Top Five Upsets of the Weekend
Josh Harkey (Dana Hills) vs. Jadon Martin (Buchanan) and Tristen Wilson (Servite)
It all started during October when Harkey won the Freakshow elite bracket at 195-pounds by defeating Missouri state champion Chase Stegall 4-2 in the finals. Since then, his faith in oneself has been through the roof. His game plan worked quite well as he won the Mann Classic at 195-pounds despite being the No. 4 seed in a weight class that included three state placers, two from California and a state champion from Arizona. After pinning his first two opponents in times of 48 and 26 seconds, Harkey displayed great mat awareness as he was able to score six points on state runner-up Jadon Martin (Buchanan) to win 6-2 and advance to the finals. In the championship round, Harkey met-up with Tristen Wilson (Servite), a wrestler who had defeated Harkey a week ago 4-1 at the Cossarek Classic. This time the score was a lopsided 10-3 win For Harkey. With these results, there’s no doubt Harkey will take over the # 2 spot in the next state rankings.
Andrew Sparks (Calvary Chapel/SA) vs. Rocco Contino (Buchanan)
Sparks is wrestling like the heydays of the Church Boyz when they were winning team state championships under NCAA champion John Acevedo. A state qualifier at 152-pounds last season, Sparks was expected to do some noise and make his way unto the state podium this season. Nevertheless, he is wrestling like a madman ready to challenge the field for an individual state title. It all started two weekends ago at the La Costa Canyon tournament where he either tech or pin his way to the title. He tech an Arizona state champion 16-0. This past weekend, at the Mann Classic, Sparks was the No. 4 seed with three wrestlers with state medals seeded ahead of him. Without any hesitation, Sparks never back down as he was successful in defeating state runner-up Rocco Contino (Buchanan) 10-5 in the semifinal round; Contino was the # 1 ranked wrestler in the state. In the finals, Sparks lost a close 4-3 match to Arizona State recruit Max Wilner (Fountain Valley) at 170-pounds.
Joaquin Arroyo (Calvary Chapel/SA) vs. Yoshiya Funakoshi (West Torrance)
Arroyo stepped up his game this weekend after having placed eighth two weeks ago at the La Costa Canyon tournament where the # 1 and # 3 ranked wrestlers in the country were in attendance. After having advanced to the state tournament as a freshman, we knew of his potential. This weekend, he truly displayed his true colors as in the semifinals of the Mann Classic, Arroyo was able to hold on to a 3-2 win over Yoshiya Funakoshi (West Torrance), a state medalist last season. The Calvary faithful exploded in cheers as they saw their golden boy advance to the finals. The finals weren’t too kind to Arroyo as he lost 8-1 to state runner-up Jack Gioffre (Buchanan) at 120-pounds.
Wayne Joint (Lemoore) vs. Ryan Franco (Clovis North)
Probably the biggest upset of the Reno TOC event occurred this weekend when Wayne Joint, a fifth-place finisher at the state tournament, was able to escape from the grip of two-time state runner-up Ryan Franco in the fifth period of their quarterfinal match to win 2-1. Joint then went on defeat two-time Utah state champion River Wardle (Wasatch) 4-3 to advance to the finals and win the title over another California wrestler M.J. Gaitan (Temecula Valley) 6-3 at 132-pounds. Originally from Kansas, Joint is only a junior who has the potential to be a CIF state champion just like his elder brother Gary who is currently a starter for Fresno State at 133-pounds.
Cameron Owen (Paloma Valley) vs. Kimo Leia (Selma)
A year ago, Cameron Owen was competing for the Golden Bears of Temecula Valley High where he finished second at the CIF individual tournament and advanced to the masters meet section tournament. Now competing for Coach Luis Robles at Paloma Valley, Owen has his mindset on advancing to the CIF state tournament and earn some hardware. His quest started this past weekend as he was able to win the Hawks Nest tournament at 132-pounds by defeating # 7 Kimo Leia (Selma) 10-4 to improve to 8-0 on the season. What made the title win sweeter was the fact that the bracket had Josh Trumbull (Canyon Springs), a wrestler that defeated Owen in the first round of Masters Meet last year; Trumbull ended up in fifth place.