Feb 16, 2013 – Hawks’ CIF Championships streak stopped
The Laguna Hills streak of eight consecutive CIF championships was stopped by St. John Bosco of Bellflower in the Southern Division at Santiago Canyon College. It might have been a case of being in the wrong place or at the wrong time.
Laguna Hills had eight qualifiers to the CIF-Southern Section Masters Meet at Temecula Valley this weekend, the most of any Orange County school. The Hawks probably would have won handily at the Coastal Division claimed by Yorba Linda or at the Eastern Division won by Beaumont.
Had Laguna Hills met St. John Bosco in prior years, the outcome also would have been reversed. SJB’s only previous CIF Division championship was in 2000, while Laguna Hills has won nine and finished second three times since then.
Los Angeles County’s Bosco team now has an all-star nucleus that includes two defending state champions and an undefeated freshman who is ranked as the top wrestler in the nation at 132 pounds. This is the advantage of parochial schools who can recruit top athletes from anywhere — unlike public high schools that draw local talent from their enrollment area. SJB’s Robert Flores, the Upper Weight MVP for example, was a CIF placer at Westlake of Ventura County last season.
Andre Cabrera (152) was the only CIF Champion for Laguna Hills. Five other Hawks lost in the finals, including three to some of Bosco’s six champions. Cabrera recorded two pins in only 26 seconds, a 17-1 technical fall and a 5-3 decision before shutting out Santa Margarita’s Logan Vooreman, 3-0 in the finals. Cabrera was a CIF runner-up last season.
Top-seeded sophomore Martin Garcia’s three quick pins were followed by a 17-1 tech before he was upset, 8-4, in the 106-pound finals by SJB’s junior Julian Gendreau. Wyond Mills (145) had two pins and a 12-3 major decision before winning 3-2 over Austin Grimsley of Dana Hills to avenge a loss in the South Coast League finals that kept him from becoming the school’s second four-time champion. Mills lost in the finals to Bosco’s Anthony Valencia, the Lower Weight MVP, to finish second in all four years as a varsity starter.
Joe Applegate made the finals at 160 pounds after winning 11-1, 6-5 and 4-3. He fell 9-2 to Logan Arguello, one of two champions from league rival Aliso Niguel which was only fourth in league finals.
South Coast League teams, which ranked first, second and third in Orange County for most of the season, accounted for 25 qualifiers to the Masters Meet — or 36% of the total, three times more than the average expected from the nine leagues that were represented. South Coast League teams were second, third, fifth and sixth out of more than 50 schools.
Ray Cardona (170) followed two pins and an 11-2 major decision with a 7-6 win over Trevor Tribolet of Dana Hills who had pinned him in their league dual match. Cardona lost 13-2 to Bosco’s Flores in the finals. Junior Jose Ballesteros earned three pins and a 4-0 decision to make the heavyweight finals where he lost 3-0 to county-ranked Jesse Gomez of Buena Park.
Nick Stavrou (120) won 14-4, 9-7 and 9-1 before dropping a 5-1 decision to San Clemente rival Jacob Sandoval to finish in fourth place. Billy Brauberger (126) needed wins by 11-4, 15-0, 11-4, 11-2 and 7-0 to place fifth after a loss to Santa Margarita’s Andrew Clayton. Only the top five at each weight advance from each of the six CIF divisions to the Masters Meet, so Peter Eggert’s sixth place finish at 220 pounds for the second year in a row was a disappointment.
Seniors Alex Collazo (132) and Alex Sacharske (138) were thwarted in their efforts to move on. Sophomore Dominic Larraga (182) and freshman Phillip Zamora (113) each had a win and gained valuable experience as they look forward to improving for next season.
Feb 23, 2013 – 3 Hawks qualify for state championships
Three Laguna Hills High wrestlers qualified for this weekend’s 41st annual CIF State Wrestling Championships to be held in Bakersfield’s Rabobank Arena. The Hawks finished in 10th place out of more than 580 schools in the CIF-Southern Section after placing in the Top 5 for the past five years.
Sophomore Martin Garcia (106) and seniors Andre Cabrera (152) and Joe Applegate (160) each placed in the top nine in their respective weight classes at the two-day CIF-SS Masters Meet held at Temecula Valley High School.
Garcia was the Hawks’ top finisher as he placed second, losing 8-6 in overtime of the finals to Chris Lacayo of Santiago-Corona. Garcia advanced to the finals after recording a 16-0 technical fall over Kameron Morones of Paso Robles, winning 4-3 over Nathan Mabale of Cypress, beating Christian Root of Temecula Valley, 7-2, and then upsetting top-seeded Vincent Parra of Northview, 5-2.
Cabrera began the tournament with consecutive pins over Nick Hughes of Paloma Valley in only 24 seconds and Seth Morales of Bonita in 56 seconds. Cabrera dropped a 9-2 decision to two-time CIF Champion Blayne Briceno of Encino’s Crespi, then followed with a 58-second pin of Ramses Demara from Coachella Valley and a 6-1 triumph over Cole Hagle of Canyon Springs.
The senior then fell to Amir Hassan of Westlake, 5-4, but rebounded to place sixth following a default win over Tom Castillo of Simi’s Royal.
Applegate, who placed seventh, won his opening bout,4-1, over Nathan Aragon of Chino Hills, but fell into the consolation bracket after a 12-8 loss to Freddie Garcia of Corona’s Santiago. Applegate then won three consecutive matches, including wins over Devin Duarte of Newbury Park (3-1), Juancarlos Ortiz of Crespi (4-0), and Jonathan Olivera of Victor Valley (3-2).
After losing 5-1 to league rival Logan Arguella of Aliso Niguel, Applegate finished with a 6-2 victory over top-seeded Steven Lopez of Northview.
March 2, 2013 – Tough State Meet for OC wrestlers
Orange County sent 31 wrestlers to the CIF State Championships, and only five won medals by finishing in the top eight out of the state’s best 44 at each weight class. Los Alamitos led with two placers and the only finalist, Alex Redmond, who lost the heavyweight title.
Joe Applegate (160) came closest for Laguna Hills. After losing 2-0 to seventh place finisher Justin Brown of Calaveras, Applegate won four consecutive matches: 6-0 over Kyle Thorpe of Atwater, 6-5 over Jonanthan Limon of San Francisco’s Lincoln, 3-2 over Keanu Morin of Selma, and 3-1 over Josh Baron of Valencia. A 3-1 loss to Bakersfield’s Hunter Hodges who placed fifth kept Applegate from earning a medal.
Andre Cabrera (152) pinned Cameron Chavez of San Diego’s Cathedral Catholic in his first match, but he fell 4-3 to Highland medalist Andrew Simmons. After a 5-0 triumph over Cole Hagle from Canyon Springs, Cabrera was stopped in a 5-2 decision by Calvary Chapel’s Aaron Negrette who placed seventh.
Sophomore Martin Garcia lost 4-0 to Bakersfield’s Carlos Herrera in his first match. Garcia rebounded with an 11-3 major decision over Jose Espinoza from Paloma Valley, but he dropped a 4-2 decision to Matt Gamble from Monache to end his tournament competition.
Clovis won the team title for the third year in a row, leading the 276 schools that were represented with five medalists, including champions at 182 and 285. St. John Bosco, which finished ahead of Laguna Hills to stop their streak of eight consecutive CIF-SS Division championships, finished fourth with champion Aaron Pico (132), Anthony Valencia (2nd at 145), and Zahid Valencia (3rd at 113).