By Joe Naiman
Village News Correspondent 

Warrior wrestlers win league opener


Last updated 1/24/2018 at 3:44pm

Although Orange Glen High School was moved from the North County Conference to the Coastal Conference in 2016 because most of the Patriots' programs were not competitive, the school remained in the Valley League for wrestling since the Patriots often fared well against Valley League opponents. Orange Glen traveled to Fallbrook High School for a Jan. 4 dual meet which opened Valley League competition for both teams, and Fallbrook prevailed by a 39-21 score.

"All in all, I'm very happy with the way they performed," said Fallbrook coach Cristian Vera. "Everyone did what they were supposed to do."

Wrestling meets utilize two systems of points. During each match a wrestler is awarded two points for a takedown or a reversal and one point for an escape. Infractions will give an opponent one penalty point for the first and second instances and two penalty points for the third offense. Wrestlers who maneuver their opponents into a near fall position but not a pin receive two points for a near fall lasting at least two seconds and three points for a near fall lasting at least five seconds.

A match won by decision gives three points to the victorious team and if the margin is at least eight points, four team points for a major decision are given. If a wrestler is ahead by 15 points, five team points are awarded for a technical fall. A fall, or victory by pin, is worth six team points, as is a forfeit win, which usually occurs when one team doesn't field a grappler in a specific weight class rather than when a wrestler is disqualified. A high school wrestling meet consists of 14 weight classes.

"Wins and losses can end up being strategic," Vera said.

That means placing wrestlers in eligible weight classes based on the likelihood of a win or loss including whether that result is by decision or fall. The Warriors won five of the eight contested matches against Orange Glen, including four by pin.

One of Fallbrook's losses was by decision when 182-pound grappler Eli Moreno remained on the mat despite a knee injury which kept the senior from further scoring. Moreno had a 5-0 lead entering the third period but hurt his knee during the final two-minute regulation round and focused his remaining effort on avoiding a pin. The score was 5-5 at the end of the third period which brought on an overtime period, and a takedown handed Moreno a 7-5 loss but limited the Patriots to three points rather than six for a pin or if Moreno had withdrawn from the bout.

Fallbrook's other two losses were by pin. In both cases the wrestler who would normally compete at that weight class was absent and a grappler who normally would not have competed in a varsity match took on an Orange Glen opponent. Tournaments allow girls to compete against other female wrestlers, but girls who participate in dual meets often wrestle against boys. That was the case in the 113-pound class when Vera turned to junior Xochitl Rangel.

"She stepped up for the team and took the match," Vera said.

Rangel was pinned but gained varsity experience and the result was no worse than if Fallbrook had forfeited that weight class. A pin of freshman Matt Kendall in the 145-pound class also gave the Patriots six points while giving Kendall varsity experience and avoiding a Warriors forfeit.

Double forfeits occurred when neither school fielded wrestlers in the 106-pound, 120-pound and 170-pound classes. The absence of a Fallbrook 195-pound wrestler gave Orange Glen forfeit points for that bout.

"We weren't fully loaded as well as we normally would be," Vera said.

Two Fallbrook matmen won their matches by forfeit: freshman Uriel Juarez in the 126-pound class and sophomore Marco Alejandre in the 132-pound class.

Fallbrook gained three points when senior Dylan Livingston won the 160-pound match with a takedown in overtime. The bout had been tied at five points apiece after the regulation three periods, and the extra period's takedown gave Livingston the 7-5 win.

The four Fallbrook victories by fall were achieved by 138-pound senior Curtis Permito, 152-pound senior Lance McNatt, 220-pound senior John Eastom, and 285-pound sophomore Gavin Beckmann.

Beckmann's brother, Caleb, is Fallbrook's normal 220-pound wrestler, but the senior will be enlisting in the Marine Corps after his graduation from high school and was partaking in a Marine Corps activity Jan. 4.

The matches with Eastom and Beckmann concluded the meet.

"Those two guys at the end getting those pins pretty much sealed Orange Glen's fate," Vera said.

Last year's match at Orange Glen ended as a 55-0 victory for the Patriots. The match included three double forfeits and three Orange Glen wins by forfeit, and Orange Glen won all eight contested matches, including four by pin and one by major decision. The Warriors lost all five of their Valley League matches last year.

"To get back in the win column in league after a year of having all losses is good," Vera said. "Ending up on top was a great way to start the league season."

The Warriors improved their 2017-18 overall dual meet record to 3-0.

"I'm really happy with the way these guys are putting it together," Vera said.


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