NCS wrestling: Windsor wins first team championship


The Windsor boys wrestling team won the NCS title on Saturday in Newark. (Photo by Peter Fournier, The Press Democrat)

The Windsor boys wrestling team won the NCS title on Saturday in Newark. (Photo by The Press Democrat’s Peter Fournier)

NEWARK — Windsor High wrestling coach Rich Carnation was calculating the numbers hard at the North Coast Section wrestling championships on Friday and Saturday. The fact was that the team title was going to come down to the Jaguars and James Logan High of Union City, and the margin of victory was going to be close.

How close? Windsor won its first NCS title by 1.5 points over Logan on Saturday at Newark Memorial High School. That’s it.

“The math was tight, all weekend long,” Carnation said. “We both have really good teams.”

Carnation said his team came into the day with nine wrestlers who could score points for the team standings, and Logan eight.

And there wasn’t one match that didn’t matter.

“Everybody on our team contributed,” Carnation said. “If one guy wouldn’t have scored the one point that they did, we wouldn’t have won. It was a team effort, completely.”

Carnation did point to one match that turned the advantage toward Windsor, and that was Perez Perez’s 113-pound match

Perez avenged last year’s defeat in the 106-pound finals to Jared Luty by defeating him in this year’s 113-pound finals with a 7-3 decision.

“He picked up 14 (team) points with that,” Carnation said.

And yes, that defeat in the final last year lived with Perez for the entire past year.

“Honestly, I don’t think there was a day that went by that I didn’t think about that match,” he said. “Except maybe for the state meet . . . even all this week, especially — flashbacks from last year. That just stays in your head until you work even harder, and it all pays off in the end.”

And no, losing wasn’t an option this year. Absolutely not.

“I wasn’t going to lose that match, I don’t know how to say that,” he said. “I just couldn’t lose that match, in my mind, I couldn’t. If I lost, I don’t know what I would have done. I would have freaked, I’m not sure.”

The other two Windsor wrestlers who reached their individual finals were Noah Ah-Yueng and Trevor Silva. Ah-Yueng lost his finals match against Logan’s Jacob Donato, but the final score, a 10-3 regular decision, turned out to be crucial.

“They were hoping to get 16 (team) points,” Carnation said. “Noah fought hard, wrestled tough, and came back and kept it to a regular decision, and they only scored three points.”

Silva lost his match to Logan’s Jacob Macalolooy, but Logan scored only four points from the match victory. At that point, Carnation said, Logan had one wrestler left, and needed a victory in the 182-pound match to win the title.

The other three teams to finish in the top 20 were Ukiah in ninth, Cardinal Newman in 12th, Lower Lake in 17th and Healdsburg in a tie for 19th with Heritage. Wrestlers who finished in the top three of their weight divisions qualify for the state meet.

The 152-pound NCS wrestling final featured a battle between two Redwood Empire finalists, Cardinal Newman’s P.J. Klee and Healdsburg’s Ian Black. Klee defeated Black in a 23-8 technical decision, celebrating with a backflip in the center of the mat after the match.

“I always try to say I’m helping my flexibility, athleticism stuff, but my teammates were going to be pissed at me if I didn’t do it. Might as well just go out and have some fun,” he said.

Healdsburg coach Scott Weidemier said the important thing — after learning Klee was in the the same weight class this weekend — was to get to state.

“He’s just one of those talents,” Weidemier said. “You can’t be ashamed about losing to a kid like that.”

Weidemier was recognized as the North Coast Section’s Honor Coach of the Year prior to the start of the finals.

“I’m really honored and incredibly humbled,” Weidemier said. “I’m a little flabbergasted. It really is a big honor.”

Healdsburg’s Jacob Sloma (160) finished in sixth.

Ukiah’s Pablo Gonzalez won the 285-pound section title with a 3-2 decision victory over Rangel Lowry of Deer Valley.

“It’s the best feeling because I put in so much hard work,” he said. “I almost just killed myself in the practice room and I just can’t really explain it. It’s really awesome.”

Gonzalez credited his training in winning the title by one point. He’s confident he’ll place at state, and move on to finals.

“I’ve trained too hard not to place,” Gonzalez said.

Ukiah’s Dray Payne won the 160-pound NCS title, one year after finishing fifth at sections, and credits the improvement to his conditioning.

“I’ve been running five miles in the morning, every morning, up and down hills with my coach George Lopez,” Payne said. “He’d wake me up every morning to go run. That’s pretty much it.”

Rancho Cotate’s Brian Guerrero qualified for state with a third place finish in the 120-pound bracket.

Maria Carrillo’s Evan Bluestone (134) finished in fourth after falling in the semis to Amador Valley’s and then in the third place match to James Logan’s Felix Bonavente in a4-3 decision.

“We’ve wrestled before and we knew it was going to be a tight match like this, and Evan knew it was going to be a tight match like this,” Pumas coach Tim Bruce said.

Bonavente’s nose started bleeding late in the third round, something Bruce thought the injury timeout helped the injured wrestler regain his breath.

“It helped. Yeah,” Bruce said. “You’ve been wresting for four and a half minutes. You’re going to be tired. That little 60 second or 90 seconds he had for a break was enough that he needed.”

Archbishop Hanna’s Alex Garcia (126) set school history by placing in seventh. The school started its wrestling program three years ago, and Gracia has been in it from the start. He finished 6-3 in the NCS tournament.

“We’re very excited,” coach David Montano said.


Team standings:

1. Windsor 228.5

2. James Logan 227

3. De La Salle 204.5

9. Ukiah 102.5

12. Cardinal Newman 80

17. Lower Lake 63

19. Healdsburg 60

28. Maria Carrillo 51

38. Montgomery 41

Individual medalists (top 3 advance to state meet)

106 pounds

4. Denny Layden, Montgomery

5. Auston Wilson, Windsor

113 pounds

1. Perez Perez, Windsor

120 pounds

2. Noah Au-Yeung, Windsor

3. Brian Guerrero, Rancho Cotate

5. Antonio Lopez, Upper Lake

126 pounds

4. Dominic DuCharme, Windsor

7. Alex Garcia, Archbishop Hanna – first medal in program’s history

8. Blake Hartlieb, Petaluma

132 pounds

4. Evan Bluestone, Maria Carrillo

7. Seth Trunick, Windsor

138 pounds

2. Trevor Silva, Windsor

4. Joe Gradek, Ukiah

6. Shane Tupper, Fort Bragg

145 pounds

4. Michael Klee – Cardinal Newman

6. Beau Colombini – Windsor

8. Dominic Dingess – Lower Lake

152 pounds

1. PJ Klee, Cardinal Newman

2. Ian Black, Healdsburg

8. Erick Moreno, Lower Lake

160 pounds

1. Dray Payne, Ukiah

6. Jacob Sloma, Healdsburg

195 pounds

3. Paris Henry, Windsor

220 pounds

8. Kenny Beeler, Analy

287 pounds

1. Pablo Gonzales, Ukiah

3. William Isaacs, Lower Lake

4. Salvador Carrillo, Windsor

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