Spartans pin down South Bay League dual meet title with win over Trojans


Efrain Montoya was among nine Chula Vista wrestlers to win matches. Photo by Phillip Brents

The Chula Vista Spartans wrestling team last won a league championship in 2005. The long wait is over after the Spartans defeated host Castle Park, 51-25, on Jan. 30 to lay claim to this year’s South Bay League dual meet banner.

“We had guys who had heart and didn’t quit — that was the key,” CVHS head coach Darrell McPherren said in regard to the team’s championship season. “They exceeded expectations.”

Chula Vista roared to a 27-0 lead in the dual meet against an undefeated Trojan team. The Spartans extended their lead to 33-3 midway through the dual before weathering a late comeback by the host team.

Castle Park narrowed the score to 33-25 with three weight classes remaining with the opportunity to capture the league banner with three wins.

However, Chula Vista’s Javier Brizuela secured the banner for his team when he recorded a pin with 1:24 left in the third period in his 195-pound weight class. Ahead 39-25 on the scoreboard with two matches remaining, the Spartans had enough points to win the dual.

The visitors closed out the afternoon with wins in the final two matches to win by a sizable margin.

Chula Vista mat men recorded seven pins in winning nine of the 14 matches.

Chula Vista broke out to early leads of 27-0 and 33-3 over the host Trojans. Photos by Phillip Brents

Spartans recording falls included Armando Dilan (113), Alexis Lopez (120), Efrain Montoya (126), Alex Hernandez (132), Jake Muniz (145), Brizuela and heavyweight Andrew Marquez.

Carlye MacPherson won by a 5-3 decision at 103 pounds while Ricardo Contreras won by injury default at 220 pounds.

Muniz trailed 11-5 on points before recording a comeback pin.

Castle Park won five matches, including four consecutive bouts from 154 to 182 pounds.

Andrew Ramirez started off the impassioned run by scoring a fall with 54 seconds left in the second period to make the score 33-9. The Trojans recorded a 12-2 major decision in the next weight to narrow the score further to 33-13.

Pins at 170 and 182 brought the hosts to within eight points.

Chula Vista also won league titles in 1994 and 1996. Among the alumni on the current Spartan coaching staff are Brian Halter, Jordan Thomas and Bill Virchis, a 1962 CVHS grad.

The teams will meet again at this Saturday’s Metro Conference championship tournament at Southwest High School. Wrestling is scheduled to start at 9 a.m.


Eagles soar with runner-up finish at 57th annual Holtville Rotary Invitational

The Olympian High School boys wrestling team continues to soar above South County competition after recording a meteoric second-place team finish at last weekend’s 57th annual Holtville Rotary Invitational in Imperial Valley.

The Eagles scored 205.5 team points and recorded six place-finishers in the 47-team tournament that began last Friday and concluded on Saturday.

San Ysidro’s Israel Ramirez (128 pounds) was one of two Metro Conference champions at last weekend’s Hotlville Invitational. Photo by Phillip Brents

The Holtville tournament is believed to be one of the longest-running high school wrestling tournaments in the state and has been a staple among South County teams for years as a prep for the upcoming Metro Conference and San Diego Section divisional championships.

Four Olympian wrestlers advanced to the championship finals at last weekend’s duel in the desert.

Mico Gonzalez won his 140-pound division while teammates Zachary Ramos (115 pounds), Ryan Magsino (128) and Michael Esquer (162 pounds) all finished in second place.

Gonzalez recorded a 6-4 decision over Steele Canyon’s Ezra Cardenas in the championship round to finish 5-0 in the tournament.

Ramos won his opening four matches, including three by pins, before dropping a 3-1 decision to Rancho Bernardo’s Brandon Eusebio in the finals.

Magsino won his opening four matches — two by fall — before coming up short in a 5-3 overtime decision against San Ysidro’s Israel Ramirez.

Meanwhile, Esquer pinned his way to the championship match before being shut out in a 6-0 decision against Imperial’s Paul Ortiz.

The Eagles had three wrestlers notch fifth-place finishes: Ralph Magsino (122), Alejandro Llarena (154) and Brian Reyes (184 pounds).

Magsino recorded a 5-2 record with four pins. Llarena finished 4-2 with two pins while Reyes finished 6-2 with three pins and two wins by major decision.

Seven South County teams participated. Eastlake finished eighth in the team standings with 119 points, followed by Bonita Vista in 20th place with 72 points, San Ysidro in 24th place with 52 points, Mater Dei Catholic in 35th place with 28 points, Castle Park in 38th place with 22 points and Mar Vista in 43rd place with seven points.

Rancho Bernardo won the team title with a runaway total of 349.5 points.

San Ysidro’s Ramirez finished 5-0 to capture his weight class, recording four minor decisions (two by shutout margin) and one pin.

Eastlake’s Jesus Plascencia placed third in his 115-pound weight class while Titan teammate Dawson Galvan finished fifth at 172 pounds.

Bonita Vista recorded three place-finishers: Cameron Alanis (fifth, 115), Isaac Lopez (sixth, 122) and Ricardo Castillo (sixth, 140).

Eastern exposure
Granite Hills led the East County contingent at last weekend’s Holtville Invitational with a sixth-place team finish while Steele Canyon finished 13th, West Hills finished 15th, Helix finished 16th, Valhalla finished 18th, El Capitan finished 22nd and Santana finished 30th.

Granite HIlls’ Justin Carroll won his 134-pound weight class at the 47-team Holtville Rotary Invitational. Photo by Phillip Brents

Granite Hills’ Justin Carroll captured his 134-pound division while second-place finishers included Steele Canyon’s Logan Robinson (108), Valhalla’s Matthew Jordan (122 pounds) and Steele Canyon’s Ezra Cardenas (140).

Carroll finished 5-0 with three pins and a major decision. He pinned Rancho Bernardo’s Ryan Badgett in 2:08 in the finals.

Granite Hills’ other place-finishers included Joel Corella (finished, 140 pounds) and Ivan Miramontes (fifth, 147).

“We wrestled well overall,” Granite Hills head coach Jesse Sheard said.  “We brought some young guys who made it to the second day, which is something to look forward to. We had three placers. Carroll was impressive. He wrestled tough and couldn’t be stopped that day. I’m proud of that kid. He has come a long way and seems to be turning it on at the right time.

“Corella wrestled well. He had some tough matches and fought the whole time. Also turning it on at the right time. Miramontes is coming back from an injury and seems to be getting back in the grove.

“We wrestled well, but we have some things to fix before CIF and Masters.”

Robinson won his opening four matches, including three by pin, before dropping a 4-3 decision to Rancho Bernardo’s Nikko Beato in the finals.

Jordan won his opening four matches, two by pin, before dropping a 9-3 decision to Valley Center’s Thomas Lavigne in the finals.

Cardenas also won his first four matches – two by pin and another by a major decision – before falling short in the finals with a 6-4 loss to Olympian’s Gonzalez.

The Highlanders finished with three place-finishers: Lex Lo (fourth, 172), Isaiah Graves (sixth, 115) and Ty Dean (sixth, 147).

Valhalla had two other place-finishers: Guadalupe Garcia (fourth, 154) and Michael Carmona (sixth, 184 pounds).

West Hills had three place-finishers: Jake Maheu (fourth, 1840, Justin Zingale (sixth, 134) and Norman Stone (sixth, 154).

The Helix Highlanders defeated the host Monte Vista Monarchs, 38-33, on Jan. 30 to remain undefeated in Grossmont Valley League dual competition. Photo by Phillip Brents