The nine Oakdale High student athletes who qualified for Friday’s opening day of the California Interscholastic Federation Wrestling Championships have a long and arduous road ahead of them if they are to win, or even medal.
A.C. Brown has a good shot at reaching the state semi-finals and finals at 215 pounds, considering he is on the opposite side of the bracket as two time state placer and returning champ Tank Knowles of Calvary Chapel.
But each match will be extremely difficult, including his tournament opener against Antonio Lopez of Paramount, who placed just ninth in the southern section, but was ranked No. 4 in the state in the Feb. 24 release of the state rankings.
Brown could see two wrestlers that narrowly beat him (No. 3 Jeff Vargas of South Hills and No. 5 Austin Lobsinger of West Valley), and would likely see state No. 2 Porfirio Sosa of Poway or SS runner-up Elder Cruz of La Habra in the semi-finals should he continue to win.
David Ferry’s loss didn’t land him in a bad spot in the 145 bracket, but he must win tough matches to keep his season alive. He opens with Central Section No. 4 Isaiah Morfin of Selma (ranked 10th in the state), and will meet Zach Fishman of San Clemente (No. 17) should he win that match. Ferry is opposite state No. 1 Jake Elliott of Oakmont and No. 3 Coleman Hammond of Bakersfield, but could see No. 2 Damien Arredondo in the semi-finals.
Shane Tate’s loss at the 135-pound SJS finals landed him in the same quarters bracket as No. 1 ranked Chris Mecate of Redland East Valley, but to land his goal of a state championship, that’s likely a wrestler he would have to have beaten anyway. If Tate can snare that win, he would move on to face No. 3 Tim Box of Bakersfield or No. 5 Adam Hendrickson of Healdsburg in the semis.
State No. 7 Trent Noon’s rout of No. 3 Hudson Buck at 171 landed him in a good position to reach the semis, though he will have to win back-to-back matches just to see a third round match with No. 8 Jacob Pendleton of Lemoore, who beat the state No. 2 just one week ago. If Noon can repeat his win over Pendleton from earlier in the year, he will likely see No. 5 Robert Marchise of Oak Hills in the quarters and No. 4 Justin Lozano of Selma in the semis.
No. 8 Garrett Fortado has his hands full right away with a likely second round match with Ian Nickell of Bakersfield at 112. He lost to Nickell in the seventh place match at state a year ago, and is 1-1 with Nickell this season. A win would likely set up a meeting with Joe Ramirez of De La Salle in the quarters and potentially returning champ Nashon Garrett of Chico in the semis.
Tanner Feuerstein opens his 130 tourney with a chance to avenge a one-point loss he suffered to Southern champ Andrew Schulte in the finals of The Bash earlier this season. He is in the same quarters bracket as No. 4 Willie Fox of Gilroy and returning state champ Nick Pena of Selma.
State No. 22 Dustin Harris awaits the winner of No. 8 Shervin Iraniha of Monte Vista and No. 17 Michael Martinez of Wasco at 152 pounds to open action.
No. 16 Juan Garza awaits the winner of No. 33 Christian Martin of Chino Hills and North Coast runner-up Chris Caldwell of Las Lomas. A win would give Garza rights to face state No. 3 Isaiah Locsin of Live Oak at 103.
No. 34 Ronnie Stevens (119) opens with Central Coast runner-up Andre Delagnes, and would be gifted a nice second match with the lone Oakland section qualifier, Chao Wayland, should he win his first. A win there would give Stevens a look at No. 9 Ty Stevenson of McKinleyville.
The Leader will post updates online as the tournament progresses. Visit oakdaleleader.com for results through the rounds.