West High’s wrestling team is off to a good start in the Tri-City Athletic League dual meet series, winning the opening team match against McNair High of Stockton 44-32 on Thursday, Jan. 9, in West’s Steve Thornton Gymnasium.
West coach Carlos Salazar said he still expects a better performance when West hosts defending TCAL champion Tokay on Thursday, Jan. 16.
“This match prepares us for Tokay somewhat. I’m not fully happy with what I’ve seen, but we’ll take the win,” Salazar said.
Aside from four matches decided by forfeit, including three for West and one for McNair, it was an even contest. West won three matches by pin, one on a technical fall and one by decision. McNair won three by pin and two by major decision.
In two of the forfeits McNair had nobody to match up against two of West’s strongest wrestlers, freshman Greg Viloria in the 113-pound class and junior Angel Castillo (126), who was the 2013 TCAL individual champion in the 120-pound class.
West was strongest against McNair in the light to middle weight classes while McNair won most of the middle to upper weights.
West sophomore Isaiah Juan won a hard-fought 3-2 decision over Luis Gonzalez in the 145-pound class. Neither wrestler was able to take the advantage over the other for the first two periods. Juan finally scored on a takedown in the third period.
“I went into the match knowing that the guy was going to be stronger and faster than me,” Juan said. “I just thought that I had to give it my best shot … and I had to come through for my team.”
McNair built a lead in the team score until West got a key win in the 285-pound match between West senior Bob Lopez and McNair’s Paul Palacios. Lopez pinned Palacios in 58 seconds, and said afterward that he knew how important his match was to the team score.
“Honestly it got me more motivated to support my team,” Lopez said. “The way our team supports each other, that’s what gives me the most confidence.”
West clinched the team win when junior George Rivas (106) pinned McNair’s Landy Mek in 4:30. Rivas went into the match knowing how much it meant to his team.
“I’m always going to be nervous, but I’ve just got to focus on what I’m supposed to do and work hard,” he said.
In other wins for West, senior Carlos Vasquez (132) pinned Lester Arellano in 2:19 and junior Jared Dolor (120) beat Autumn Pacheco on a 17-2 technical fall.
West’s junior varsity team beat McNair 36-18, with juniors Mubeen Kazmi (113), Alex Soto (132), Damien Flores (138), Iman Kazem (145), and Brian Estrada (152) all winning matches by pin.
Tracy 54, Franklin 27
Tracy was dominant in most of the middle to heavy weight classes in the first San Joaquin Athletic Association dual match of 2014. The Bulldogs won six matches with first-period pins and three more by forfeit.
Tracy senior Alexander Warner (285) won with a pin in 54 seconds, freshman Christian Rodriguez (106) won with a pin in 49 seconds, sophomore Alex Lopez (152) won by pin in 52 seconds, junior Noah Blackwell (170) won by pin in 28 seconds, junior Bryce Huckaby (182) won by pin in 1:42 and sophomore Angelo Carranza (195) won by pin in 50 seconds.
Franklin won four matches by pin and one on a decision.
Tracy’s junior varsity team beat Franklin 66-6. All but five matches were forfeits. Tracy won four by pin and Franklin won one by pin.
Contact Bob Brownne at 830-4227 or firstname.lastname@example.org.