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2019 California State Preview

Posted by Pablo DiMaria on

106

Top Bracket

Richard Figueroa of Selma High has been impressive all season long. He won the rugged Central Section in dominating fashion and looks to be the clear favorite this weekend to claim his second state title. Figueroa should have a fierce battle in the second round with Sac-Joaquin Section runner-up Dylan Maples of Bella Vista who got the upset over the third-ranked wrestler in the state Brayden Abell of Oakdale in the semifinals of the section tournament. Chris Calderon of Esperanza had a great run at the Southern Section tournament that saw him finished as the runner-up. He should have a rematch with Zeth Romney of Chaminade who was third at masters but did not meet in the event. Both met in the semifinal round of the divisional tournament with Romney getting the 7-5 win. The winner of this match should get the aforementioned Figueroa in the quarterfinals. Fargo Greco-Roman All-American Devin Garcia of James Logan won the North Coast Section and should easily advance to the second round and meet up with Sac-Joaquin Section Champion Andrew Calvert of Franklin-Elk Grove. Garcia placed sixth at Doc Buchanan at 113 and was third at Battle for the Belt at 106 where he defeated Southern Section Champion Fernando Barreto of Rowland 3-0 in the third-place bout. The winner of the match should advance to the quarterfinal round and take on Abell who was third at the Sac-Joaquin Section. Abell was third at Reno TOC and fifth at the Battle for the Belt tournament.

Bottom Bracket

San Diego Section Champion Andre Gonzales of Poway should advance to the quarterfinal round. However, before that occurs, he will have a fierce battle with Central Section third-place finisher Dominic Mendez of Righetti. Gonzales was seventh at the Walsh Jesuit Ironman and won the rugged Mid-Cals tournament. Returning state qualifier, Victor Alvarez of Victor Valley had a tough time at the Southern Section tournament as he was defeated three-times during the weekend to placed eighth in a loaded weight class. He should have a hard time in his out-bracket match against another returning state qualifier in Jonah Hernandez of Corcoran who was sixth at the Central Section. The winner of the match should advance to the second round and take on Southern Section Champion Fernando Barreto of Rowland. Central Coast Section Champion Ryan Luna of St. Francis should proceed to the quarterfinal round and take on the No. 2 ranked wrestler in the state in Jack Gioffre of Buchanan. Both athletes met in the semifinal round of the Battle for the Belt tournament with Gioffre coming out on top via a 4-1 decision.

113

Top Bracket

The No. 4 ranked wrestler in the country Tristan Lujan of Selma will be in the hunt of his first CIF state title after claiming the rugged Central Section over Carlos Negrete of Buchanan who is ranked No. 5 in the country by FloWrestling. He should advance to the quarterfinal round and take on the winner of the Brock Bozien of Poway and Blake Fredrickson of Windsor match. Before the match happens, Lujan will have to take on Southern Section runner-up Andrew Silva of Servite in the second round. Lujan is 2-0 against Silva as he defeated him by a fall in the quarterfinals of the Zinkin Classic and 14-5 in the semifinal round of Five Counties. Southern Section Champion Ibrahim Ahmed of Palm Desert is on a hot streak after defeating Silva in back-to-back weeks. He should win his first match and meet Central Coast Champion Christian Cabuag of Monte Vista Christian in the second round for the right to advance to the quarterfinal round. Jimmy Heryford of Sutter Union recently won his fourth Northern Section championship and will look to take the momentum on to the state tournament and place after finishing in the blood round last year. He should have a tough match in the second round against Southern Section third-place finisher Kavika Aholeilei of Yorba Linda.

Lower Bracket

After having not competed last season, Izzy Tubera of Pitman is back competing in the state tournament looking to win his second CIF state medal. He should advance to the quarterfinal round and take on freshman Hayden Zinkin of Clovis North. Nevertheless, Zinkin should have a fierce battle in the second against 2018 state place winner William Giron of Turlock. Freshman sensation Damian Elliot of Del Oro was out for the most of the season after suffering an injury. He was clear to compete by his doctor and made the best of it by placing second at the Sac-Joaquin Section. He should have a fierce battle with 2018 state place winner Justin Mouritsen of Clovis in the second round. The winner between that match should advance to the quarterfinal round and take on Carlos Negrete Jr. of Buchanan. Negrete should make the quarterfinals, but before he does, he will have a tough challenge from Carter Bailey of Granada who gave him a tough match in the third-place bout of the Zinkin Classic.

