (160), eighth place, 2-3; Zach Claiborne (184), third place, 5-1; Bishane Segal (197), eighth place, 2-3; Sherman McVey (222), fourth place, 4-2 and Proul, sixth, 2-3.
The tournament was dominated by Delta River League and Central California Conference schools. Elk Grove was fourth with 203.5 points,
The Masters will take place this Friday and Saturday at Stockton Arena. The top seven grapplers in each weight class advances to the state meet t in Bakersfield. Camilli is confident his fellow Brins and himself will continue to escalate their performances as the compeition toughens.
“(This) week is just another step,” said Camilli on the Masters tournament. “Everyone is hoping to get to state. There’s no doubt in my mind I can win it.”
Contact Mike Bush at 530-344-5079 or [email protected] Follow @MBushMtDemo on Twitter.