Two Windsor wrestlers take 8th in state meet

Windsor’s Dominic DuCharme, top, battles Abner Romero of Buchanan for seventh place at 152 pounds Saturday. Romero scored an 11-2 major decision over DuCharme, leaving the Windsor wrestler in eighth place. (John Sachs / Tech-Fall.com)

Windsor’s Dominic DuCharme, top, battles Abner Romero of Buchanan for seventh place at 152 pounds Saturday. Romero scored an 11-2 major decision over DuCharme, leaving the Windsor wrestler in eighth place. (John Sachs / Tech-Fall.com)

By ALLIE COLOSKY

FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Windsor wrestlers Dominic DuCharme and Beau Colombini both medaled at the CIF state wrestling tournament Saturday in Bakersfield, rounding out a successful year for the Jaguars as the final two competitors to represent the Redwood Empire.

“To have two guys coming back with medals is incredible,” Windsor head coach Rich Carnation said. “We’re going to bring them back next year with a bunch of their friends.”

After winning early in the tournament on Friday, both DuCharme and Colombini fell in their quarterfinals matches to the first- and second-ranked wrestlers in their weight groups, respectively.

Saturday’s consolation matches were viewed as a must-win, said Carnation, if they wanted to reach the top eight in the state in their weight classes.

“It was make or break for so many kids,” Carnation said. “Both boys focused in on the match and wrestled extremely hard. They didn’t lose focus and they really turned it on.”

DuCharme started out in an uphill battle in his first match of the day, trailing 3-0 before coming back to win 12-4 before dropping his next two matches.

“I knew I had to win my first match to be in top 8,” he said. “That’s all I was focused on.”

DuCharme’s ability to fight back after he was down on points was no surprise, said Carnation, and even though the two wrestlers came up short in the following matches, they gained more by experiencing state-level competition.

“They gained the experience necessary to get back here and bring something home with them,” Carnation said. “They know that the difference between placing and bringing home a medal is just a thin slice of the onion.”

Colombini said he felt good coming into his first match Saturday, where he recorded the win over a Chico wrestler, but then fell 3-1 and 6-1 in subsequent matches to be eliminated from the tournament.

“It’s my first time at state and it’s a completely different stage,” said Colombini, “but I know what to expect now and I know what to work on for my senior year.

“I want to be the first one from Windsor to win it (a state title.)”

Both wrestlers made dramatic strides this year, and both had to climb in weight class.

DuCharme took fourth in the North Coast Section tournament last year at 126 pounds and climbed four weight classes this season.

Columbini, meanwhile, had finished sixth at 145 pounds in the NCS a year ago and reached the final eight in the state this season.

Both wrestlers return to an already dominant Jaguars squad for their senior year.

“We won tough tournaments and matches this year,” DuCharme said about the Jaguars’ successful season. “That’s going to be the difference between placing at state and winning the title.”

The Windsor wrestling team has a bright future, said Carnation, as he looks to its younger wrestlers to fill the leadership void of departing seniors next year.

Another proud moment for the Jaguars was the recognition of senior Noah Au-Yeung, who received one of the 20 Sportsmanship Awards issued at the tournament.

“This weekend didn’t turn out as expected,” said Carnation, “but that doesn’t mean he couldn’t be the team’s No. 1 fan. Windsor wrestling deserves to be on the top of the podium and we are going to get there.”