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Five Warrior grapplers place at Londos tournament, 10th as team

High school wrestling dual meets and tournaments pair schools’ wrestlers in 14 weight classes. Although Fallbrook High School did not field a full slate at the Jim Londos Memorial Wrestling Tournament which was held January 8-9 at Orange Glen High School, the Warriors still took tenth place as a team among the 21 participating schools while five Fallbrook wrestlers placed among the top six in their weight class.

“If we ever get to field our real varsity team, I think we’ll be all right,” said Fallbrook coach Greg Wagaman.

Wagaman took 12 wrestlers to the tournament which followed a dual meet January 7 at home against Rancho Bernardo. Fallbrook not only lost that dual meet but also lost 152-pounder Jake Hutzler indefinitely due to a concussion. Fallbrook’s planned 145-pound wrestler is still awaiting CIF clearance.

The CIF clearance process for transfers also deprived Fallbrook of the 160-pound wrestler who has earned a varsity berth from practices. Miles Hamblen represented Fallbrook in that weight division at the Jim Londos tournament and won three matches, but Hamblen was kicked in the mouth during his final match and is expected to miss several weeks of the season.

Hamblen’s final match was a win, and 189-pounder Johnny Delcoure also withdrew due to injury. Delcoure was winning his consolation match prior to the injury, which Wagaman fears could be a torn bicep which could sideline Delcoure for several weeks.

Fallbrook senior Jonathan Juarez, who began wrestling as a sophomore placed third in the 135-pound weight class. “Jonathan had some real good matches,” Wagaman said.

Fallbrook’s injuries also include senior John McDonald, who was expected to be the Warriors’ 215-pound varsity wrestler before breaking his leg in practice prior to the first meet. He is currently being replaced in that division by junior Kyle Mericle, who finished fifth in the tournament.

Wagaman expects that Christian Vera will eventually reduce his weight below the threshold which will allow him to wrestle in the 215-pound class rather than the heavyweight division. Vera weighed approximately 225 pounds at the Jim Londos tournament and had to defeat larger wrestlers to take sixth place in the heavyweight division.

The other two Warriors who placed sixth in the tournament were Hector Diaz in the 119-pound class and Ryan Jones in the 125-pound division.

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