Ponderosa prepares for new season
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SHINGLE SPRINGS — “Tonight I was pleasantly surprised with how in shape our team is at this point of the season,” Ponderosa High wrestling coach Tyson Escobar said after the squad’s excellent night of wrestling against Cosumnes Oaks and Vista Del Lago in a double dual at Ponderosa Wednesday.
Escobar added, “We’ve been practicing for about three weeks now and the team was really looking forward to getting out on the mat and having some competition. That’s what this dual meet scrimmage is all about — the opportunity for everyone to have the chance to get a match or two in before we begin tournaments and dual meets next week.”
It was about new wrestlers gaining a little experience and veteran wrestlers working off some rust — but few of them showed much rust and the newer wrestlers looked very comfortable as the team won 18 of 20 matches over Cosumnes Oaks, 14 with pins. The team was also very successful against Vista del Lago, defeating the Eagles in 14 of the 16 matches. Ten were won by a technical decision or a pin.
The Bruins were very active on their feet and constantly attacked and pressed the action. In almost every match Ponderosa earned a takedown by either a single or double leg and then continued to control opponents on the mat. The team used cradles, arm bars and tilts to turn opponents to their backs and once there the match was often over as evidenced by the 24 pins on the evening.
Overall the Bruins had a good first outing in their new gym, but know they have a challenging road ahead with the jump to the Delta River League.
“This year is going to be fun. We’re in Division I now and every team in our league will have a full lineup which will make each dual meet exciting,” Escobar said. “But our team has some good experience — we have six seniors and 12 of our 14 weight classes have returning lettermen.
“Many of our wrestlers like Tim Ditrich, Allen Emmons, Alex Greybill, Walker Ditrich and Eric Greybill are all looking to have great seasons. We also are expecting good things from guys like Riley Nooner, Sean Melton, T.J. Spangler and Jordan Marinelli. Overall as a team we have great depth and our guys will push each other all season in the wrestling room to improve and better themselves.”
The Bruins will have to work hard to add another chapter to their long and storied wrestling tradition. The team, along with Oak Ridge, will be facing D-I powerhouses Elk Grove and Vacaville at the team sections, which will be no easy task. Both the Bruins and the Trojans will wrestle at the D-I level in the postseason which adds another challenge.
Most of the best wrestling schools, Elk Grove, Vacaville, Folsom, Oak Ridge and Ponderosa are all in D-I this year meaning the team section title, Escobar’s favorite accomplishment, will be tough to win.
Ponderosa opens the season this weekend with a team tournament in Newark and will host the Ponderosa Duals next Friday in Shingle Springs.