Local teams will compete in league matches this week
Intensity will be ratcheted up a notch in high school wrestling this week as Analy and El Molino teams kick off the North Bay League schedule with a pair of dual meets.
The Lions and Tigers will host a pair of league dual meets on Jan. 7 (after press time) when Analy hosts Rancho Cotate, while El Mo entertains Elsie Allen.
On Saturday, Jan. 11, both boys teams will compete in the annual Deets Winslow Tournament in Sonoma while the ladies take the mat at the Napa Valley Girl’s Classic at Vintage High School.
Lions claim tourney medals
While the Tigers were idle last weekend, the Lions participated in a couple of Bay Area tournaments on Jan. 3-4. El Molino sent a four-man contingent to Middletown, while three girls represented the Lions in Albany.
Junior Zavier Grech turned in the best weekend of his high school career, going 5-0 in Friday’s 145-pound round robin competition to land the No. 1 seed in Saturday’s double elimination bracket. Grech roared into the finals with a pair of pins and a major decision before falling in the finals to his Kelseyville opponent.
“Zavier's mental preparation, pre-match warm up and execution were on point all weekend,” Lions coach Ron Wright reported. “He put himself in a position to win and though he fell just short, he made huge strides.”
Also logging good efforts at Middletown were 182-pound freshman Shayne White (3-3, 2nd place), 160-pound freshman Curby Dimond (2-1, 3rd place) and 152-pound junior Ka’io Gaspar-Thompson (5-3 overall).
Ladies shine at Albany
The Lady Lions were equally impressive at the Albany Tournament, led by junior Hannah Ricioli. The nationally ranked 152-pound veteran shook off a recent illness to navigate her way into the finals before losing to defending state champion Amit Elor of College Park to earn a second place medal.
Also competing at Albany were first-year sophomore Lily Marrufo, who went 3-1 in the 189-pound JV bracket to take home a third place medal.
Freshman Hayden Fields took the mat in the loaded, 131-pound bracket where she made her way into the seventh place match before dropping a 3-1 decision.
“She definitely learned a lot at this tournament and knows what she needs to do to get to the next level,” Wright said of Fields. “She finished in a very respectable eighth place in only her second varsity tournament.”