Maria Carrillo hosts local, Bay Area wrestlers at Saturday meet

Windsor's Beau Colombini, top, defeated Northgate's Ian Morford during the King of the Mat wrestling tournament held at Windsor High School, Saturday, Jan. 17, 2015. (Crista Jeremiason / The Press Democrat)

Windsor’s Beau Colombini, top, defeated Northgate’s Ian Morford during the King of the Mat wrestling tournament held at Windsor High School, Saturday, Jan. 17, 2015. (Crista Jeremiason / The Press Democrat)

By ALLIE COLOSKY

FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Some of the top wrestlers in Northern California will head to Maria Carrillo High School Saturday to compete in the 17th annual Puma Classic.

“We pack all the action of a two-day tournament into one day,” said Maria Carrillo head coach Tim Bruce. “The level of competition is pretty darn high here.”

The tournament features more than 320 wrestlers from 38 teams as they use this event as a stepping stone to the North Coast Section playoffs and the ultimate goal of the state finals.

“It holds a lot of weight for a one-day tournament,” Bruce said. “This is step one to the state meet. It’s a sneak peek.”

Wrestlers from local teams including Maria Carrillo, Windsor, Petaluma, and Casa Grande will face off with wrestlers from Freedom High School, Mission San Jose and Vacaville — the reigning Puma Classic champions for the last six years.

“We’ve got some of the top-ranked kids in the North Coast Section,” Bruce said about the talent that will be on display.

“We’ve got the biggest brackets and the toughest competitions for a one-day tournament.”

The Pumas’ Jacob Groesbeck will return looking to improve on last year’s performance, while Beau Colombini and Dominic DuCharme will lead the Windsor Jaguars. Jordan Aquino from Vacaville — who placed seventh in the state last year — will also be returning to the mat in Santa Rosa.

The tournament begins at 9 a.m. and as the brackets are narrowed down, the final matches are likely to begin around 6 p.m., Bruce said.

With most wrestlers at the weight they want to compete at, Bruce said that this is the first real test for athletes on their way to the state meet.

“The talent pool is very deep here,” he added, “and guys are coming in to test the waters.”