The blows to Oakdale High’s varsity wrestling team continue to rain down.
A varsity lineup that was already without all four returning state qualifiers saw another tough hit when freshman standout Max Stevens was forced to withdraw from the Tim Brown Memorial Invitational on Friday and Saturday with a nagging shoulder injury.
With Stevens out of the lineup and returning state qualifiers Juan Garza and Dustin Harris still recovering from injuries, Oakdale was able to pin down four medals but had no appearances in the gold medal round.
“We are not going to whine about it because we have had a lot of good things go our way and it’s a part of coaching to have good team management to have these kids ready for when it matters most,” Oakdale coach Brian Stevens said. “It’s a little discouraging when a kid gets injured but when the time comes we will do much better than anybody thinks we are going to.”
Nico Colunga, Tyler Noon, Miko Arpoika and Hondo Arpoika all landed medals in tough 64-man brackets that included some of the best wrestlers from the Sac-Joaquin, Northern and North Coast sections.
Colunga (106 pounds) fell just 4-2 to runner-up Matthew Snull of Shasta in the quarterfinals, and won three consecutive bouts to reach the third-place match with top-seeded Tyler Scott of Henley (Oregon). Scott landed a big second round takedown to take a 2-0 lead that stuck, forcing Colunga to exit the tourney with a 5-2 record in fourth place. Noon (138) nearly edged fourth-seeded Dylan Furtado of Escalon in the championship bracket, but allowed late points to give Furtado a 5-4 victory.
Noon would win his next three matches, but settled for seventh after getting caught on his back by Nevada Union’s Johnny Callas in the consolation quarterfinals. He beat Taylor Ellerman of Oak Ridge to close tournament action at 6-2.
Miko Arpoika looked sharp in his first action at 170 pounds this year. He won three straight matches to reach the championship quarterfinals, but was stopped 10-0 by eventual tournament champion Scott Votino of Elk Grove. He won a big match in the consolation bracket to guarantee a medal, but allowed a last-second takedown to No. 2 seed Dustin Halverson of Dixon in the consolation quarterfinals. Miko outlasted Hugh Ellerman of Oak Ridge in a 5-4 win for seventh place.
Hondo Arpoika, fresh off a championship effort at the Lloyd Engel tourney in Escalon, fought back to medal after a loss to tourney champ Mark Jorgenson of Chico in his second match. The defeat set up five straight victories and a seventh place finish. Oakdale junior varsity wrestlers escaped the Enochs Tournament with eight medals. Karrell Estell, Joey Jacobson, Wyatt Hjelm, Miguel Ibarra and Jeremy Brandau all nabbed first place finishes. Frankie Trent and Cameron McLean placed second while Logan Eaton was third.
Oakdale will host Sonora on senior night this evening, Jan. 25. The team will take a weekend off and prepare for entry in the Sac-Joaquin Section Team Duals in Roseville on Feb. 4.