120

Top Bracket

Nationally ranked wrestler Maximo Renteria of Buchanan looks to be the clear favorite to claim a second CIF state tournament title this weekend. He should advance to the quarterfinals and wait on the winner of the Ethan Gould of Esperanza and Savion Dixon of Paloma Valley match. Both wrestlers are 1-1 on the season versus each other with Gould winning the last match 8-2 in the quarterfinal round of their section tournament. A sure quarterfinalist should be Southern Section Champion Antonio Lorenzo of St. John Bosco. He should have a fierce battle against freshman sensation Joey Cruz of Clovis North for the right to advance to the semifinal round and take on Renteria. Both wrestlers met in the consolation semifinal round of Doc Buchanan with Cruz getting the 2-1 win.

Lower Bracket

Cal Baptist commit Brandon Paulson of Clovis should be back on the podium stand for the Cougars this weekend. Nevertheless, before we can award him a medal, he will have to deal in the quarterfinal round with a tough wrestler in Carson Sauriol of Poway. Both athletes met in the fifth-place bout of 2017 state tournament with Sauriol coming out on top 5-3. Before Sauriol gets to the quarterfinal round, he will have to deal with Sac-Joaquin Section runner-up Isaiah Schannep of Mt. Whitney. An exciting match that could take place in the second round could be between Sac-Joaquin Champion T.J. Ruiz of Vacaville and Southern Section runner-up Richard Castro of Santa Ynez. The winner of that match should advance to the quarterfinal round and wrestle against the Central Section runner-up Jacob “Peewee” Rivera of Selma who as of recently has been on fire for the Bears.

126

Top Bracket

2018 Junior National Folkstyle Champion and state runner-up Aaron Nagao of Esperanza is one of the favorites this weekend to claim a state title for himself and his coach, former University of Minnesota wrestler Josh Holiday. Before he does this, he will have to face three-time state qualifier Kobe Lepe of San Fernando in the second round. An exciting match that should be happening in the second round will be between state placers Dakota Unpingco (Freedom) and Hunter Leake (Buchanan). Their last and only meeting occurred at the Mid-Cals tournament where Unpingco was disqualified in the match. Fans should expect a barn burner of a match this week. An exciting match that should be happening in the second round will be between Central Section Champion Wayne Joint of Lemoore and Sac-Joaquin Champion Adrian Heras of Turlock. Both grapplers met at the Morro Bay CIT tournament with Joint winning the match 10-7. The winner of this match should advance to the quarterfinal round and face Southern Section runner-up Christian Nunez of Bishop Amat.

Lower Bracket

The San Diego Section Champion Jason Miranda of Poway should cruise his way to the quarterfinals and wait for either Ryan Spangler of Sultana or Cole Reyes of Frontier. Reyes is a two-time state place winner, but injury defaulted from the Central Section tournament from the semifinals and on. A great second round match should take place between Central Coast Champion Victor Jacinto of Gilroy and Raul Valdovinos of Clovis West. The winner should advance to the quarterfinal round and take on Devin Murphy of Clovis North. However, Murphy will have two tough battles to get to the quarterfinal round. In his out out-bracket match he should get tested by Jason Valencia of Northview and in his second-round match by Riley Hilt of De La Salle.

132

Top Bracket

Fargo Greco-Roman National Champion Kyle Parco of DeLaSalle should make his way to the quarterfinal round where he should wait for Giano Petrucelli of Clovis. However, before that occurs, Petrucelli should wait for the winner of the Chaz Hallmark of Scripps Ranch and Josh Medina of Servite match. Both athletes are solid and could be state place winners this weekend. Junior Fernandez of Upper Lake, a 2018 state qualifier, should make the quarterfinals. Before he does, he will most likely have to face Cade Lucio of Bakersfield in the second round. Walsh Jesuit Ironman place winner Henry Porter of Oakdale should also advance to the quarterfinal round and take on Jose Fernandez. Porter is a returning state finalist as he was a surprise finalist last year at 120-pounds.

