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High School Wrestling WYL and EYL Tournament Previews

Can a team from Visalia or Tulare topple the league dynasties?


12:00 AM, Feb. 09, 2013 EST

Porterville's Alex Teran (right) and Monache's Matt Gamble (left) compete in an East Yosemite League dual on Wednesday, February 6, 2013 at Monache High School in Porterville. The Panthers and Mauraders will again battle for the EYL crown Saturday at Mission Oak High School. / Ron Holman

Saturday presents quite the dilemma for Tulare County wrestling fans.

Both the East and West Yosemite League tournaments will take place that day. Both feature extremely compelling story lines.

Most importantly, the top 5 from each weight class qualify for the Yosemite Divisional Championships held Feb. 15-16 at Madera South High School. From there, the top 7 from each weight class qualify for the Masters Championships held Feb. 23 at Mt. Whitney High School. From there, the top eight wrestlers in each weight classes advance to the state championships held March 1-2 at Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield.

Here's everything you need to know as you take it all in. Choose your venue wisely, but just know that you really can't make a wrong decision.

WYL Tournament

Info: 9 a.m. at Redwood High School. Finals start at approximately 3 p.m.

Overview: Can anyone stop Lemoore? The Tigers own 18 consecutive WYL titles. Last year they turned out 11 individual champions with a wrestler in the finals of 13 of the 14 weight classes. In 2010 Lemoore produced 10 individual champions with 13 more wrestlers in the finals. Five of Lemoore's 2012 WYL champions are back this season as all 14 Tigers took a top 3 seed (eight No. 1, four No. 2 and two No. 3).

Redwood's Joey Cisneros (106) and Darrion Harris are the only other returning WYL champions at this year's tournament. They lead a group of Rangers that represent the most significant threat to Lemoore's reign. Redwood will be handicapped, however, as most of its talent overlaps in the lightweights. Only one wrestler from each school can compete in each weight class, meaning two of the host's top wrestlers (Alex Rivera and Sammy Pena). The Rangers feature six wrestlers projected to make the finals (three No. 1 seeds and three at No. 2).

El Diamante finished as runner up to Lemoore in each of the past two seasons, but now may struggle to crack the top 3. The Miners, led by the Valley's No. 9 ranked heavyweight Brendan Salazar, only brings three wrestlers projected to make the finals.

Mt. Whitney drew three top seeds with Kameron Nelson (138), Isaiah Aceves (182) and Jaime Galvan (195) and another No. 2 (Jacob Tamez at 132). Golden West's Chris Hernandez (120) is the only other Visalia wrestler projected to make the finals.

Returning WYL Champs

Joey Cisneros, Redwood (106): Ranked No. 4 in the state by Cal Grappler and No. 7 by The California Wrestler. Ranked No. 4 in the Valley by TCW. Finished in the top 12 at state (106) in 2012; placed fourth in Valley (106). Won The Don Olson Bash (106), Dinuba Invite (106), Redwood Invite (106) and Central Valley Invite (106) this season; placed second at Chukchansi Invite (106) and Reno TOC (106).

Darrion Harris, Redwood (120): Ranked No. 12 in the Valley by TCW. Won Redwood Invite (120) and Central Valley Invite (120) this season.

Sean Williams, Lemoore (113): Ranked No. 3 in the state by TCW, No. 4 by CG. Ranked No. 1 in the Valley by TWC. State qualifier in 2012 at 113 and 2011 at 103. Placed fifth in Valley (113) in 2012 and seventh (103) in 2011. Won Santa Fe Scuffle (120) this season; placed second at Zinkin Classic (120) and Temecula Valley (113); placed third at Doc Buchanan (113).

Isaiah Martinez, Lemoore (160): Ranked No. 1 in the state and Valley by TCW and CG. State and Valley champion in 2012 at 152 and 2011 at 140. Placed third at state and Valley (125) in 2010. Won Santa Fe Scuffle (160), Reno TOC (160), Zinkin Classic (160), Dennis Deliddo Holiday (160), Doc Buchanan (160) and Temecula Valley (160) this season; placed second at Walsh Ironman (160).

