7 Matches We Hope They Go Down at Doc Buchanan
120lbs: Tristan Lujan (Selma) vs. Carlos Negrete Jr. (Buchanan)
All in California will be waiting for this matchup to take place as it could be an early showdown of the California state finals. Last year, both athletes wrestled with each other three times with Lujan winning the rubber match 2-1. Lujan is a defending state champion that has committed to Michigan State; Negrete is a junior who has been in the finals of the state tournament on two occasions and is looking for his first state title. Their rivalry took off during the semifinal match of the Doc Buchanan tournament when Negrete took down Lujan to advance to the finals and denied Lujan a chance to be in the finals of Doc Buchanan for a second time.
132lbs: Wayne Joint (Lemoore) vs. Ryan Franco (Clovis North)
California state place winner Wayne Joint (Lemoore) has made great strides this season and it showed during the Reno Tournament of Champions event as he was able to hold on for a 2-1 win over two-time California state runner-up Ryan Franco of Clovis North. Joint comes from a great wrestling family as his elder brother (Gary) is an NCAA Qualifier for Fresno State. Joint has positioned himself in a great spot to eventually win a state championship in February. Despite losing to Joint in the quarterfinal round, Franco wrestled his way to the consolation finals where he placed third in the event. His other loss was in the finals of the Zinkin Classic to Fargo Greco-Roman Champion Haiden Drury of Washington. If the match occurs, it could be a wild match between two unorthodox wrestlers trying to outmaneuver each other.
145lbs: Jaden Le (Rancho Bernardo) vs. Alex Ramirez (Rowland)
Both Jaden Le (Rancho Bernardo) and Alex Ramirez (Rowland) are undefeated on the season. Le has over 20 wins in the year with all wins coming via bonus points; No one has been able to score on him! He has committed to compete for Ivy League power Columbia University. His martial arts background makes him a dangerous individual to compete against. Ramirez has been a stud since his youth days; nevertheless, injuries have hampered his chances of becoming a state champion. Three weeks ago, he won the La Costa Canyon tournament where he defeated CIF state place winner Eli Blake of Del Oro 9-6 in the finals. This weekend, Ramirez should get tested by the field that will have many state place winners from different states.
152lbs: Chase Saldate (Gilroy) vs. Tyler Badgett (Rancho Bernardo)
Super 32 champion Chase Saldate of Gilroy High has been wrestling like a madman and destroying all opponents he has faced. Besides wanting a shot at # 1 Sonny Santiago of St. John Bosco, Saldate hopes to wrestle against California state runner-up Tyler Badgett of Rancho Bernardo. Badgett is one win away from gaining his 100th pin of his scholastic career. He dominated the field at the Sierra Nevada tournament by winning 4-0 over a two-time Arizona state champion. Badgett will continue his college career for Old Dominion University. If we don’t see this matchup go down this weekend, we might see it the following week at Five Counties.
170lbs: Giano Petrucelli (Clovis) vs. Max Wilner (Fountain Valley)
We all knew Petrucelli was a great wrestler getting ready to shine and it looks like his time has come. Petrucelli turned heads at the Zinkin Classic by winning the 170-weight class over # 1 Max Wilner of Fountain Valley in overtime. Prior to that, Petrucelli majored state place winner from California 9-0 and won 1-0 over a two-time Texas state champion. Wilner who was third California was the # 1 wrestler in California prior to meeting up with Petrucelli. Wilner trains daily with former Iowa State wrestler Daniel Woiwor and he will be more than ready to take on Petrucelli and get the # 1 ranking in California.
182lbs: Joseph Martin (Buchanan) vs. Javen Jovero (Rancho Bernardo)
We should expect a great matchup if it does happen between Joseph Martin (Buchanan) and Javen Jovero (Rancho Bernardo). They are ranked # 2 and # 3 in California behind state champion Nathan Haas of St. John Bosco. Martin was fourth in California and placed seventh at the Super 32 tournament at 160-pounds. Now months from the Super 32 event, Martin has been competing at 182-pounds and has been looking great. Jovero who placed eighth in California is a different wrestler this year. None of his matches this season have gone past the third round. Both are physically strong and could put you in your back in a blink of a second.
195lbs: Josh Harkey (Dana Hills) vs. Guillermo Escobedo (Los Altos)
All Southern Section fans will be anticipating this matchup to take place between Josh Harkey of Dana Hills and Guillermo Escobedo of Los Altos. Harkey has been on fire this season by placing ahead of Jaden Martin (Buchanan) who was # 1 at the time and defeating Tristen Wilson (Servite) via a major decision at the Cossarek tournament. Escobedo was third at the California state tournament and was the # 1 wrestler in California entering the season until he lost in the semifinal round to Tyler Gianakopulos of Clovis 3-2 and placing third at the Zinkin Classic. The matchup between Harkey and Escobedo could the finals of the Southern Section Masters Meet tournament.