Blazers bully Marysville
Lindhurst High is presently fighting for a Golden Empire League wrestling championship now, while Marysville gave a glimpse of its future Monday night in Olivehurst.
The Blazers (10-2, 2-0) won seven matches by pin and had three forfeit victories in a dominating 60-18 victory over a very young Indians squad.
Marysville (2-4, 0-2) had two victories by pin and two decisions. Five of the Indians' 11 wrestlers are freshman, while a sophomore and a junior are in their first-year of competition.
“One of our objectives this year with this team was to just get better, and that's what these kids are all doing. They're just getting better,” Marysville coach James Bond said. “This is a young program. This a program that you're going to see dynamic things from in the next three years.”
The future begins with freshman stud James Chandless at the 171-pound weight class. Chandless pinned Brad Hunter with 50 seconds remaining in the first period.
“He's the real deal ... He's the team leader and that's what these kids all aspire to be like,” Bond said. “We have several kids that have that athleticism in them, they're just brand new on the mat.”
First-year sophomore Jack Minter won by decision, 7-4. Marysville juniors Eric Hull (140, pin) and David Moreno (125, major decision) also had victories.
But the rest of the night belonged to the Blazers.
Lindhurst's Josh Clark (189) and James Rowe made short work of their opponents. Clark pinned David Castro 26 seconds into the first period, and Rowe put Houston Bolik's shoulders to the mat 28 seconds into the first period.
Seniors Daniel Lewis (145), Ryan Hodges (112), Austin Oliver (103), C.J. Leal (130) and Rosario Hernandez (160) each added pins for the Blazers.
Lindhurst's experience makes them a contender for the GEL crown, and the Blazers first test will come Thursday when they visit Pioneer.
“Golden Sierra hasn't lost a league match in 11 years and went down to Pioneer and got their butts kicked,” Lindhurst assistant coach Rob Taylor said. “If we can get past Pioneer, I think we have a good shot at the championship.”
The Blazers had first-period pins from Hodges, Leal, Rowe and Clark and second-period pins by Hernandez and Oliver. Lewis (15-5) had his match well in hand, leading 7-1 after the first period, 13-1 after the second and 15-1 in the third before his pin with 1:25 remaining.
“We teach them when you make a shot, right when the hips hit the ground, look to see what they're giving you and take advantage of what they're giving you,” Taylor said. “If you wait around and let an opponent get back on their base, then you've got to work harder.”
Minter and May Xiong had the night's closest match. Minter battled back from 2-0 and 4-3 deficits for the win.
Xiong scored a reversal 1:45 into the match, and Minter then picked up three straight points for a 3-2 lead with 58 seconds remaining. An illegal hold on Minter tied it 3-3 heading into the second.
Another illegal hold on Minter gave Xiong the 4-3 advantage, but Minter scored a reversal and a near-fall late in the second period for a 7-4 advantage. No points were awarded in the third.
“I was surprised with Jack. He pulled it out and that was an impressive win,” Bond said.
Moreno and Tyler Goodwin battled for three periods. Moreno controlled most of the opening period, scoring a quick two-point takedown and then working Goodwin for a near-fall for a 4-0 lead after the buzzer.
Goodwin elected the top to open the second and quickly took control, scoring a near-fall to cut the lead. But two one-point penalties put Goodwin behind 6-2 heading into the final period.
Moreno scored a reversal 30 seconds into the third and then managed to cruise for his major decision.
“David kind of does his own thing. He does stuff out there that we don't drill in practice,” Bond said. “But he's capable of getting it done, and tonight he got it done his way and I support that.”
Hodges and Leal each earned their pins with effortless performances.
“I'm just glad to see that these guys worked through it,” Bond said of his team. “We had several kids that were on their backs and they just fought through it and that's what it's all about, fighting through it and not just laying down. So, I'm impressed with the way this young team performed.”
Appeal-Democrat reporter Justin Miller can be reached at 749-4796. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org