Jaime Martinez, Lemoore (170): Ranked No. 14 in the state and No. 5 in the Valley by TCW. Qualified for state (160) in 2012. Placed fifth in Valley (160) in 2012 and ninth (152) in 2011. Won Santa Fe Scuffle (170), and Dennis Deliddo Holiday (170) this season.

Jonathan Roa, Lemoore (285): Ranked No. 9 in the state by CG and No. 13 by TCW. Ranked No. 3 in the Valley by TCW. Qualified for state (285) and placed eighth in Valley in 2012. Won Santa Fe Scuffle (285) and Dennis Deliddo Holiday (285) this season; placed second at Zinkin Classic (285).

Other Ranked Wrestlers

David Campbell, Lemoore (106): Ranked No. 7 in the state by CG and No. 10 by TCW. Ranked No. 7 in the Valley by TCW. Won Redwood Invite (113) this season. Placed third at Temecula Valley (106). Placed fourth at Dennis Deliddo Holiday (120).

Matt Holmes, Lemoore (132): Ranked No. 13 in the Valley by TCW. Placed second at Santa Fe Scuffle (145) this season; placed third at Redwood Invite (138) and Central Valley Invite (138); placed fourth at Dennis Deliddo Holiday (138).

Dominic Lopez, Lemoore (138): Ranked No. 8 in the Valley by TCW. Won Dennis Deliddo Holiday (145) this season; placed second at Redwood Invite (145) and third at Santa Fe Scuffle (152).

Jacob Hill, Lemoore (145): Ranked No. 40 in the state and No. 9 in the Valley by TCW. Won Central Valley Invite (152) this season; placed second at Santa Fe Scuffle (160) and fourth at Redwood Invite (152).

Jess Solorio, Hanford (170): Ranked No. 13 in the Valley by TCW. Won Exeter Duals (170) this season; placed second at Dinuba Invite (170).

Adrian Garza, Lemoore (220): Ranked No. 8 in the Valley by TCW. Won Dennis Deliddo Holiday (220) this season.

Brendan Salazar, El Diamante (285): Ranked No. 9 in the Valley by TCW.

Best Potential Matchup

106: Joey Cisneros, Redwood vs. David Campbell, Lemoore

No other WYL weight class features two wrestlers ranked in the state's top 10. Cisneros crashed Lemoore's party of champions last year during his sophomore season, but he will have to knock off this hot-shot freshman to do so again. This would be a truly elite match up of potential state placers. Campbell showed he still has some growing up to do when he made a literal early exit from the Central Valley Invitational at Golden West. He chose to go home rather than continuing to compete in the consolation bracket after losing to Clovis' Dylan Martinez in the quarterfinals. I'll give the upper hand to the upperclassman.

Prediction: Cisneros 6-4.

EYL Tournament

Info: 9 a.m. at Mission Oak High School. Finals start at approximately 3 p.m.

Overview: Cross-town rivals Porterville (14) and Monache (19) come in ranked among the state's top 20 teams. The Panthers have won the last three EYL titles (six of the last eight) and showed they still have the upper hand by beating the Maurauders 39-23 in Wednesday's league dual between two previously undefeated powers. Monache must finish one place higher than Porterville to share the EYL crown or at least two places higher to win it outright.

Porterville returns four of five individual EYL champions from last year. The only other returning champ is Matt Gamble (106) from Monache, which suffered a major setback when Ryan Poe (2012 ELY champ at 120) was injured in a January motorcycle accident that ended his season.

The Panthers and Maurauders are projected to meet up in the finals of seven weight classes. Porterville features six top seeds and four at No. 2. Monache's lineup looks nearly identical with five top seeds and four at No. 2.

Mission Oak took third place in 2012 and looks in line for a repeat of that performance. The Hawks are led by foursome of No. 2 seeds: Delano Hendrix (126), Robert Alvarado (182), Evan Van Beek (195) and Jacob Tripp (220). Four more Hawks come in at No. 3, giving Mission Oak enough depth to be considered the strongest challenger to the pair of Porterville schools all but locked into the top two spots.

Tulare Union is led by top seeded Justin Fournier (170) along with a pair of No. 2 seeds: Daniel Fletcher (160) Ray Figueroa (285). Tulare Western features four wrestlers seeded No. 3: Marcus Cavasos (120), Vincent Juarez (138) and David Arzola (182).

