Upsets were hard to come by at the Doc Buchanan Wrestling Tournament, held on Friday and Saturday at Clovis High. It was a tournament dominated by the No. 1 seeds. The nationally-ranked wrestlers. The defending champions. That doesn't mean there weren't teams and athletes who improved their profile at one of the top premier events in the golden state. Here are a few of them:
The next generation
Cael Valencia (St. John Bosco) looks to be going down the same path as his elder brother Zahid Valencia (2x NCAA Champion) after his dominating performance this past weekend. Without any hesitation or remembering what occurred during Fargo against Paddy Gallagher (St. Edward), Valencia put a takedown clinic as he recorded four takedowns to none to dominate the No. 2 wrestler in the country 9-5. Due to his performance, Valencia was awarded as the Most Outstanding Wrestler in the upper weights. Now, the question is will he followed his elder brothers (Zahid and Anthony) to Arizona State or will he go a different path and compete for a Big 10 school?
New No.1 at 152?
Michigan State recruit Chase Saldate (Gilroy) should become the No. 1 wrestler in the country at 152-pounds in the next Flo Rankings. Saldate, who won a Super 32 championship in October, won the Doc Buchanan tournament by earning two falls, a technical fall, a 9-4 win over a California state runner-up, and then disposing of Flo Nationals runner-up Mathew Singleton (Woodward Academy) 5-1. It was Saldate’s second championship hat of his career. Interesting enough, next weekend at the Five Counties tournament, current No. 1 Sonny Santiago (St. John Bosco) and California state runner-up Tyler Badgett (Rancho Bernardo) will be in the field ready for Chase.
The state of California has always been known for producing great wrestlers in the 106-pound weight class. Past results of the NHSCA championships prove my point. A new generation of outstanding lower weight class wrestlers has emerged in California. This weekend, this wrestler, was Raymond Lopez of Buchanan High. A backup last year in the Bears lineup, Lopez has stepped up his game this year and has proven that he should be the No. 1 wrestler in the golden state at 106-pounds. At the Doc Buchanan tournament, Lopez earned four-falls with his closest match being a 15-14 decision over double Fargo cadet All-American and No. 13 Beau Mantanona of Palm Desert.
From No. 11 to No. 2
2018 Fargo Cadet Freestyle runner-up Luke Geog of St. Edward, had a great weekend that saw him advanced to the finals of the Doc Buchanan tournament despite being seeded No. 11 in the event. After earning major decisions in his first two matches, Geog topped Fargo All-American Joshua Ogunsanya of Oak Park River Forest 12-5 in the following round. However, his biggest win in the tournament came in the quarterfinal round when he defeated Columbia University recruit Jaden Le of Rancho Bernardo 13-7 by scoring 10 unanswered points in the third period. In the semifinal round, Geog earned the fall over Delbarton High wrestler Andrew Troczinski in 3:32 before losing 8-0 in the finals to two-time California state place winner Luka Wick of San Marino.
Bergen Catholics lone finalist
The top school in the NJSIAA Bergen Catholic did not have the best tournament at Doc Buchanan as many of their stars were injured and did not compete. Nevertheless, they had a bright moment when Dylan Cedeno worked his way through the championship bracket at 132-pounds to make the finals. In the round of 16, Cedeno shocked the fans in attendance by defeating two-time California state finalist Ryan Franco (Clovis North) 6-2. He was scheduled to take on two-time New Jersey state champion Anthony Clark (Delbarton) in the quarterfinals but Clark defaulted from the tournament. In the semifinals, Cedeno blanket three-time Florida state champion Chris Rivera (Lake Highland Prep) 3-0 to advance to the finals where he felt 3-1 to the No. 2 wrestler in the country Dominick Serrano (Windsor).