The San Ysidro Cougars wrestling team appears to have picked up right where it left off by winning yet another South County tournament title.
The Cougars scored a history-making effort by winning both the varsity and junior varsity team titles at last season’s Metro Conference championship tournament.
San Ysidro opened the 2012-13 high school season in optimistic fashion by capturing first place at last Saturday’s 28-team Battle by the Beach tournament at Mar Vista High School.
“We graduated 11 seniors last season, so this a basically new varsity team,” SYHS head coach Mario Ramirez said. “We haven’t stopped since last season. We’ve been working every day. This group is really dedicated. We’ve got 30 to 40 guys who are going year-round.”
Despite the extreme line-up makeover, the Cougars firmly placed their stamp on last weekend’s tourney. San Ysidro advanced eight wrestlers to the semifinals, five grapplers to the finals and finished with two weight class champions.
San Ysidro easily out-distanced runner-up Monte Vista by 55 points in the team standings. The Cougars finished 86 points ahead of fifth place Hilltop — their nearest Metro challenger.
Steele Canyon finished third, five points behind Monte Vista, while Mira Mesa was a solid fourth — 23 points ahead of Hilltop.
Nine Metro teams competed last weekend. Olympian finished 10th — 28 points behind Hilltop — while Mater Dei Catholic finished 13th, tourney-host Mar Vista was 16th, Sweetwater was 17th, Castle Park was 19th, Chula Vista was 21st and Montgomery was 24th.
Six local mat men won individual weight class titles while 12 Metro grapplers were represented in the 14 finals matches.
San Ysidro’s individual champions included 120-pounder Miguel Flores and 152-pounder Mario Yorba.
Placing runner-up in their respective weights for the Cougars were Sergio Ramirez (132), Robert Alatore (145) and heavyweight Alejandro Cazzares.
Hilltop had three finalists and two champions. Cruz Jaime won the 113-pound title and Wyatt Brenner won the 138-pound division while Anthony Ardagna finished second at 170 pounds.
Both Jaime and Brenner received bonus awards as the tournament’s outstanding light-weight and middle-weight wrestlers, respectively.
Olympian’s Bryan Sanchez (106) and Mater Dei Catholic’s Sean O’Rourke (126) rounded out the conference’s individual champions.
Mar Vista’s Jesse Terminel (126) and Castle Park’s Daniel Hernandez (182) both finished second in their weights.
Jaime, who placed second at last season’s Division II finals, collected an 18-2 technical fall in the quarterfinals, pinned his semifinal opponent and topped West Hills’ Mavrick Mooneyham by a 17-2 tech fall in the championship round.
Brenner, seeded third in his weight class, upset second-seeded Jon Elias of Calexico, 5-2, in the semifinals before going on to punctuate his championship performance with an 11-5 finals victory against Monte Vista’s Juan Velarde.
SY’s Flores finished second at last season’s Division I championships. He started the new season by recording a 15-6 major decision over Steele Canyon’s Brett Maynard at the Battle by the Beach finals.
Cougar teammate Yorba defeated another Steele Canyon grappler, Kelvin Schneemann, by an 8-3 decision in his championship match.
Sanchez, who recorded a 21-second pin in the semifinals, pinned Mira Mesa’s Jason Navara in 5:30 to cap his championship run while O’Rourke shut out Mar Vista’s Terminel by a 5-0 decision to win his gold medal.
Temecula Great Oak’s Kyle Barnett earned recognition as the tournament’s outstanding upper weight wrestler after recording four consecutive pins to win his 170-pound division.
If his name sounds familiar, his two older brothers, Chris and Carter Barnett, attended MVHS before the family relocated to Virginia and then to Temecula.
“It’s great to be back in California,” Kyle said. “I was raised here and what’s nice about wrestling in California is that there’s only one division at the state finals, which means that all the best wrestlers are there.”
Barnett also received the award for most pins in least time (15:24 in total mat time).
SY’s Mario Ramirez received the coveted Coaches Award.
“The South Bay is coming up,” said Mar Vista coach Mario Olmos, who presented the award. “I think Mario’s presence at San Ysidro has definitely made a difference.”
San Ysidro finished 19-0 in dual meet competition last season, winning the South Bay League championship.
Ramirez said the team’s goal is to go 16-0 this season.
“Going undefeated in duals is one of our goals as well as winning Metro again,” Ramirez said. “We’d like to be in the top five at CIF. But with Poway there this year, it’s going to be tough. I’m not talking about winning CIF this year but ask me that question again in five years.”
