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Five Warriors compete in CIF wrestling tournament

Joe Naiman

Village News Reporter

Five members of Fallbrook High School’s wrestling team competed in the CIF Division II tournament Feb. 11 at San Pasqual High School.

Nic Brockson wrestled in the 115-pound division. Xavier Pacheco was Fallbrook’s 122-pound grappler. Fisher Phillips competed in the 128-pound class. Daniel Wilson had 134-pound matches. Devin Huntington was in the 140-pound bracket.

All five Fallbrook wrestlers won at least one match in the double-elimination tournament. “It was a very good feeling,” said Fallbrook head coach Tom Brockson.

Pacheco is the only senior among the five. Brockson, Phillips, and Huntington are juniors. Wilson is a sophomore.

Huntington began the tournament by pinning Carlsbad’s Joseph Marquez 1:17 into the match. Garrett Elliott of Scripps Ranch, who would place third, pinned Huntington 1:12 into the second period of their second-round match. In the consolation bracket, Huntington faced Alejandro Paniagua of Central Union High School. Paniagua, who would place sixth, won a 3-1 decision in his match with Huntington.

Phillips initially faced Oswaldo Pina of Chula Vista. A wrestler is given one point for an escape, two points for a takedown, a reversal, or a near fall lasting two to five seconds, and three points for a near fall of at least five seconds. A 15-point margin triggers a technical fall, and Phillips obtained the 17-0 technical fall victory over Pina with a long near fall.

Jayson Suetos of Granite Hills would win the 128-pound championship at the divisional tournament and then place second in the all-division masters tournament Feb. 17-18 at Mission Hills High School. Suetos relegated Phillips to the consolation bracket with a pin 1:28 into their second-round match at the division tournament. Phillips then faced Jason Fugate of Steele Canyon, who won a 7-3 decision and eventually placed sixth in the weight class.

Last year, Pacheco was sixth in the 115-pound class at the Division II tournament. A broken ankle delayed preparation for Pacheco’s 2022-23 season, and illness and other injuries led to seventh place among this year’s 122-pound matmen. “He had a pretty hard season this year with injuries,” Brockson said. “He always stuck it out.”

Pacheco began the 2023 divisional tournament with a loss by pin to Central Union’s Zion Garcia one second before the end of the second period. Pacheco then pinned Isaac Osagueda of Grossmont 59 seconds into the third period. In the consolation quarterfinals, Escondido’s Nikki Cuevas pinned Pacheco with five seconds left in the first period. Pacheco wrestled the seventh-place match against Esteban Medina of Steele Canyon and pinned Medina 39 seconds after the third period started.

“It was a great surprise for me,” Brockson said of Pacheco placing seventh. “He had a lot of adversity this year.”

In Wilson’s first-round match, he pinned Matthew Nacionales of Steele Canyon 1:22 into the second period. Layronz Fraser of Granite Hills, who would place second in the 134-pound bracket, pinned Wilson with 37 seconds remaining in the third period. Wilson then won an 8-4 decision over Grant Hancock of Scripps Ranch to advance to the consolation quarterfinals. Valhalla’s Jonathan Yousif pinned Wilson 1:30 into the second period. In the seventh-place match, Wilson pinned Lexx Gaxiola of Orange Glen 13 seconds into the second period.

“He’s really fine-tuning his technique,” Brockson said of Wilson.

Nic Brockson had a first-round bye and then won a 9-5 decision against Olympian’s Alejandro Sarabia. Carlo Arreola of Granite Hills was the 115-pound champion while placing second in the masters, and a pin 1:01 into the division semifinal relegated Brockson to the consolation bracket. Brockson pinned Hilltop’s Noah Heredia 1:35 into their bout to advance to the third-place match against Valhalla’s Arseel Eliya. Brockson earned third place by pinning Eliya 1:30 into the second period.

Brockson placed fourth in last year’s Division II tournament. “He’s improved from last year,” Tom Brockson said. “He’s just trying to get better every year.”


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