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NBL wrestling: Windsor notches convincing win over Cardinal Newman

By TED SILLANPAA
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

It’s a good thing that Cardinal Newman wrestling coach Francisco Manriquez and his crew don’t put much stock in North Bay League dual meets.

“We see dual meets as practice for our team,” Manriquez said after his host Cardinals were manhandled by powerful Windsor, 72-3, on Wednesday. “We see them as a good way to assess our team.”

After Windsor won eight of 12 contested matches by pin, the clear assessment after the NBL opener is that the Jaguars have a juggernaut that could be headed to great things this season.

“The NBL meet, the North Coast Section meet and the state meet are the the events that are really important,” Manriquez said.

Windsor showed, again, that it has the talent to win the league, the section and shine in the state meet.

Seth Trunick started the Jaguars’ rout with a third-round pin after a competitive showing by Alan Contreras at 132 pounds. Trevor Silva (138) won by pin before Cardinal Newman’s Pat McCormick got his team’s only points with a decision at 145.

After that, the Windsor steamroller just flattened the Cardinals.

Cody Roe (170) earned a second-round pin before Matt Blumenthal turned in an impressive 11-3 victory over Trent Klein at 170.

“We deserve everything we get out there,” Trunick said. “We practice hard. We work hard. We’ve got great training partners. Our coaches prepared us perfectly for tonight. We got what we deserved. We get what we deserve when we wrestle.”

Clearly, Trunick believes the Jaguars deserved to turn a successful evening into complete domination because Isai Guzman (182) pinned his foe with 16.4 seconds left in the first round before Oscar Rios registered a breathtaking pin in the first round at 190. Paris Henry (220) won by first-round pin, needing just 70 seconds. Heavyweight Christian Delagnes had a first-round pin, too.

Highly ranked Perez Perez finished a streak of six straight wins by pin at 113 pounds. He wasted little time or energy to end things with 38.3 seconds left in the opening round.

It was the massive Rios who put on the most incredible display of strength and skill. He led Paul Tiernan just 2-1 when he grabbed his leg, locked him up and lifted him completely off the mat, putting the Cardinals wrestler’s head precariously close to the low-hanging light fixtures in the Cardinal Newman wrestling facility. Rios then spun and slammed Tiernan to the mat for a pin just 1 minute, 48 seconds into the match.

“I think we both rely on our strength,” Rios said in a notable display of humility. “He (Tiernan) is strong, too. He’s good. I was just stronger. I go out every time to work on my technique and get better. It was more about strength today.”

Rios, along with Perez, are the most impressive among all the impressive Jaguars.

“I worked really hard in the summer,” Rios said. “I wrestled at the junior college with those guys. I’m actually a little surprised by how well I’ve wrestled, but I want to keep going to achieve all my goals.”

Even Fore, who battled Michael Klee to a 12-3 victory in the final match of the night, responded to a deceptively lopsided final margin as though it was exactly what he and his team deserved.

“He (Klee) is a good kid … he’s tough,” Fore said. “I’ve had two losses this season to two state-ranked wrestlers. I knew exactly what to expect tonight. He didn’t do anything I wasn’t prepared for. Our coaches get us ready. I’m pleased with the win and pleased with how the season’s going.”

It’s no surprise that the powerhouse from Windsor views dual meets, and everything else at this point in the season, as prelude to what really matters.

“Our goals are to win the section and do well at the state meet,” Trunick said. “The section and the state meet, those are our goals.”

Manriquez knows Cardinal Newman is a long way from competing at Windsor’s level.

“We have a really young team,” he said.

“It’s not about strength or technique, it’s about mat time. It’s about whether a guy started wrestling when he was 6 years old or whether he started when he got to high school. We have lots of kids who started when they got here. We have a lot of work to do, but I’m still proud of all of our kids.”