LOS BANOS — The Union Mine and El Dorado wrestling programs had 13 in competition at last weekend’s Division IV Tournament at Los Banos High — all vying for one of four places per weight class for the upcoming Masters Meet in Stockton. Just one Cougar, Alex LeBaron, made it.
After an opening round bye, the El Dorado 182-pound sophomore went 2-2 in his matches, good enough for fourth place and a date at Masters. He squeaked out a 2-0 win over Cosumnes Oaks’ Tyler Martin for his second win before dropping a 7-1 decision to Oakdale’s Bailey Dryden for third.
LeBaron’s victory over Martin avenged a 6-2 loss the Cougar grappler absorbed to Martin at the Sierra Valley Conference finals a week ago.
While LeBaron survived to fight another day, a dozen didn’t. Overall, Cougar wrestlers went 9-15 while D’backs were 4-13.
Union Mine’s Hunter Cannon (170) won his first match Friday with a late third-period pin before a loss sent the D’back junior to the consolation bracket where he wrestled valiantly — a second-period pin; narrow 3-2 decision; a 5-1 setback to the eventual third-place finisher and a 13-2 loss for fifth/sixth.
El Dorado’s Jeremiah Romero ((152) also went 3-3 and finished sixth. The Cougar junior had a quick pin to open; suffered an 11-1 major decision; stuck his next two opponents in consolations; fell 10-4 and was pinned.
The only other area wrestler to win more than one match was El Dorado’s Ricky Reed (160) who won his first match 8-1 before running into Central Catholic’s Ray Lomas, a 2012 state placer, who dominated all three of his bouts. Reed bounced back with a 13-6 victory before a pin ended his season.
For the Cougars, Marcus Douglas (126) went 1-2 while Willy Gadow (106), Alex Ollar (113) and Tyler Land (170) were each 0-2.
D’back Matt Cathey (145) won his first with a pin but dropped his next two. Union Mine’s Chris Lee (113), Steve Walker (120), Christian Beck (132) and Brian Craik (160) were all 0-2.