Lower Bracket

Marcos Polanco, the Southern Section Champion from Bishop Amat, looks to make a run for a spot in the quarterfinals, though his path won’t get any easier once he gets there as he will most likely deal with Central Section fourth-place finisher Logan Gioffre of Buchanan or the Sac-Joaquin runner-up Noah Mirelez of Patterson. Mirelez owns a victory over Gioffre as he defeated him 1-0 at the Doc Buchanan tournament. Southern Section runner-up Collin Hayes of Northview should make his way to the quarterfinals and meet up with 2018 state runner-up Ryan Franco of Clovis North. Both athletes met in the semifinal round of the Zinkin Classic with Franco coming out on top 7-5. Nevertheless, at one point on the match, Hayes had Franco on his back. Fans should expect a great match between these two athletes.

138

Top Bracket

Two-time state champion Jesse Vasquez of Excelsior Charter should be the favorite this weekend to capture his third state title. He still undefeated on the season and should finish the year without a scratch on his record. He should wait patiently for the winner between San Diego Section Champion Jaden Le of Rancho Bernardo and Ryan Morphis of Frontier. Both athletes met in the finals of the El Cajon tournament with Le getting the fall with his great top game. Luciano Arroyo of Calvary Chapel will be hunting for his fourth CIF state medal this weekend. He should make his way to the quarterfinal round and face Andrew Bloemhof of Bakersfield. Bloemhof is 1-0 versus Arroyo as he defeated him 3-0 at the Battle for the Belt tournament.

Lower Bracket

Tyler Deen of Buchanan should make his way to the quarterfinal round and do battle with Teddy Okada of Servite. However, before Okada advances to the quarterfinal round, he will have to deal with two-time state place winner Ricky Torres of Oakdale in the second round. A great matchup that should take place in the second round for the right to advance to the quarterfinals should be between Beau Perez of San Marino and 2018 state place winner Eli Blake of Del Oro. The winner should get No. 2 seed Chase Saldate of Gilroy in the quarterfinal round.

145

Top Bracket

Jaden Abas of Rancho Bernardo is a returning state champion who is the heavy favorite to win his second state title this weekend. He has won or made the finals of all events he has entered this season. Don’t be surprised to see him win all his matches via bonus points. Abas should meet up with Jeff Ramsthaler of Ramona for a rematch of their section finals match. However, before Ramsthaler advances to the quarterfinal round, he will have to deal with Southern Section fourth place winner Daniel Magana of Servite. Both athletes met at the La Costa Canyon tournament with Ramsthaler winning the match 11-3. Freshman sensation Joseph Martin of Buchanan looks ready to become a state placer in this his initial school season. He should advance to the quarterfinal round, but before he does, he will have a tough challenge versus two-time Los Angeles Section Champion Aaron Galef of Birmingham. Fargo All-American Luka Wick of San Marino should be Martin’s opponent in the quarterfinal round. Wick should be tested in the second round by Sac-Joaquin Champion Sammy Silveria of Pitman.

Lower Bracket

Two-time state place winner Dawson Sihavong of Bullard has been on a tear since being upset in the semifinal round of Mid-Cals by Martin. He should do well in his first and second round matches and eventually advance to the quarterfinals to meet up with three-time Central Coast Champion John Fox of Gilroy. Neither wrestler has faced each other this season. Fans should expect a barnburner of a match if they happen to meet up. A great second-round match that should have fans on their feet should be between Gabriel Cortez of Northview and Jacob Hansen of Royal. Cortez is a 2018 state place winner and four-time state qualifier, while Hansen was a state qualifier last year. Hansen is currently 2-0 versus Cortez, but in each match, the score gets getting closer. The winner of the match should get Fargo All-American Cael Valencia of St. John Bosco in the quarterfinal round.