Returning EYL Champs

Matt Gamble, Monache (106): Ranked No. 1 in the state by CG, No.2 by TCW. Ranked No. 1 in the Valley by TCW. State qualifier in 2012; placed sixth in Valley (106). Won Dennis Deliddo Holiday (113), Doc Buchanan (106), Kern County Invitational (106) and CIT Morro Bay (106) this season.

Mason Pengilly, Porterville (120): Ranked No. 1 in the state and Valley by TCW and CG. Placed fifth at state (113) in 2012 and fourth (103) in 2011; placed third in Valley (113) in 2012 and first (103) in 2011. Won El Dorado Invite (126), CA Coast Classic (126), Doc Buchanan (120) and Five Counties (120) this season.

Martin Sandoval, Porterville (138): Ranked No. 11 in the state by TCW and No. 12 by CG. Ranked No. 2 in the Valley by TCW. Qualified for state in 2012 at 132 and 2011 at 119. Placed eighth in Valley (132) in 2012 and seventh (119) in 2011. Won CA Coast Classic (145) this season.

Greg Pagela, Porterville (152): Ranked No. 12 in the state by CG and No. 17 by TCW. Ranked No. 5 in the Valley by TCW. Placed second at Five Counties (152) and fourth at EL Dorado Invite (160) this season.

Edgar Madrigal, Porterville (285): Unranked

Other Ranked Wrestlers

Javier Jimenez, Porterville (106): Ranked No. 10 in the state by CG and No. 12 by TCW. Ranked No. 6 in the Valley by TCW. State qualifier (106) in 2012; placed seventh in Valley (106). Won CA Coast Classic (113) and Dick Comply Invite (106) this season. Placed second at El Dorado Invite (106). Placed third at Five Counties (106); placed fourth at Doc Buchanan (106).

Seth Hood, Monache (120): Ranked No. 10 in the state and No. 4 in the Valley by TCW. Finished in the top 12 at state (113) in 2012; state qualifier in 2011. Placed fifth in Valley (113) in 2012 and ninth (112) in 2011. Won CIT Morro Bay (120) this season; placed second at Dennis Deliddo Holiday (120) and Kern County Invite (120).

Delano Hendrix, Mission Oak (126): Ranked No. 9 in the Valley by TCW. Placed 10th in Valley (120) in 2012. Placed second at Webber Lawson (120), and Mission Oak True Wrestler (120) this season; placed third at The Don Olson Bash (120).

Josh Sibayan, Monache (126): Ranked No. 39 in the state and No. 8 in the Valley by TCW. Placed second at Turlock Bulldog (132) this season; placed third at Dennis Deliddo Holiday (132) and fourth at Kern County Invite (132).

Abel Contreras, Porterville (132): Ranked No. 12 in state and No. 2 in Valley by TCW. Placed ninth in Valley (120) in 2012. Placed third at El Dorado Invite (138) and Five Counties (132) this season.

Joe Ryan, Monache (138): Ranked No. 7 in the Valley by TCW. Placed second at Dennis Deliddo Holiday (145) this season; placed third at CIT Morro Bay (138).

Best Potential Matchups

Two weight classes project a pair of potential state placers meeting in the finals. Both pit cross-town rivals Poterville and Monache against each other and will play a significant role in deciding which team takes the EYL crown.

106: Matt Gamble, Monache vs. Juan Javier Jimenez, Porterville

Jimenez avoided Gamble at Wednesday's dual between Porterville and Monache by wrestling up a class, but these two top 12 talents are sure to meet up for an EYL title at 106 pounds. Gamble has finished first in his last four tournaments and I expect more of the same as he defends his league championship. Expect an exciting, high-scoring affair.

Prediction: Gamble 9-5.

120: Mason Pengilly, Porterville vs. Seth Hood, Monache

Unlike Jimenez and Gamble, Pengilly and Hood did meet up at Wednesday's dual. Pengilly won 4-0 in this battle of top 10 wrestlers. The state's consensus No. 1 wrestler for this weight class should come out on top again in defense of his league title, but this is a matchup of potential state placers fans don't want to miss.

Prediction: Pengilly 4-1.

 

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