The Hamilton High School Bobcats wrestling team competed in a highly contested league duel against Orange Vista High School Coyotes of Perris Wednesday, Jan. 10.
“Our Bobcats had to overcome a deficit of 18 points early in the duel, due to missing three of the 14 weight classes, but this did not stop our boys from storming back to win 45-33,” Coach Juan Lopez said.
The Bobcats received key pins from freshmen Willy Velasquez, 113lbs., and junior Austin O’Toole, 170lbs., which ultimately were the deciding factors in the win. O’Toole stepped into the lineup, allowing other wrestlers to bump up from their regular weight in order to fill spots and not give up any more forfeits. The others had no problem giving up the extra weight and all securing pins for the team.
“The atmosphere was intense, and these matches could have gone either way,” Lopez said. “Freshman Velasquez and O’Toole stepping into the lineup from junior varsity to get pins was huge for us. Their wins really got the crowd going or maybe the crowd got us going. Bottom line is our boys are fighters, and win or lose, we did our job tonight.”
Other match results were as follows by weight class.
For 106 lbs., Gavin Davies lost by pin to Humberto Cordero; for 113 lbs., Willy Velasquez won by pin over Jerry Martinez.
For 120 lbs., the forfeit went to Omar Arellano; for 126 lbs., the forfeit went to Kevin Morales.
In 132 lbs., Jesse Lewis lost 3-4 decision to Davin Berumen; for 138 lbs., Owen Vargas won by pin over John Naron.
For 145 lbs., Isaac Lanik won by forfeit. For 152 lbs., Bryan Lopez lost by pin to Oscar Pedroza.
For 160 lbs., Daniel Raymond won 9-8 in double overtime over Jesus Sandoval.
For 170 lbs., Austin O’Toole won by pin over Hector Herrera; for 180 lbs., Juan Lopez won by pin over Abraham Rodriguez.
For 195 lbs., Jose Perez won by pin over Juan Lupregio; for 220 lbs., Nolan Grant won by pin over Esteban Lopez.
For the heavyweight class, 258 lbs., the forfeit went to Angel Gomez.
For this event, the Bobcats were lead by seniors Juan Lopez and Daniel Raymond who recently came off huge performances at the Riverside County Championships at Arlington High School in Riverside. The boys really made names for themselves, entering the tournament unranked and becoming Hamilton High School’s highest medalists at this tournament in the school’s history.
Raymond placed fifth, and Lopez became the school’s first ever finalist, placing second in the event.
“The boys beat tough kids from the best schools in the county,” Lopez said. “To enter the upper medal rounds Daniel had a dominating pin over Jordan Pacheco of powerhouse Temecula Valley High School. Juan Lopez beat the No. 4-ranked wrestler from Eleanor Roosevelt, the fifth from Palm Desert, and the first-ranked guy from Citrus Hill at the tournament to enter the finals, where he ultimately lost to state-ranked Antonio Khanthasa of Temecula Valley.
“The coaches – myself, James Lanik and Pat McGowan – are all in agreement and would like to dedicate this season to one of Hamilton’s first wrestling coaches, Maurice Chacon. Moe helped start this program, setting the foundation for the kids, and his legacy and good deeds live on through our program now and forever, here at Hamilton.”
To obtain the Hamilton High School wrestling schedule, visit www.hamiltonbobcats.net/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=184644&type=d&pREC_ID=1338589.