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Brockson wins Carlsbad Invitational in father's coaching debut

Joe Naiman

Village News Reporter

Tom Brockson has taken over as Fallbrook High School's head wrestling coach and, in his coaching debut Dec. 3, his son won the Carlsbad Invitational.

Nic Brockson won all three of his 113-pound matches by pin to capture that weight class championship. "We're all very proud of what he did. He put a lot of off-season work in this year," Tom Brockson said.

During the 2021-22 season, Nic Brockson was in the 106-pound class. He placed fourth in the Division II championship meet. "He kind of picked up where he left off," Tom Brockson said.

Two of the four Fallbrook wrestlers who placed in that divisional championship tournament were seniors. Cristian Vera was Fallbrook's head coach for 2021-22 as well as for the previous four seasons. Vera remains an assistant coach for the high school team in a reorganization intended to benefit the program. "Our collaborative goal is still the same," Vera said.

Vera will focus on a youth feeder program to develop wrestlers for the high school level. "We haven't had a club in Fallbrook in some time," he said. "Our collaborative goal is to get the youth."

That will allow wrestlers to be prepared for competition rather than having to be trained for basic skills when they are in high school. "It's only going to bode well," Vera said.

Juan Mora and Dan Wilson are also assistant coaches this season. "It's been a rewarding experience actually, something I enjoy doing," Brockson said of his head coaching debut. "I enjoy helping out the kids and I enjoy working with the other coaches."

Brockson is from eastern Pennsylvania and began wrestling in fifth grade. He subsequently competed for Interboro High School. He has lived in Fallbrook for nine years and has three children. His 10-year-old daughter, Juliana, is part of the youth wrestling program. His seven-year-old daughter, Cora, is not currently involved in wrestling.

The 2022-23 Fallbrook High School team has approximately 20 boys. "We pretty much have every weight class filled," Brockson said.

(High school wrestling has 14 weight classes. A wrestler can compete in the weight division immediately above what he or she scales but cannot wrestle in a class below his or her weight.)

Girls may compete in dual meets either against other girls or against boys, depending on who the opposing school has in that weight class, and there are also girls tournaments. "We have three girls who are committed and sticking with it," Brockson said. "It's exciting."

A girls scrimmage occurred Nov. 29 at Valley Center High School. Two of the Fallbrook girls participated. Because the activity was a scrimmage, there were no official places or medals. Alyssa Wilson won two of her three matches and Madelie Ramirez won one of her three bouts.

"They did really well," Vera said.

The Carlsbad Invitational gave medals to the top six in each weight class. Fallbrook brought eight grapplers, although only four won matches and only two placed.

"This season we're a very green high school team," Vera said. "We don't have a lot of returners."

Francisco Franco is a senior who is in his first year of wrestling. He competed in the 145-pound division at the Carlsbad Invitational. Franco began his high school career with a loss by pin to eventual division champion Jack Hamilton of Scripps Ranch but then pinned Justin Shafer of San Pasqual in the first period of that match. Franco was then pinned by Shuan Berning of Ramona, who eventually took fifth place in the bracket.

"He's a really smart kid, athlete," Brockson said of Franco. "He just picks everything up."

Fisher Phillips, who competed last year, was Fallbrook's 126-pound representative. He began the tournament with a second-period pin loss to Kameron Scott of Torrey Pines, who placed fifth in the division. Phillips then won a 7-5 decision over David Brin of Scripps Ranch before being pinned in the second period by Zachary Lee of Del Norte.

A broken ankle delayed preparation for Xavier Pacheco, who last year was in the 113-pound bracket and wrestled at 120 pounds Dec, 3. Pacheco shared fifth place at the Carlsbad Invitational. His first match was a first-period victory by pin against Jace Jordan of Ramona. Pacheco then faced eventual division runner-up Cristoforo Martinez of Del Norte, who pinned Pacheco with 21 seconds remaining in regulation.

Pacheco's first losers' bracket match was a 10-5 decision victory over Andrew Pham of Del Norte. Pacheco then won an 11-5 decision against Hugo Grandi of El Camino. The path to third place for Colin Scott of Torrey Pines included pinning Pacheco in the second period. Pacheco and Will Herman of Helix were the formal contestants in the fifth-place match, but both had reached the maximum five matches in one day so that contest was not held.

"He's just grinding out the matches," Brockson said of Pacheco. "He still had a great showing."

Nic Brockson had a first-round bye. He then pinned Tristan Madrigal of Oceanside 32 seconds into that match. In the semifinals, Brockson pinned John-Paul Arballo of Eastlake 1:39 after the match began. The championship match between Brockson and Carter Bolt of Torrey Pines ended 51 seconds into the second period when Brockson pinned Bolt.

"Nic excelled at the tournament," Vera said. "He pinned all the way through."

Pacheco is a senior. Brockson is a junior as is Phillips.

"We've got a very young team this year," Tom Brockson said. "They are stepping up."


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