Los Angeles County has always been considered a strong area when it comes to the sport of wrestling. This year, a total of three county wrestlers won individual titles with Nathan Haas of St. John Bosco becoming a two-time state champion. The following is an All-L.A. County wrestling team.
106: Santino Sanchez (San Marino, So.)
Sanchez was triumphant in claiming a Rio Hondo League and Southern Division Championship while finishing second at the Masters Meet tournament. At the state tournament, Sanchez was defeated in the third round by Matthew Terrence of Clovis. In the backside, Sanchez won two more matches before being eliminated in the blood round.
113: Zeth Romney (Chaminade, So.)
Romney won the Mission League, Southern Division and the Southern Section Masters Meet tournament. As the No. 4 seed at the state tournament, Romney was triumphant in advancing to the semifinal round before being defeated by the eventual state champion Richard Figueroa of Selma. Romney finished the tournament with a 5-1 record after defeating Jack Gioffre of Buchanan 9-7 in the third-place bout.
120: Maxximus Martinez (St. John Bosco, Fr.)
Martinez was successful in claiming a Trinity league title, a Central Division, and the Southern Section Masters Meet tournament. At the state tournament, Martinez advanced to the semifinal round before being eliminated from the championship bracket by the eventual champion Tristan Lujan of Selma. Martinez finished the season on a high note after defeating George Rosas of Clovis 7-1 in the third-place bout.
126: Timothy Levine (St. John Bosco, Sr.)
Levine left it all on the mats of California and it paid off by placing fifth at the state tournament. He was a Trinity league, Central Division, and the Southern Section Masters Meet Champion. His points at the state tournament helped Bosco place second at the state tournament as a team.
132: Nicco Ruiz (St. John Bosco, Fr.)
After competing in various weight classes, Ruiz opted to stay at 132 and help the Braves in the postseason. He was a Trinity league, Central Division, and Southern Section Masters Meet Champion. He advanced to the semifinals of the state tournament before being eliminated by the eventual state champion Aaron Nagao of Esperanza. Ruiz concluded his freshman season by defeating Devin Murphy of Selma 1-0 in the third-place bout.
138: Alex Ramirez (Rowland, Jr.)
Ramirez was on fire all season long! He won a Valle Vista League title, an Inland Division, and the Southern Section Masters Meet tournament in dominating fashion. At the state tournament, Ramirez won three of his six bouts via bonus points. In the championship bout of the state tournament, Ramirez defeated section rival Isaac Salas of St. John Bosco 4-1.
145: Oscar Aranda (St. John Bosco, So.)
Aranda was the unsung hero of the St. John Bosco wrestling team. He won a Trinity league title, won the Central Division and was fourth at the Southern Section Masters Meet. At the state tournament, he was defeated by the new four-time state champion Jesse Vasquez (Excelsior Charter) 6-1 in the quarterfinal round. After winning his blood round match, he lost a tight 5-4 match to section opponent Luke Gayer of Calvary Chapel. Aranda placed eighth at the state tournament after losing 3-2 to Sac-Joaquin Section Champion Caesar Garza (Oakdale).
152: Sonny Santiago (St. John Bosco, Sr.)
The four-time state qualifier for the Braves won the Trinity League, a Central Division title and his second Southern Section Masters Meet Championship in dominating fashion. At the state tournament, Santiago had an easy time in his first three matches as he earned bonus points. However, in the semifinal round, a scramble caused Santiago to be put on his back and was pinned by long time rival opponent Tyler Badgett (Rancho Bernardo) in the second period. He capped off his wrestling career by defeating Rey Raiz (Buchanan) 9-3 in the third-place bout.
160: Cael Valencia (St. John Bosco, Jr.)
Undefeated throughout the regular season, Valencia was triumphant in winning the Trinity league, the Central Division, and his second Southern Section Masters Meet tournament. All was going well at the state tournament as he defeated his four opponents via bonus points to advance to the finals. In the state finals, Valencia suffered his first defeat of the season in the hands of Andrew Sparks (Calvary Chapel); An opponent he had previously defeated in two other occasions to finish second in the tournament.
170: Braden Smelser (Valencia/Valencia, Sr.)
Smelser punched his ticket to the state tournament after defeating Abraham Galicia (St. John Bosco) in 37 seconds of their contested match. Smelser went on to be in the finals of the Southern Section Masters Meet tournament but was defeated in the finals by Valor Buck (Servite). He was triumphant in winning the Freelance league, the Northern Division, and placing eighth at the CIF state tournament.
182: Nathan Haas (St. John Bosco, Sr.)
Haas finished the season undefeated versus any California foe. His lone loss of the season was in the finals of the Doc Buchanan tournament to an out-of-state opponent from Colorado. He won the Trinity League, the Central Division and won his second Southern Section Masters Meet tournament. Haas finished the tournament with a 6-0 record after defeating Joe Curtis (La Costa Canyon) 4-3 in the championship bout to claim his second CIF state tournament title.
195: Guillermo Escobedo (Los Altos, Sr.)
Out of the 40 bouts, Escobedo competed this season, he only lost twice. Once to an out-of-state opponent in the finals of Reno TOC, and the other to Tyler Gianakopulos of Clovis. Escobedo won the Hacienda league, the Southern Division, and won his third Southern Section Masters Meet tournament. In the state tournament, Escobedo redeemed himself by defeating Gianakopulos 3-2 in the championship bout to become a California state champion.
220: Frank Herrera (Huntington Park, Sr.)
Herrera won a Marine league championship, a regional title and won the Los Angeles City tournament to advance to the state tournament. At the state tournament, Herrera lost his first match but was triumphant in winning two more matches before being eliminated from the tournament. He made history for the Spartans by scoring points at the state tournament.
285: Malachi Lyles (Mayfair, Sr.)
Lyles was a league, Division Champion and topped it all by winning the Southern Section Masters Meet tournament. At the state tournament, Lyles advanced to the semifinal round before being defeated by the eventual state champion Josiah Hill of Bakersfield. He won this third-place match by defeating the Sac-Joaquin Section runner-up Lucas Cook of Lincoln High, 5-3.
106: Ryan Woods (Palisades, Fr.)
113: Tash Nguyen (Birmingham, So.)
120: Fernando Barreto (Rowland, So.)
126: Koa Ruiz (San Marino, So.)
132: Collin Hayes (Northview, Sr.)
138: Isaac Salas (St. John Bosco, Jr.)
145: Alex Munoz (Valencia/Valencia, Fr.)
152: Wyatt Lewis (Northview, Sr.)
160: Trent Munoz (Valencia/Valencia, Jr.)
170: Abraham Vivanco (Sylmar, Sr.)
182: Jairo Rivera (Birmingham, Jr.)
195: Trevor Tinker (Northview, Sr.)
220: Rigo Estrada (Northview, Sr.)
285: Amin Toledo (Canoga Park, Jr.)