LAKE BALBOA, CA. – It was a joyful moment for head coach Trent Jackson and staff as the Sylmar High wrestling team made history on Saturday at the Los Angeles section duals by defeating perennial power Birmingham High 39-37.
It is the first sectional dual meet title for Sylmar High, and it’s the first time that the program had advanced to the section dual finals.
It was clear from the first match of the day to the last that Sylmar was the better team. The Spartans had little trouble dispatching San Pedro (57-17) in the quarterfinals and Pacific Palisades (49-27) in the semifinals on their road to the championship.
The Spartans started the finals with a fast start as senior Adrian Villegas (120) got the takedown in overtime to defeat Ruben Romero 13-11 and put Sylmar up 3-0 on the meet. Junior Michael Morgan (126) turned in a dominating performance as he got the fall over Daniel Gomez to increase the Spartans lead to 9-0.
Birmingham’s Ethan Grubach (132) earned a 17-2 technical fall to cut the lead to 9-5. Nevertheless, Titan Gutierrez (138) pinned his Birmingham opponent in 26 seconds to put Sylmar up 15-5. The Patriots took ahold of the lead for the first time as Joseph Fernandez (145) earned the 20-5 technical fall and Desi Lobos (152) pinned his opponent in the third period to make the score 15-10.
A pivotal moment took place at 160-pounds as senior Abraham Vivanco pinned his opponent to take back the lead for Sylmar 21-10. Another pin by Jose Granados (170) added another six points to Sylmar’s lead.
However, Sylmar met the murders row of the Birmingham wrestling team as the state-ranked wrestlers Jezziel Perez (182) and Jario Rivera (195) earned falls and Adrian Calderon (220) earned a 12-7 decision to help the Patriots take a 31-27 lead with three matches left.
It was looking like Birmingham was going to get another pin at 285-pounds as Julian Lopez put Enrique Cantarero on his back in the first period. However, Cantarero was able to fight off his back and earn near fall points himself. With Lopez choosing bottom to start the second period, Cantarero was a beast on top and turn Lopez for the fall with 15 seconds left in the period.
Second-year wrestler Kekoa Porter (106) clinched the dual for Sylmar as he put Adrian Calderon on his back and pin him in the second period. The entire Sylmar squad jumped in excitement. Tash Nguyen (113) pinned his opponent to make the score 39-37 in favor of the Spartans.
Sylmar 39 Birmingham 37
*Dual-meet started at 120-pounds
120: Adrian Vasquez (S) Dec. Ruben Romero (B) 13-11
126: Michael Morgan (S) Fall. Daniel Gomez (B) 1:31
132: Ethan Grubach (B) Tech. Jonathan Pena (S) 17-2
138: Titan Gutierrez (S) Fall. Kevin Barragan (B) 0:26
145: Joseph Fernandez (B) Tech. Abraham Gomez (S) 20-5
152: Desi Lobos (B) Fall. Derek Mascorros (S) 4:29
160: Abraham Vivanco (S) Fall. Ryan Alcaraz (B) 4:28
170: Jose Granados (S) Fall. Raul Godinez (B) 1:12
182: Jezziel Perez (B) Fall. Mario Magallanes (S) 5:49
195: Jairo Rivera (B) Fall. Adrian Olivarez (S) 0:59
220: Adrian Cano (B) Dec. Abel Romero (S) 12-7
285: Enrique Cantarero (S) Fall. Juan Lopez – Diaz (B) 3:44
106: Kekoa Porter (S) Fall. Adrian Calderon (B) 3:06
113: Tash Nguyen (B) Fall. Matthew Gabriel (S) 1:59