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Dragons end dual season strong

Senior Max Schimm (right) sets up his major win at 152 pounds in helping lead the defending champion Dragons to an SCL dual-match-finale victory over Elsie Allen Wednesday night in Golton Hall. Schimm and Harris Meglen, Sonoma’s lone seniors, were honored before the varsity took the mat. Bill Hoban/Index-Tribune

Senior Max Schimm (right) sets up his major win at 152 pounds in helping lead the defending champion Dragons to an SCL dual-match-finale victory over Elsie Allen Wednesday night in Golton Hall. Schimm and Harris Meglen, Sonoma’s lone seniors, were honored before the varsity took the mat. Bill Hoban/Index-Tribune

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It’s been a challenging Sonoma County League dual-match season for the defending champion Sonoma Valley High School varsity wrestlers, who’ve had to compete every week with an incomplete lineup forfeiting bouts due to their small roster, after losing a standout title-winning contingent of grapplers to graduation.

After falling short in their SCL dual-match opener to longtime rival Healdsburg, the Dragons were victorious in four of their final five outings, capped by their 45-21 triumph over Elsie Allen in the dual-match finale, and senior night, Wednesday in Golton Hall.

Before Wednesday’s varsity match started, Sonoma honored its lone two seniors and co-captains, four-year varsity starters Harris Meglen and Max Schimm, who both won their matches by a forfeit at 126 pounds, and a major decision at 154, respectively.

Along with Schimm’s 15-5 victory over R. Depaz, the Dragons were led by junior Jake Randuch’s 17-2 technical-fall triumph over Nguyen at 140 pounds; sophomore Brandon Ruiz’s second-round pinning of Nolasco at 162; freshman Noah Bartolome’s win by way of a first-round pin over Ramirez at 147; forfeit victories by junior Jack Biaggi (172), sophomore Dalton Elster (heavyweight division) and frosh Victor Vazquez (122); sophomore Austin Beltran’s 18-1 technical fall loss to Zavala at 182; and frosh Maclain Goertzen’s 8-0 defeat to A. Depaz at 134.

Next up for Sonoma is the SCL championship tournament at Elsie Allen in Santa Rosa on Saturday, Feb. 22, where the third-seed Dragons will have to beat out dual-match champion Healdsburg and second-place Analy to claim their second straight league title.