NCS wrestling dual team meet: Windsor dominates

By ERIC WITTMERSHAUS
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Sonoma County wrestling teams dominated Saturday’s NCS Division 2 Redwood Empire dual team meet in Lower Lake, with Windsor crushing Rancho Cotate in the final, 62-9.

The final four was an all-Sonoma County affair. To advance to the finals, the Jaguars and Cougars each had to beat a formidable, familiar opponent from its own league. In the semifinals, Rancho Cotate stopped Maria Carrillo for the second time this season, while Windsor avenged a narrow loss to Healdsburg on Jan.11, the lone blemish on the Jaguars’ SCL record.

Windsor coach Rich Carnation said his team was in much better shape for Healdsburg the second time around, while the Greyhounds didn’t have all their wrestlers Saturday.

“Our kids are peaking at the right time,” Carnation said. “This is our first time we’ve had our whole team together all year.”

Despite the margin of victory over Rancho, Carnation said the Cougars were a strong opponent.

“The scores seem pretty lopsided, but the Rancho kids wrestled really tough,” Carnation said, adding that the Cougars were missing two top wrestlers, Vincent Luis at 120 pounds and Brian Guerrero at 112.

Rancho Cotate coach Ryan Lunsford said he wasn’t surprised by the result. Lunsford said he had to bump a few wrestlers up a weight class because of holes in his roster.  Despite the changes, Joey Clay went undefeated at 154, while Anthony Navarro did the same at 184.

“When you’re going into duals, one wrestler can change the whole match score and make it look lopsided,” Lunsford said.

He was also quick to give credit to Windsor.

“I knew Windsor was the team to beat, and I didn’t think anyone would beat them,” he said.

All the crooked scores meant the Jaguars had a number of wrestlers who went undefeated.
Perez Perez, Noah Au-Yeung, Logan Fore, Seth Trunick, Trevor Silva, Ishi Silva, Cody Roe, Christian “Biscuit” Delagnes and James Liggett each won out, Carnation said. Also winning all his matches was Alexander Lee, who holds a 4.5 grade point average and just got accepted to the Naval Academy.

“We’ve got a really good mix of kids,” Carnation said. “Our seniors are showing some really good leadership, but our freshmen and sophomores are our guys all year who have been scoring the big points, placing at tournaments and stuff.”

Carnation, who was recently sidelined for several weeks with an ailment that required surgery, credited Kevin Guinn, a former four-time NBL champion at Rancho, and fellow assistants Sean Henry and Cody Howe with keeping the Jaguars in peak form in his absence.

After falling to Rancho Cotate in quarterfinals, Maria Carrillo rolled through the consolation bracket, beating Del Norte to take third place.

“We just didn’t wrestle well against Rancho,” Pumas coach Tim Bruce said of his squad’s second loss to the Cougars this year. “We just came out kind of flat and didn’t wrestle to the best of our ability.”

Still, Bruce was pleased with the way his wrestlers bounced back after losing in the quarterfinal.
“We wrestled really well today. We are almost where we need to be,” Bruce said. “I really anticipated us doing well and finishing in the top three. I’m happy with what everybody did.”

Puma wrestlers who came up big included Jacob Groesbeck at 170 pounds, Ramon Contreras at 152, Fabian Vasquez at 147, Ryan Hughes at 152 and Dakota Albaum at heavyweight. Evan Bluestone at 120 was 2-0, with both wins by forfeit.
Bruce said he was surprised at Windsor’s lopsided win over Rancho Cotate, which also beat the Pumas in a league dual meet earlier this year.

“It’s gonna be brutal,” Bruce said when asked how next year’s NBL schedule would shape up with Windsor and Casa Grande joining the fold.
The lopsided win over one of the NBL’s top two teams had Carnation and his kids excited about next year.

“That was one of the things that the kids brought up,” Carnation said of realignment. “We know we’re going to the NBL next year, and we want to set the tone and let ’em know we’re coming.”
For a number of the Jaguars who played on Windsor’s undefeated football team, Saturday marked their second NCS

championship in just a few months. Salvador Carrillo, who upset Healdsburg’s Eric Chavez in the heavyweight division, Greenlee, Liggett, Delagnes, Chad Gradek and Beau Thompson all played football for Windsor.

DIVISION 3
In the smaller-school Division3 bracket, Upper Lake beat St. Patrick/St. Vincent of the Bay Shore Athletic League, 53-21. Kelseyville won the third-place game, 51-34, over McKinleyville.

Cardinal Newman, which made NCS via an at-large bid, fell to California School of the Deaf in the first round, 49-27. The Cardinals, who finished tied with Ukiah for fourth in the North Bay League, saw their bid bolstered by Wednesday’s upset of Rancho Cotate in the last league dual of the season. Coach Francisco Manriquez’s squad was the only NBL team to beat the Cougars in the regular season.

Eric Wittmershaus is The Press Democrat’s online sports editor. You can reach him at 521-5433 or eric.wittmershaus@press
democrat.com.