Bobcats score win against Rangers during home meet

Hamilton junior Michael Rozzo shakes hands with rival Santa Rosa Academy’s Eric Heiner before their match at the Hamilton Wrestling team’s dual meet with Santa Rosa Academy Rangers Tuesday, Jan. 23, at the Hamilton High School gym. Diane Sieker photo

It was another big win on the books for the Hamilton High School Bobcat wrestling team, as they defeated league rivals Santa Rosa Academy Rangers, 48-27, at home Tuesday, Jan. 23.

The dual meet started off with Hamilton’s John Shanko stepping up to the 106 lb. weight class. Giving up over 20 lbs., “Jon Jon” gave a gutsy performance before eventually losing by pin to his larger and more experienced opponent Riter Gayk.

At 113 lbs., Alex Arens and 120 lbs., Ruben Mathis, Santa Rosa Academy received forfeits making the team score 18-0 in their favor.

Their lead did not last long as Hamilton received forfeits at 126 lbs. with Patrick Cooper, 132 lbs. with Jesse Lewis and 138 lbs. with Owen Vargas to even the score, 18-18.

Up a weight class at 145 lbs., Hamilton’s Isaac Lanik showed his poise by securing a pin over Santa Rosa Academy’s Aiden Boucher. Also stepping up a weight class to 152 lbs. and suffering a shoulder injury, Hamilton’s Michael Rozzo fought through the pain to overpower opponent Eric Heiner for a pin.

This beginning set up the highlight match of the night, as Hamilton senior Daniel Raymond squared off against returning league MVP, Santa Rosa Academy senior Conner Dougherty at 160 lbs. The bout saw Raymond winning 4-2, entering the second period before ultimately giving up six points in the second and losing the match by decision, 8-4. Although Raymond lost, this match sets the stage for a potential rematch at the individual league championships in February.

At 170 lbs., Hamilton’s Juan Lopez made quick work of opponent Ben Graves with a pin. The Bobcats gave up a forfeit at 182 lbs. by moving Jose Perez up to 195 lbs. Perez showed incredible speed and skill pinning opponent Samuel Tamas. At 220 lbs., Nolan Grant received a forfeit, and with neither team having a heavy weight competitor, the forfeit concluded the dual meet.

“These boys worked hard for this win not just tonight but every day in practice,” Coach Juan Lopez said. “It’s awesome to see them reach team goals together. Thank you to everyone who came out to cheer these guys on, they really deserve it. The energy the crowd brings really pushes us up a notch, you can really feel it. That will make for interesting league championships. I hope to see you guys there.”

Hamilton’s next home meet will be the Arrowhead League Individual Championships, held Feb. 7, in the Hamilton High School gym starting 2 p.m. and the finals will begin 4 p.m. Admission for this event will be $6 for adults and $3 for children.

To obtain the Hamilton High School wrestling schedule, visit www.hamiltonbobcats.net/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=184644&type=d&pREC_ID=1338589.

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