152

Top Bracket

Double Fargo All-American Jace Luchau of Selma should have a clear path to the quarterfinal round in the top bracket and wait for his opponent, who could likely be Central Coast Champion Daniel Vizcarra of Gilroy. However, before he advances to the quarterfinal round, Vizcarra will need to defeat Central Section runner-up Max Anderson of Clovis in the second round. An exciting match that could happen in the second round will be between Sonny Santiago of St. John Bosco and Buck Valor of Servite. Both athletes met in the finals of the divisional tournament with Santiago obtaining a takedown late in the third period to win 6-4. As of now, Santiago has the edge over Valor as he is 2-0 against him this season. Santiago should be looking forward to meeting up with Troy Mantanona of Palm Desert in the quarterfinal round as Mantanona denied Santiago the opportunity to become a two-time Southern Section Champion.

Lower Bracket

Northern Section Champion J.T. Stinson of East Nicolaus should advance to the quarterfinal round and wait for his opponent who could be the winner between Central Coast third-place finisher Alfredo Mendoza of Salinas and Sac-Joaquin third-place finisher Patrick Garcia of Modesto Christian. Mendoza qualified to the state tournament last year where he finished with a 3-2 record. Tyler Badgett of Rancho Bernardo should advance to the quarterfinals but first will have to get past his second-round opponent in 2018 state qualifier Jonathan Orozco of Oak Hills who finished fourth at the Southern Section tournament. We should see a great matchup in the second round between Tyee Ducharme of Vacaville and Marcos Jimenez of Evergreen Valley. Both are returning state qualifiers that finished a match shy of earning All-state honors. Double Fargo All-American Aaron Gandara of Poway should have a clear path to the quarterfinal round and wait on the winner of the Ducharme/Jimenez match.

160

Top Bracket

Three-time state medal winner Matthew Olguin of Buchanan has won every tournament he has entered this season. He looks to be a man on a mission ready to capture his second CIF state tournament this weekend. Before he advances to the quarterfinal round, Olguin should be tested in the second round by two-time Central Coast Champion Nathan Villareal of Gilroy. San Diego Section Champion Alex Hernandez of Poway should meet Central Section third-place finisher Nicholas Zavala of Mission Oaks in the second round for the right to advance to the quarterfinals against Olguin. Fargo Junior Greco-Roman All-American Ankhaa Enkhmandakh of DeLaSalle looks like the clear favorite to make the other quarterfinals in the top bracket. Before he does that, he will have a challenger in Southern Section third-place finisher Michael Scarponi of Temecula Valley in the second round. Max Wilner of Fountain Valley, a Southern Section Champion, should eventually advance to the quarterfinals.

Lower Bracket

2018 state place winner Max Aguirre of Frontier should have a clear path to the quarterfinals and wait to see who will be his opponent, most likely Sac-Joaquin Section runner-up Kendall LaRosa of Pitman. Southern Section runner-up Louis Rojas of St. John Bosco should advance to the quarterfinal round. However, before he does, he will have to deal with William Kloster of Lemoore in the second round. Both athletes met each other at the Doc Buchanan tournament with Rojas winning the match, 3-2. The match could go either way if they do meet up. The other quarterfinalist in the lower bracket should be three-time state place winner Noah Blake of Del Oro who is the No. 2 seed in the tournament.

170

Top Bracket

Southern Section Champion Trey Munoz of Trabuco Hills should make the quarterfinals with little or no challenge. An interesting fact about Munoz is that he is the elder son of former two-time CIF state champion Mark Munoz. Munoz is still undefeated on the season with five tournament titles under his belt. Joseph Barnes of Gilroy made history by becoming the 13th wrestler to win four consecutive Central Coast titles and the ninth Gilroy grappler to do so. He is a two-time state place winner and will look to add another medal this weekend. He should face in the second round Sac-Joaquin Section Champion Gabriel Martinez of Oakdale. Martinez was a state finalist last year in this weight class. After being defeated in the semifinal round of masters by Mark Cardwell of Monache, Daniel Long of Dinuba injury defaulted on the rest of his matches to finished in sixth place. If he is healthy, expect him to make his way to the quarterfinal round and face Ryan Cosio of Temecula Valley. Cosio is a former Southern Section Champion and was fourth at the state tournament competing at 182.

