By MICHAEL COIT
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Healdsburg’s season-opening win over Windsor could prove the difference in Sonoma County League wrestling as both teams are handling rivals heading to the league and section championships.
The Greyhounds’ two-point victory against the Jaguars showed how even the teams are. Both also defeated a strong El Molino squad, making Healdsburg and Windsor the favorites to represent the SCL at the North Coast Section dual meet championships.
The tournament featuring the region’s top 10 teams is a prelude to league finals where the top individuals in more than a dozen weight classes compete to qualify for the section and California prep championships.
“The league tournament is going to be real interesting. Our team is solidifying,” said Windsor coach Rich Carnation.
The SCL tourney at Analy on Feb. 19 gives Windsor a shot to reverse the earlier loss to Healdsburg. That the Greyhounds remain the team to beat reflects their dominance in several weight classes and overall depth.
“Our kids are starting to round into shape. Some of the young guys are doing pretty well,” said Healdsburg coach Scott Weidemier.
The big three of Adam Hendrickson (No. 1 NCS/No. 6 state at 140 pounds), Travis Arreguin (No. 2 NCS/No. 28 state at 145 pounds) and Matthew Tsarnas (No. 2 NCS/No. 34 state at 152 pounds) produce big point totals for Healdsburg and should reach the state finals.
Also wrestling particularly strong for the Greyhounds are Marcos Anguiano at 173 pounds and Ricardo Sandoval at 191 pounds. Eric Chavez is ranked No. 8 in NCS at 285 pounds.
Windsor has a pair of great athletes at either end of the weight classes. Andres Torres, No. 1 NCS and No. 8 state at 112 pounds, is the Jaguars’ best hope to reach the state meet. Justin Oxford, No. 8 NCS at 215 pounds, helps power the Jaguars along with Perez Perez at 105 pounds and Trevor Silva at 121 pounds.
A pair of very similar losses to the league’s top teams leaves El Molino in third. Still, the Lions are talented and could get three wrestlers to the state finals.
Moving up to 130 pounds this season, Blake Borges is ranked No. 3 NCS and No. 38 in the state. Jared Garner is No. 4 NCS for 215 pounds, and Logan Fore is No. 8 NCS at 112 pounds. Taryn Christianson has been a pleasant surprise at 162 pounds.
One of the season’s tight matches was Petaluma’s win over Casa Grande. Both teams are young but improving.
A Gauchos wrestler with his eye on reaching the state meet is Jack Fausone, No. 4 NCS/Honorable Mention state at 145 pounds.
The three-week gauntlet — league finals, section and state championships — tests the conditioning of athletes who already have worked through a season of weekend tournaments and weekday league meets.
“The key is to definitely stay healthy,” Carnation said.