Fri, Jan 20 2012 12:05 PM Posted By: Phillip Brents
The Olympian High School wrestling program is in its fifth varsity season. The Eagles turned in their most successful season to date in 2010-11 by capturing the South Bay League dual championship.
Like all other sports on campus in 2011-12, Olympian’s mat program has moved to the more competitive Mesa League. That has had its share of positives and negatives.
The plus-spin: wrestlers at the Sweetwater district’s newest school will be challenged by tougher competition and should benefit in terms of development and post-season success.
The minus-spin: The Eagles are competing against other schools with approximately double the student enrollment level — and thus, the talent base.
The school’s football team faced a similar scenario during the fall season and went on to capture the Metro-Mesa League championship with victories against Eastlake, Otay Ranch, Chula Vista and Bonita Vista.
But the remainder of Olympian’s sports teams during the fall season didn’t fare nearly as well.
“We’re hoping to improve and compete with these top level teams in the Mesa League,” OHS co-coach Aramis Vera said.
The Eagles got their baptism by fire via a 36-23 dual loss to defending league champion Eastlake on Jan. 12 (in what was a rare match-up of league champs).
The team’s remaining schedule should be equally competitive. Olympian will compete in the San Ysidro Invitational on Jan. 28, South Bay Invitational (at Otay Ranch High School) on Feb. 4, and will test Hilltop and Otay Ranch in dual encounters to close out regular season action.
The Metro Conference finals are scheduled Feb. 11, followed by the San Diego Section divisional championships Feb. 18 and the San Diego Masters state qualifying tournament Feb. 24-25.
The Eagles hope to have a high profile at all three post-season tournaments.
Olympian took a step in that direction after capturing the championship title of last Saturday’s Mater Dei Catholic duals. The Eagles defeated the Ramona Bulldogs, 42-33, in the final to cap an undefeated 5-0 showing.
Four OHS mat men earned gold medals: Bryan Sanchez (113), Jeremiah Deinla (126), Devon Flores (182) and Victor Huracha (195). Silver medalists included Jake Schaeffer (106) and Jose Gonzalez (120). The team’s three bronze medalists included Cezar Bautista (132), Joey Schaeffer (138) and Cameron Gary (145).
Olympian posted preliminary dual victories against Castle Park (58-24), Eastlake B (63-13), Eastlake A (35-30) and Palo Verde (45-31).
“We’re very excited as a team to beat an experienced team like Ramona that has been wrestling at a high level for a number of years,” Vera said. “We’re excited about continuing to build our program.”
The Eagles placed third in their own tournament — the Olympian Duals — the weekend before Christmas. The hosts defeated Patrick Henry for the consolation title after dropping a semifinal dual to Yuma’s KOFA High.
Among those posting 5-0 records at the Olympian duals were Flores (with five pins), Jake Schaeffer and Huracha.
Flores, one of the backbones of the Eagles’ history-making trip to the Division III football championship game at Qualcomm Stadium in December, boasted a 15-2 record following the team’s championship run at the Mater Dei tournament.
Flores is only one among several wrestlers with lop-sided records so far this season. Sanchez is 17-4, Deinla is 16-5, Huracha is 15-6, Joey Schaeffer is 14-7, Gonzalez is 13-4, Jake Schaeffer is 13-7 and Bautista is 11-5.
“Hopefully, we can have someone on our team win CIF,” Vera said.
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