STOCKTON — There are 22 El Dorado County high school wrestlers competing at the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Tournament beginning today at the Stockton Arena.
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Ponderosa and Oak Ridge have a combined 18 grapplers; the Bruins 10 and the Trojans, eight.
Bruin matmen competing are: Austin Ward (106-pounds); Zach Miller (113); Pre Deitchman (120); Colin Hustrulid (138); Elan Tubbs (152); Trae Providence (160); TJ Shamblin (170); Joe DelValle (195); Kyle Jennings (220) and Nathaniel Moody (HWT).
“We are excited that we qualified 10 guys to Masters, and hope to get as many (to the CIF State Wrestling Championships),” Ponderosa head coach Tyson Escobar said. “We have had a great week of practice. Our focus has been staying mentally tough and wrestle one match at a time — do not look ahead. Matches are going to get closer and overtime matches are a large possibility, so we have prepared for that situation.”
Providence, 46-9 and ranked fourth in the section, is one of the favorites at 160s. He could meet Oakmont’s Kaleio Romero, ranked No. 1, in the semifinals. Also looming in the bracket are Woodland’s Emilio Flores and Ceres’ Miguel Hernandez. The other side of the bracket features Vacaville’s Quintin Cardoza, Oakdale’s Tanner Reeves and Bret Harte’s Justin Barnes.
“(Providence) is in a great spot in the bracket and should get a match with Kaleio,” Escobar said.
At last year’s Masters, Providence took third place in 152.
Shamblin, ranked eighth in the section, could have an early match in the second round against Hughson’s Joseph Dias. Should Shamblin face Dias and win, he could square off against Del Oro’s Dylan Kainraith, ranked fifth in the section.
“He is capable of winning both of these matches,” said Escobar of Shamblin. “If he does he will be in the semifinals and guaranteeing him a top six spot.”
The Oak Ridge contingent are: Josh Ploke (106 pounds); Brandon Claiborne (138); Ryan Redhair (145); Corbett Ralston (152); James Portilla (170); Bishane Sagal (182); Sherman McVay (195) and Patrick Irwin (HWT).
Clairborne is only a sophomore but wrestles like a senior. He won his weight class at the Delta River League and Division IA tournaments in recent weeks. Ploke and Portilla also won their weight classes at the league meet, and placed fifth and second, respectively, at the D-I meet last weekend.
Three El Dorado grapplers are looking to shine at the Masters. Jeremiah Romero (152) joins Alex LeBaron (182) and Zach Brazell (HWT). They also placed at the Sierra Valley Conference and D-IV tournaments in recent weeks. Brazell won the D-IV title at Vista del Lago last weekend and is coming on.
Union Mine’s Hunter Cannon (170) rounds out the list. The senior won his class at the Sierra Valley Conference meet two weeks ago and placed third at the D-IV tourney.
The top eight grapplers who placed in their weight classes advance to the CIF State Wrestling Championships the following weekend in Bakersfield.
Contact Mike Bush at 530-344-5079 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @MBushMtDemo on Twitter.