Sonoma downs ’Hounds for SCL dual title
Winslow gets 100th dual win, Dragon wrestlers earn SCL tourney top-seed, in Saturday’s NCS duals
Senior Peter Gray provides a pivotal pin that sets the tone for the Dragons’ upbeat SCL dual title-win Wednesday night at longtime rival Healdsburg.
It was a battle of unbeaten teams – the visiting Sonoma Valley High School varsity wrestlers and defending champion Healdsburg – ending the Sonoma County League regular season with both the dual-meet title on the line and the valuable point as the SCL’s postseason championship tournament’s top-seed that comes with it.
As longtime rivals, momentum would play a big part in deciding the SCL’s dual champion and, after Healdsburg won the opening bout of the evening, the Dragons took the upper hand by reeling off six straight wins, two by way of forfeits, to take a commanding 31-6 lead.
Then Sonoma ended up dropping four straight bouts, including a forfeit loss, to the perennially tough Greyhounds, and held just a 31-30 advantage.
But this was a night the Dragons wouldn’t be denied, and, after receiving a third Healdsburg forfeit to go up 37-30, they closed out the match in impressive fashion with back-to-back first-round pins to secure a 49-30 victory and claim the dual-meet crown, as well as give longtime Sonoma coach Deets Winslow his 100th dual win.
When Winslow took a year off from the sport after two decades of directing the Dragons with 94 SCL dual wins under his belt, he handed the head-coaching reins to Kyle Baird.
Now serving as an assistant coach, Winslow has reached the rare 100 dual-win total after the Dragons’ six SCL dual victories in the current 2012-13 campaign.
Along with capturing the league’s dual title, Sonoma’s triumphant grapplers also snared the bonus point that comes with it and puts them in the driver’s seat for the SCL championships, where they could finish second, or even third place and still be a co-champion.
The SCL tourney will be hosted by El Molino on Saturday, Feb. 16, in Forestville, which is also the postseason location for the challenging North Coast Section Redwood Empire duals, which start at 9 a.m. tomorrow, Saturday, Feb. 9, with both Sonoma and Healdsburg representing the SCL at the event.
Comprising the 2012-13 Sonoma wrestling team – directed by head coach Baird and assistant coaches Winslow and Ian Kruljac – are co-captain seniors Aidan Lacy, Giordi Serafini and Sam Denning, and junior Max Schimm; seniors Jonny Amandoli, Peter Gray, Alex Ohan, Sebastian Amara and Jose Vasquez; juniors Harris Meglen, Tommy Jordan and Chris Lohnes; sophomore Jake Randuch and Jack Biaggi; and freshmen Dalton Elster, Brandon Ruiz, Trevor Martinelli, Austin Beltran and David Price.
Leading the Dragons past Healdsburg were Gray’s pivotal second-round pin-win over Prasad at 122 pounds; Lacy’s first-round pinning of Castro at 222; Randuch’s second-round pin-win over Grainger at 128; Elster’s first-round pinning of Vasquez in the heavyweight division; Denning’s 11-2 major victory over Anguiano at 140; Schimm’s 3-2 nipping of Sloma at 146; and forfeit wins by Serafini at 134, Amandoli at 195, and Meglen at 115.
Sonoma’s losses included Amara’s third-round pinning by Wiseman at 172 pounds; Ohan’s first-round pin-defeat by Merlo at 162; Lohnes’ second-round pin-loss to Newman at 108; and Ruiz’s first-round pinning by Black at 154.