Trojans, D’backs shine at OR Invitational
Union Mine’s Sean Tow, Mitchell Woods; Oak Ridge’s Keaton Subjeck win titles
EL DORADO HILLS — Sean Tow feels he’s in good shape. But the Union Mine High wrestler feels his best days are yet to come.
“Right now I’m almost there,” Tow said. “My back was hurting at the beginning of the year, so I wasn’t doing a lot of running. (But) these last couple of weeks I’ve been really getting into the running. I’m still not where I want to be but my back is better.”
Tow had a strong performance in the 152-pound class Saturday at the inaugural Oak Ridge High School Invitational at Oak Ridge High. The junior posted a perfect 4-0 record that included winning the title in his weight class by a 9-3 decision over Woodland’s Curtis Lawerence. Tow won his other three matches by pins, all in the second periods.
“I’ve seen him around but never wrestled (Lawerence),” said Tow of his final foe.
Tow recorded a 2-0 lead after the first period but Lawerence cut the lead to 2-1 with an escape. Tow, who rushed for 2,217 yards for the Diamondbacks’ football team last fall, recorded a reversal as he increased his lead to 7-2 halfway through the third period en route to win.
Another Union Mine grappler competing in the finals was Mitchell Woods at 182s. The D’back won his title match with a 14-2 major decision over Red Bluff’s Bryon Eggert. Woods finished the day with a perfect 3-0 record.
Competing in the third place match was James Warden in the 170s. Wrestling against Oak Ridge’s Hugh Ellerman, Warden won by a 3-0 decision. Both grapplers entered the third round tied at 0-0.
“Keep your head up, hands out,” said Warden of his technique and approach when facing a grappler for the first time during the season. “Don’t over think your opponent, and see how he opens up.”
Warden finished the day with a 2-1 record, both wins by decisions. Ellerman went 1-2, winning his first round match.
Union Mine’s Chris Vasquez took third place in the 220s with a pin over Orland’s Fernando Infante in the first period. D’back heavyweight Robert Gonzalez, after a bye, went 1-1.
Host Oak Ridge didn’t match the D’backs in first-place finishers but did do better in overall team points, taking third with 186. The other county team participating, El Dorado, finished 16th with 25 points.
Orland from the North Section won the team title with 228 points, followed by Turlock in second with 192.5 points. Lodi was fourth with 148.5 points and Freedom was fifth with 122.
Oak Ridge had more than a half-dozen grapplers compete for first and third place medlas. Keaton Subjeck was the lone Troy wrestler to bring home the gold in the 160s, winning by forfeit when Oakmont’s Jake Elliot pulled out because of an injury.
Other Trojan wrestlers competing in the first place matches were Preston Dean (195) who lost to Turlock’s Ernesto Guaiang by a 3-2 decision; at 132s, Oak Ridge’s Taylor Ellerman lost to Orland’s Jimmy Gamboa by a 9-4 decision; and in 132s, Valley’s Anthony Sakaola beat Troy’s Trey Reese by a 6-3 decision.
For almost half of the latter match, Reese wrestled in pain after the senior rolled his ankle in the second period, prompting a timeout called by Oak Ridge coach Casey Rhyan who tended to the injury. Although Reese lost the match, Rhyan was more than proud that his grappler showed heart and determination to finish.
“He was right in it,” said Rhyan after Reese’s match. “He didn’t lose by much. Trey did a good job in getting into the finals.”
Rhyan, in his third year at the helm, was more than pleased with the number of Trojans competing for first and third place matches.
“Very pleased,” he said. “We’re doing a good job; I’m real pleased with my kids. Orland has a real good team.”
In 113s, Oak Ridge’s Ryan Wilson lost to Valley’s Brandon Vang by a 4-1 decision. At 120s, Trojan Andrew Galarte wrestled for third place against Turlock’s Ricco McCombs and lost by a 13-6 decision.
Also competing for third place at 126s, Oak Ridge’s Ryan Redhair lost to Lodi’s Luke Jump in the second period.
For El Dorado, Kyle Ferguson took third place at 138s, beating Freedom’s Zach Irwin with a pin in the second period. Teammate Rick Reed (152) won his first round match but lost his next two while Donovan Mayer also went 1-2.