By PETER FOURNIER
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
It took Lower Lake 140-pound wrestler Dominick Dingess a few seconds to come back to his senses after his head hit the mat hard in his finals match against Vacaville’s Eric Uldall during the Puma Classic at Maria Carrillo High School.
Head shaken, his focus wasn’t as the Trojan pinned the Bulldog moments later to take home Lower Lake’s sole first-place finish in the tournament.
Dingess couldn’t believe what was happening.
“It was pretty exciting, I guess,” he said. “I saw stars when I hit my head and I couldn’t really think. My coaches did a really good job in training me, I guess.”
Vacaville would win the tournament, finishing with 274 points, including six first-place finishes and three runner-ups. Bulldogs coach Clint Birch wasn’t too surprised with how Dingess came back from a hard fall.
“That’s kind of part of the sport,” Birch said. “If you can’t handle a knock on the head . . . He got up and he wrestled hard.”
Host Maria Carrillo had three fifth-place finishers: Evan Bluestone in 122s, Ryan Hughes in 154s and Jacob Groesbeck at 182s. Additionally, Tucker Brown finished sixth at 140, while Ramon Contreras was sixth at 162. Contreras injury defaulted to sixth but had been scheduled to wrestle in the semifinals, Pumas coach Tim Bruce said.
The highest finishing Empire high school was Windsor, coming in fourth with two first-place finishers and one in second and fourth place. Logan Fore fought off a late charge by Vacaville’s Cameron Bailey to grab the 128-pound crown with a 6-4 decision. Fore started down 2-0 until a reversal in the second round turned the momentum of the match into his favor.
“I was able to get that reversal,” Fore said. “That really helped me a lot. The first round was kind of rusty for me but second and third round I was able to pick it up and get those points.”
Windsor coach Rich Carnation said it wasn’t the first time Fore has had to fight back.
“Logan has been in that situation many times this year where guys will come around and get in a certain spot and if you watch the flurry when it was over, Logan was in a dominant position when they were done,” Carnation said. “I thought from the moment the second period started, Logan was in control the whole time.”
Perez Perez won the 108-pound class via pin for Windsor, Noah Au-Yeung grabbed second in 122s and Salvador Carrillo finished fourth in 287s.
The Jaguars will take most of next week off, other than a dual-meet with Montgomery on Wednesday, to rest up for what Carnation called a “brutal four-week stretch” of tournaments, including NCS and state.
Rancho Cotate finished in seventh with three second-place finishers: Joey Clay in 154s, Ty Brantley in 162 and Brian Guerrero in 115s.
Lower Lake was eighth with one wrestler each placing in first, third and fourth: Dingess with his top-place medal in 140s, William Isaacs was third in 287s and Thomas Cross was fourth in 172s. El Molino’s Taryn Christiansen finished second in 197s.
Casa Grande’s Sean O’Brien finished second at 184 pounds.
Windsor was the only team besides Vacaville to have multiple first-place finishers. Birch was impressed with how his Bulldogs squad is “wrestling” to victories.
“We’re doing a lot of moves, and I think sometimes people forget wrestling moves win wrestling matches,” he said. “So my kids are hitting a lot of moves from a lot of different positions.”