The North High wrestling program has been picking up steam the last four years, but if the last few days are any indication, the team’s momentum is ready to reach new levels.
The Stars, who finished second in Division IV at the California State Duals on Saturday, were once again at the top of their game at the Southeast Yosemite League championships at North High on Wednesday afternoon.
North had nine wrestlers reach the SEYL final in their respective weight classes, with five capturing titles.
“Today was a good test,” said eighth-year North coach Brady Garner. “We got a lot of tough matches in. Our kids wrestled hard. We definitely have some things we need to work on between now and Valley, but we’re going to put the work in and get going on it.”
The Stars finished the meet with 215 points, finishing 35 points ahead of second-place Foothill. The Trojans had seven wrestlers reach the final, with two coming away with titles. South (157) was third, followed by Highland (144), East (102) and Mira Monte (88).
“We definitely made some changes,” Garner said. “We worked on some things after the Duals and we could see some of our adjustments from our kids today.”
North’s league champions include: Nathaniel Jackson (106), Daniel Ornelas (113), Anthony Ornelas (126), Javier Ocampo (145) and Zion Chuca (190).
Others to win league titles include: Shane Corona (120) and Angel Ochoa (138) from Foothill, Anthony Ruvalcava (132), Richard Garcia (152) and Freddy Barajas (220) from South, Ricardo Eaton (170), Jonathan Patino (182) and Cesar Cuevas (285) of East, and Mira Monte’s Xavier Reyes (160).
In the girl's competition, South High had three champions and six runner-ups to edge second-place Foothill, 198-183 for the SEYL title. The Trojans had six champions and two second-place finishers.
Monserrat Lupian (101), Lilmary Cobbins (121) and Victoria Rincon (143) each won league titles for the Rebels.
Other league champions include: Kendra Juarez (106), Tatiana Sajic (111), Ariana Juarez (116), Jessica Manriquez (137), Sirena Lopez (160) and Myles Medrano (170) from Foothill, Yasmine Scherer (126) and Madison Castro (189) from North, and Gabby Machado (131) and Alessandra Alvarado (150) from Highland and East High’s Galilea Chavez (235).
At the opposite end of town, the Ridgeview boys won the South Yosemite League title, slipping past Golden Valley for its second championship in three years.
“2018 was the first year in the history of our school that our team won (a league wrestling title),” Ridgeview coach Aaron Garza said. “To do it again in 2020 is a major accomplishment.
“We had two varsity starters out for the tournament and two of our JV guys stepped up and placed in the top-3."
Sebastian Jara led the way, winning at 106 pounds, and also garnering the outstanding lower weight wrestler award. He was joined by Joshua Medina (113), Arturo Ramirez (145), Dylan Stansbury (152), Juan Zavala (170) and Justin Spainhoward (182). The Wolf Pack also had four wrestlers finish as runner-up.
Golden Valley finished second, with four wrestlers posting league titles. Senior Jayven Rojas, the son of Bulldogs coach Joe Rojas, became the first wrestler in school history to win four league titles when he took first at 120. Other Golden Valley winners include: Devin Saldana (126), Everardo Rueda (132) and Dominick Leon (160).
Joshua Lewis (138) and Nathan Deval (195) from Independence also won league titles, along with Bakersfield Christian’s Brian Schuler (220) and West’s Andrew Sanchez (heavyweight).
In the girls action, Golden Valley won the league championships, with six wrestlers winning SYL titles: Destiny Dominguez (106), Vanessa Nebre (121), Brianna Plata (126), Aliana Lofotu (137), Audrey Chavez (143) and Naomi Roby (189).
Other winners include: Mariah Armendariz (101), Genesis Quirarte (111), Yasenia Navejas (116), Camilia Caggianelli (160) and Mailya Castillo (170) of Ridgeview, and West High’s Estella Magallanes (131) and Maritza Martinez (150).