Battle by the Beach Wrestling Tournament
Saturday, Dec. 1 at Mar Vista High School
106: Bryan Sanchez (Olympian) pinned Jason Navara (Mira Mesa) 5:30
113: Cruz Jaime (Hilltop) tech fall Mavrick Mooneyham (West Hills) 17-2
120: Miguel Flores (San Ysidro) major decisioned Brett Maynard (Steele Canyon) 15-6
126: Sean O’Rourke (Mater Dei Catholic) decisioned Jesse Terminel (Mar Vista) 5-0
132: Reggie Salazar (Mira Mesa) decisioned Sergio Ramirez (San Ysidro) 6-4
138: Wyatt Brenner (Hilltop) decisioned Juan Velarde (Monte Vista) 11-5
145: Aaron Bautista (Mira Mesa) decisioned Robert Alatorre (San Ysidro) 12-8
152: Mario Yorba (San Ysidro) decisoined Kelvin Schneemann (Steele Canyon) 8-3
160: Brendan Briggs (Granite Hills) decisioned Noah Houston (Valhalla) 8-1
170: Kyle Barnett (Temecula Great Oak) pinned Anthony Ardagna (Hilltop) 3:30
182: Jose Serrano (Monte Vista) pinned Daniel Hernandez (Castle Park) 5:15
195: Ryan Palmares (Serra) decisioned Utah Mann (Valhalla) 9-6
220: Abdiel Meza (West Hills) decisioned Logan Stately (Steele Canyon) 7-3
285: Nathan Bush (Mira Mesa) decisioned Alejandro Cazzares (San Ysidro) 7-0
106: Emilio Rouse (El Capitan) pinned Justin Salas (San Ysidro) 2:27; Christian Perez (Steele Canyon) decsioned Robert Tabarez (Calexico) 6-2
113: Justin Duggie (El Capitan) tech fall Craig Hildebrand (Granite Hills) 19-4; Sebastion Chan (Grossmont) decisioned Jesus Razo (Brawley) 8-4
120: Austin Ball (Southwest El Centro) pinned Fernando Bauzo (Serra) 2:21; Kevin Teran (Calexico) pinned Dante Preciado (Olympian) 2:11
126: Ryan Maynard (Steele Canyon) decisioned Daniel Mendoza (Brawley) 6-4; Jose Reyes (San Ysidro) decisioned Jose Pedroza (Sweetwater) 10-8
132: Tris Bonventre (West Hills) decisioned Josh Walters (Mar Vista) 14-7; Malek Kazina (Serra) decisioned Alhambra (Mar Vista B) 6-2
138: Jeremiah Deinla (Olympian) defeated Mario Alatorre (San Ysidro) by injury default; Jonathan Elias (Calexico) decisioned Shea Wheatley (Granite Hills) 7-6
145: Alejandro Rivera (Mater Dei Catholic) decisioned Adrian Aguilar (Monte Vista) 9-8; Walt Bailey (Valhalla) defeated Jimmy Sanders (Southwest El Centro) by five match rule
152: Bryan Zeveda (Calexico) pinned Ross Lopez (Sweetwater) 2:44; Omar Lopez (Monte Vista) decisioned Richie Ramirez (Brawley) 9-3
160: Josiah Paraiso (Steele Canyon) pinned Alonso Alzua (Mater Dei Catholic) 3:54; Bruno Tirado (San Ysidro) decisioned Jesse Orduno (Chula Vista) 5-3
170: Sage Espinoza (Granite Hills) defeated Waseed Elhamad (Mira Mesa) by five match rule; Jose Ramirez (Brawley) pinned Alan Garcia (San Ysidro) 1:12
182: Richard Villegas (Grossmont) defeated Colin Forman (Steele Canyon) by five match rule; Rodolfo Campos (Calexico) pinned Derek Marc (Olympian) 2:22
195: Troy Omhem (Grossmont) decisioned Jaylon Candler (Chula Vista) 6-1; Steve Villaneuva (Southwest El Centro) decisioned Nick Crocker (Mar Vista) 8-1
220: Brandon Rosete (Monte Vista) pinned Alex Tamayo (Hilltop) 4:59; Martin Suaste (Torrey Pines) major decisioned Brandon Frias (Sweetwater) 14-6
285: Franco Saavedra (Granite Hills) decisioned Oscar Torres (Monte Vista) 7-1; John Morgan (Grossmont) pinned Robert Stretch (Castle Park) 3:43