Lower Bracket

Four-time state qualifier Mark Cardwell of Monache is one of the favorites in the bottom bracket. He should advance to the quarterfinals, but before he does that, he will be challenged by Joaquin Garcia of Villa Park, a third-place finisher at the rugged Southern Section. Central Section third-place finisher Rocco Contino of Buchanan should have a good matchup in the second round against Sac-Joaquin third place finisher Sean Myles of Oakmont and then advance to the quarterfinal round. A good match that should happen in the second round will be between two-time state qualifier Jarad Priest of Bakersfield and the Sac-Joaquin Section runner-up Joseph Valdez of Placer. They haven’t met this season, but both are considered top contenders to medal in Bakersfield this weekend. Christian Rodriguez of Selma is a top contender to go all the way to the semifinals in this weight class. Before he does that, he will meet Southern Section fourth place winner Baron Gaunt of West Torrance in the second round.

182

Top Bracket

2018 state champion Trent Tracy of Frontier looks to become a two-timer this weekend as he has been on fire as of late. He won the Central Section by earning the (17-2) technical fall over the third-ranked wrestler in the state Tyler Gianakopulos of Clovis. San Diego Section runner-up Joe Curtis of La Costa Canyon should have a fierce battle in the second round when he faces the third-place finisher in the Central Section Jordan Annis of Bakersfield. Curtis was third at Reno TOC and Battle for the Belt. During his run to the third-place bout at Battle for the Belt, Curtis defeated Annis 4-0 in the consolation rounds. Sac-Joaquin Section Champion Malik Lewis of Franklin-Elk Grove should advance to the quarterfinal round and meet up with Jonovan Smith of Birmingham. Both are 1-1 against each other with Smith winning the latest match 4-3. If Smith places at the state tournament once again, he will become the third Los Angeles Section wrestler to do it twice. Other wrestlers who placed twice in the state tournament from Los Angeles Section include Johnny Parada (San Fernando) and Ali Naser (El Camino Real).

Lower Bracket

Returning California state medalist, Tyler Gianakopulos of Clovis looks to have a decent draw for advancing to the quarterfinals. He should face Jack Kilner of Granada in the first quarterfinal match of the lower bracket. Both athletes are 1-1 against each other with Kilner getting the last win (3-1) in the second round of the Doc Buchanan tournament. However, before the match occurs, Kilner will have to deal with Central Coast Champion Carsten Rawls of St. Francis in the second round. Sophomore sensation Javen Jovero of Rancho Bernardo should cruise his way to the quarterfinal round of state. Nevertheless, he should get tested in the second round against Felipe Rodriguez of Clovis West. Both athletes competed at the Five Counties tournament where Jovero won the event and claimed the most outstanding wrestler award in the upper weights. Rodriguez was third in the event but did not meet Jovero in the tournament. 2018 Cadet Fargo Freestyle runner-up Nathan Hass of St. John Bosco should be the favorite to make the finals of the state tournament.

195

Upper Bracket

Fresno State commit Ryan Reyes of Gilroy should make his way to the finals this weekend and claim an individual state championship. However, he will have a fierce battle in his out-bracket match against Ty Shepherd of Frontier who finished fourth at the Central Section tournament. He should wait patiently for Andrew Rasmussen of Faith Baptist who was third at the Southern Section tournament and was a match last year from placing. Two-time state qualifier Peter Ming of Elk Grove should advance to the quarterfinal round. Nevertheless, before he does, he will have a big test in round one versus Central Section third-place finisher Frederick Sayles of Clovis and then in round two versus San Diego Section third-place finisher Laith Gilmore of Poway. Sac Joaquin Section Champion Cody Golding of Oakdale should advance to the quarterfinal round and have a rematch of the Sac Joaquin Championship with Ming. Nevertheless, before he proceeds to the quarterfinal round, he will have to deal with Rigo Estrada of Northview in the second round.

Lower Bracket

Central Section Champion Jadon Martin of Buchanan should be wrestling in the quarterfinal round on Friday. Martin should lock horns with undefeated Southern Section Champion Ben Gould of Valencia High in the quarterfinal round. Prior to facing Martin, Gould should have a great matchup with Sac Joaquin Section third-place finisher Elliot Houghten of Calaveras. A potential second round match could take between Southern Section runner-up Tristen Wilson of Servite and 2018 state place winner Callum Bisping of Canyon. Both athletes met in the quarterfinal round of the Southern Section tournament where Wilson won the match via a fall in the third period. The winner of the match should get to wrestle the No. 2 seed wrestler in Adrian Chavez of Brentwood-Liberty. Chavez finished in sixth-placed at last year’s state tournament.

