signals the start of the all-important postseason for local high school wrestlers with North Coast Section and state aspirations, as Analy and El Molino athletes gear up for what should be an exciting month of competition.
The teams will close out the North Bay League Redwood Division meet schedule this week at Analy, as the Tigers play host to the Lions in the annual “Apple Meet.” The action starts at 6 p.m.
Analy will host the NBL Championship tournament on Feb. 14-15, followed by participation in the NCS tourney on Feb. 21-22. The CIF State Championships are set for Feb. 27-29 in Bakersfield.
Lions log tourney wins
The Lions logged a busy weekend on the tournament circuit last weekend, sending split squads to three different venues.
On Jan. 31, the team sent veteran Erik Dimond to the tough Mission San Jose Invitational in Fremont. The tournament hosted 73 teams and 485 wrestlers.
“This is one of the toughest, if not the toughest tournament in the Bay Area, and is a good measure of how many of the wrestlers will match up in the postseason,” El Mo coach Ron Wright said.
Competing at 152 pounds, Dimond scored a pin in the first round before suffering a loss to drop into the consolation bracket. On day two, Dimond pulled off a 2-0 win by decision to advance to the next round, where he was eliminated in a tough overtime loss. Dimond is currently ranked sixth in the NCS and has a 25-12 season record.
El Molino was also represented at the Redwood Empire Classic varsity tournament, sending Zavier Grech and Curby Dimond to the mat, while Wyatt Alberigi, Ka’io Gaspar-Thompson, and Shayne White wrestled in the JV competition.
Grech scored recorded a 12-2 major decision in his opening round match before ending the day at 1-2. Curby Dimond faced stiff competition at 160 pound and scored a win by fall against an Elsie Allen wrestler, but ended up 1-2 on the day.
In the JV tourney, first-year 152-pound wrestler Ka’io Gaspar-Thompson logged a great performance, winning his first two matches before losing in the finals to earn a second place trophy. One hundred and sixty pound first-year wrestler Wyatt Alberigi also had a good tournament, taking home a fourth place medal. one hundred and seventy pound Shayne “Bubba” White went 2-1 on the day to claim a third place medal.
Finally, the Lady Lions completed the trifecta at the Goddess of the Vine tournament at Windsor, a meet consisting of 50 teams and some 300 female athletes.
Junior 152-pound standout Hannah Ricioli showed why she’s among the top ranked wrestlers in the country, following up a first-round bye with three straight pins to advance to finals. There she met a familiar opponent in Olivia Ott from Castro Valley.
“Ott is a tough wrestler but Hannah has had the measure of her several times this year,” Wright noted.
The finals would be more of the same, as Ricioli scored an early take down and arm bar to secure a first place medal and the Outstanding Wrestler award. It was Ricioli’s third tourney win, pushing her season record to 27-6.
Also turning in a strong effort at the Goddess of the Vine was 128-pound freshman Hayden Fields, who went 3-2, battling back from the Consolation bracket to claim a second place trophy. Lily Maruffo went 0-2 in the 170-pound weight bracket.
Tigers fall to Lobos
The Analy wrestling team traveled to Elsie Allen in an NBL dual meet on Jan. 29, falling to the Lobos, 60-18. Scoring wins for the Tigers were 132-pound Brayton Bartlett (by fall), 145-pound Lorenzo Robles (by fall) and 182-pound Max Voelkel (by fall).
The Tigers have a busy month ahead, beginning on Feb. 5 in the dual meet with El Molino.