Even though neither Lompoc or Cabrillo came close to a team championship Saturday.
The Lompoc Valley was still well-represented by a number of individual wrestlers at the Los Padres League Tournament held at Santa Maria High School’s Wilson Gym.
In particular, Lompoc football star Josh Powers, an offensive lineman, is the LPL heavyweight wrestling champion. He won a 3-1 decision with a two-point takedown in overtime in the championship match Saturday, defeating top-ranked Andrew Unks of Morro Bay.
“I’d lost to him twice before this year,” the second-ranked Powers said. “The first two times, I don’t want to say I was gassed, but I think he was in better condition. This time I think I was in better condition. He seemed to be breathing a little harder.”
Powers’ teammate, top-ranked Antonio Rangel, won at 122 pounds. Rangel decisioned Matt Garcia of Santa Maria 8-3 to win the championship.
Ismael Carillo, Powers’ Lompoc teammate, also claimed a championship Saturday. Wrestling in the 154-pound class, No. 1 Carillo defeated Santa Maria’s Raul Aguirre in dominant fashion, claiming a major decision by a score of 16-5.
Lompoc and Santa Ynez tied for third place with 87.5 points each. Morro Bay was fifth with 83, and Cabrillo rounded out the six-team field with 76.
Cabrillo’s Michael Moreon, the top seed, lost to Richard Beechem, the No. 2 seed from Morro Bay, 7-3 i n the 147-pound championship.
Keinneth Tagalicud, the No. 2 seed from Morro Bay, won a decision over Anthony Delira, Cabrillo’s No. 1 seed, 6-2.
The championship wasn’t clearly decided Saturday.
Trailing top-ranked Chris Maes of Morro Bay in the 184-pound title match Saturday, Nipomo senior Jared Dorado was simply focusing on trying to rally to win his first Los Padres League wrestling championship.
The second-seeded Dorado did rally, beating Maes 8-5 after spotting Maes a 4-0 lead. Dorado helped lift the Titans to a share of the league title in the process.
Nipomo outscored runner-up Santa Maria 107.5-102.5 to win the LPL Tournament. The Titans shared the league title with the host team, which went 5-0 in league dual meets.
If Dorado had not won Saturday, the Titans would not have been able to do any sharing when it came to the league title.
“I had no idea (what the team score was during the match),” Dorado said later.
“(Nipomo coaches) told me later,” that his win had helped the Titans take the tourney title.
His win completed a recent fortuitous drop down to the 184-pound weight class for Dorado. “I’d been wrestling at 220,” so he dropped down two weight classes recently.
“It took some getting used to, but now I’m comfortable at 184,” he said. When he was down 4-0, “I just kept pushing,” Dorado said. His effort paid off in a league tournament championship and a shared league title for his team.
Dylan Hulsizer, the favorite at 140 pounds, and Humberto Ponce joined Dorado as Nipomo winners. Hulsizer trailed second-seeded Tyler Thomas of Cabrillo 2-0 early in the 140-pound championship match, then took command and won 9-2.
Ponce, the second seed at 108 pounds, won his title with a 4-1 decision over top-ranked Isaac Romero of Santa Ynez.
Santa Maria coach Doug Silva said this year marked the first since 2004 that the Saints had so much as shared a league wrestling title. The Saints had three individual champions Saturday — top seeds Oscar Velasco (junior) at 115 pounds, Franklin Lopez (senior) at 128 and Jacob Rodas (senior) at 172.
Silva said, “We got off to a bad start. Our 108-pounder, who was seeded third and who we thought could win the tournament, got beat. Our 160-pounder was ahead 9-2 and he got pinned. If the Morro Bay kid (Maes) beats (Dorado), we win. All those little things add up.”
As the top duals team in the league, Santa Maria earned an automatic berth in the CIF Southern Section Duals Meet that Silva said will take place next Saturday at John Glenn High School in Norwalk.
Nipomo coach James Gross said he would not petition to get his banged-up team into the sectional duals, saying his individual qualifiers would focus on the CIF SS Individual Tournament slated to take place in two weeks. Silva said the tourney will take place at Moorpark High School.
“Three of our guys got hurt at this tournament,” Gross said. “They all went to doctors.” Their conditions were not known at press time.
Gross said, “Every wrestler had a hand in us winning this tournament. Whether it was guys not placing but not getting pinned or guys getting pins instead of decisions. All those things add up.”
Velasco and Lopez rallied to win their championships. Rodas was in control just about throughout in a 7-1 win over second-seeded John Renner of Nipomo as he completed a three-peat as LPL champ at 172 pounds.
Velasco trailed second seed Bennet Koblisca of Nipomo 1-0 in the first round after Koblisca scored on an escape. They were tied 2-2 going into the third round. Then Velasco took command with a series of takedowns.
“The third round has kind of been my round all year,” Velasco said. “I had to be strong in the third round (today) to help my team.”
Third-seeded Ty Mullen of Santa Ynez scored first with a two-point takedown in the 128-pound match. It was all Lopez after that.
“I’ve wrestled against Ty before,” said Lopez. “He’s a good wrestler. He’s strong.” However, “I was quicker, and I think my quickness got the job done for me today.”
Rodas said his signature move carried him Saturday. “I just feint to one side, go to the other and get the takedown with the outside single leg move,” he said.
Two Santa Ynez wrestlers won titles Saturday. Zack Tolson earned a 12-2 major decision over Tyler McKenna of Lompoc in the 134-pound championship match. Clayton Hanly pinned Lompoc’s Chris Morales in 1:04 to win the 222-pound championship.
Morro Bay’s Richard Beechem (147 pounds), Dalton Ellers (162) and Keinneth Tagalicud (197) all took home individual titles. The fourth-seeded Ellers was the lowest seed to win a championship Saturday.
Beechem and Tagalicud were both seeded second.