220

Upper Bracket

The only wrestler that could defeat Victor Jaquez of Bellarmine Prep is himself. A mental mistake caused him a state title last year as he was upset in the early rounds. If all goes according to the seeds, Jaquez should be winning a state title on Saturday evening. He should meet up in the quarterfinal round with Justen Darter of Bakersfield. Nevertheless, before Darter can advance to the quarterfinal round, he will have to deal with Fargo Cadet Freestyle runner-up Chris Island of Vacaville who recently finished in second place at the Sac-Joaquin Section. Mike Ruiz of Villa Park was the third-ranked wrestler in the state for most of the season until the postseason hit, and he was defeated in consecutive weeks. Nevertheless, he should advance to the quarterfinal round. However, first, he must deal with a familiar opponent in David Barela of Northview. Ruiz is 3-0 against Barela. However, anything can happen at the state tournament. Guillermo Escobedo of Bishop Amat should make his way into the quarterfinal round and meet up with Ruiz. They are 1-1 against each other with Escobedo winning the last meeting in overtime.

*In my humble opinion, Escobedo should’ve gotten the No. 3 seed as he defeated Erich Osteen of Chaminade in the finals of the Southern Section tournament.

Lower Bracket

Erich Osteen of Chaminade should have a more accessible path to the quarterfinal round with his only challenger being the San Diego Section Champion Tyler Watson of Mt. Carmel in the second round. He should meet up in the quarterfinal round with Jacob Christensen of Durham. Both athletes competed at Five Counties but did not meet. Christensen finished as the runner-up to the Ruiz mentioned above, while Osteen was third after being upset in the quarterfinal round. Sac Joaquin Section Champion Kylee Richards of Folsom should wrestle Justin Rentfro of Hilmar in the second round. Richards and Rentfro met in the semifinal round of the section tournament, where Richards won the match 2-1. If these two gladiators meet, either could win the match. Jacob Good of Clovis wrestled all season long at 195-pounds until going up a weight and try to challenge all 220-pound wrestlers. He is the No. 2 seed and should advance to the quarterfinal round and meet up with the winner of the Richards/Rentfro match.

285

Upper Bracket

The No. 1 wrestler in California Nicholas Villareal of Gilroy is a sure bet to advance to the quarterfinal round and go deeper in his bracket. However, before this happens, Villareal will have a tough challenge from the San Diego Section runner-up Luis Castro of Olympian. A rematch of the Southern Section finals could take place in the second round between the eventual champion Randy Arriaga of Capistrano Valley and Nate Clay of Santa Margarita. Arriaga is 3-0 against Clay and should get the win and advance to the quarterfinal round to take on Villareal. Central Coast runner-up Cohle Feliciano of Fremont should proceed to the quarterfinal round. Nevertheless, before he does, he will have to deal with the winner of the Michael Wiley of Los Gatos and Jacob Smith of Etiwanda match. 2018 state place winner Levi Markey of Del Campo should advance to the quarterfinal round and wait for Feliciano. However, don’t sleep on Tommy Slatic of Bullard who recently placed third at the Central Section and should meet up with Markey in the second round of the state tournament.

Lower Bracket

Justin Ramos of Vista Del Lago has been competing great all this season with only two blemishes on his record. Ramos should meet with Southern Section third-place finisher William Von Goeben of Walnut in the second round prior to advancing to the quarterfinal round. In a battle of state top 15 ranked wrestlers in the second round, two-time San Diego Masters Champion Andrew Johnson of Poway should meet Jonah Schmidtke of Clovis East. Both were state qualifiers last season, and Johnson was a match away from placing. Central Section Champion Josh Hills should make the quarterfinals after meeting Michael Toten of Holtville and Ethen Erickson of Carter in the first and second rounds. 2018 state place winner Michael Jeffus of Turlock should be a quarterfinalist. His biggest obstacle in the second round should be Southern Section fourth place winner Joshua Avila of Rowland.


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