California Wrestlers Stock Watch
With such tournaments as the Chukchansi Invitational, Newbury Park, Bakersfield Rumble for the Rig, Cossarek, and La Costa Canyon tournament being contested last weekend, many wrestlers raised their stock by outdistancing themselves from the pack. The following is a rundown of the top five performances throughout the state over the weekend.
Adrian Limon proves He is the Real Deal
Weight issues were the problem for Adrian Limon (Northview) not finishing the post-season and contend for a state medal last season. Nevertheless, now in a healthier weight class for Adrian, Adrian showcased his talent in the finals of the Battle for the Rig tournament in Bakersfield as he won the title over 2019 state runner-up Jack Gioffre (Buchanan). Adrian put a takedown clinic on Gioffre as he scored four takedowns to one. At one point on the match, Adrian was up 8-2 on Gioffre after three takedowns and two-point near-falls. Due to his performance, Adrian was chosen as the lower weights MVP of the tournament as he guided the Vikings of Northview High to a third-place finish.
Los Gatos Wrestler Looked Like A Lion
With former Gilroy High head coach Greg Varela at the helm of the Los Gatos wrestling team, high anticipation of success was expected from parents and supporters of the team. That success was felt this weekend as Central Coast place winner Thomas Mailhot (182) put a show in the finals of the Chukchansi tournament that saw win an individual title with a 4-3 decision over state place winner Nicolas Zavala (Mission Oaks). With such great performance by Thomas, it should bump him up in the state rankings and placed him atop of the list of the top wrestlers from the Central Coast Section.
Yamasaki Put Dos Pueblos Back on The Map
Two years ago, as a sophomore, Sean Yamasaki (Dos Pueblos) placed tenth at the Southern Section Masters Meet tournament and missed out on advancing to the state tournament. Last year, he was injured during the postseason and thus went 1-2 at the section tournament. A bittersweet moment for such an energy-packed grappler. Nevertheless, this past weekend at the Newbury Park Invitational, Yamasaki was all fire as he won the event over highly ranked wrestler Justin Mouritsen (Clovis) 7-3. As the third seed, Yamasaki won 10-5 in the semifinal round over state qualifier Jake Quintana (Valencia/Valencia) and thus pitted him against Mouritsen. With the individual title, Yamasaki helped Dos Pueblos place fifth in the team standings.
It’s A Big Deal for Alex Ramirez
It may not have shown, But Alex Ramirez (Rowland) 9-6 win over Elijah Blake (Del Oro) in the finals of the La Costa Canyon tournament was a big deal for Alex. You See, injuries have derailed Alex’s dreams since his freshman season. A freshman, he was third at the Southern Section tournament but was too injured to compete at state. And last year as a sophomore, he was undefeated up into the post-season but once again, injuries got the best of Alex. This year, as a junior, Alex will no doubt be a state contender and try to become Rowland High first-ever state champion.
Nicco On the Move
Nicco Ruiz (St. John Bosco) was projected to be the starter for the Braves at 126-pounds and contend for a state medal as a freshman. Nevertheless, adolescence has gotten the best of Nicco and 126 looks unreachable for him. He competed for the first time this season at the Cossarek Classic in Westminster, where he dismantled the competition at 152-pounds. In the finals, Nicco won 17-6 over Santa Fe High wrestler Felix Osorio. However, his biggest match came in the semifinals where he pinned CIF place winner and No.1 seed Luis Ramirez (Fountain Valley) in the third period. Bosco has too much power on the lineup and Nicco might not get to be a varsity starter until next year as from 132-160 all these wrestlers have national and state experience under their belts.