Village News Reporter
Fallbrook High School senior Nic Brockson won his weight class at the Carter Classic wrestling tournament Saturday, Nov. 18, at Carter High School in Rialto and was also selected as the most valuable performer for the light weight brackets.
Brockson competed in the 132-pound weight class. He pinned all four of his opponents, taking down his first two in the first period and his final two in the second period.
"He had a big day," Fallbrook head coach Tom Brockson said. "All the work in the summer looks like it's been paying off."
Team points are given for results in each round, including how the grappler won. Although Fallbrook only had wrestlers in eight of the 14 weight classes the Warriors placed ninth as a team.
"We did pretty well," Brockson said. "A lot of the guys won by fall in the beginning, so it really helped us climb up."
Five Fallbrook matmen overall took home medals. In addition to Nic Brockson winning his weight class, senior Devin Huntington placed third in the 150-pound bracket, senior Fisher Phillips took sixth among 144-pound wrestlers, junior Dan Wilson placed sixth in the 138-pound division and freshman Ricky Lopez was sixth in the 113-pound class.
Brockson began the tournament against Beaumont senior David Duncan. Brockson pinned Duncan at the end of the first period. Brockson then faced San Bernardino's Pacific High School freshman Yuhani Zamora and pinned Zamora 40 seconds into their match. Rancho Cucamonga High School senior Anthony Muro was Brockson's semifinal opponent and was pinned by Brockson 1:36 into the second period.
John Wesley North High School is in Riverside, and the Huskies' wrestlers include junior Lukas Knox. Brockson won the championship by pinning Knox 47 seconds into the second period.
Brockson was a sophomore in November 2021 when Ethan Aguila became the first-ever Fallbrook High School wrestler to win a weight class championship at the Carter Classic. Brockson thus became the second Warrior to win that tournament.
"He went in there, he had that goal in his head," Tom Brockson said. "That's a good goal to have."
Nic Brockson was in the 113-pound bracket in the 2021 Carter Classic and shared seventh place. His second tournament was the January 2022 Mission Hills Invitational where he won two matches but lost in the round whose winners placed and received medals based on their subsequent matches. Three weeks after that Brockson competed in the 2022 Escondido Cougar Classic and won the 108-pound class.
"That's when he started being confident. He started building his confidence," Tom Brockson said. "I think he really started believing in himself."
Brockson believes that the confidence from winning the Cougar Classic was the difference between Nic Brockson's seventh-place finish in 2021 and his championship this year.
"It's really exciting. We're proud of him," Tom Brockson said.
The light weight most valuable performer was chosen from the champions of the 106-pound, 113-pound, 120-pound, 126-pound, 132-pound, 138-pound and 144-pound divisions.
"We thought we had a chance to win," Tom Brockson said.
Nic Brockson was the only champion in those weight classes who won four matches by fall.
"It was pretty exciting," Tom Brockson said. "The MVP award is just a really big accomplishment. I think it's a pretty big accomplishment for the school as well winning that award."
Fallbrook did not compete in the 2022 Carter Classic. Fallbrook opened the 2022-2023 season at the December 2022 Carlsbad Invitational, where Nic Brockson won the 113-pound championship. As such, Nic Brockson could not become the second Fallbrook champion in the Carter Classic until this year.
"We're just proud he went out there and put his mind to something and accomplished his goal," Tom Brockson said.
Huntington needed 1:36 to pin Beaumont sophomore Raymond Maldonado in the first round. Huntington pinned John Wesley North senior Josue Godoy 1:13 into that match. In the semifinal Huntington lost an 8-2 decision to Rancho Cucamonga junior Jake Jelus.
"The match got away from him," Brockson said. "He was being aggressive and trying to score some points."
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.
Wrestling tournaments have a double-elimination format other than the championship match between two previously undefeated wrestlers and the fifth-place match between the two consolation semifinals losers, so Huntington transitioned to the consolation bracket and faced Maldonado in the consolation semifinal.
In that match, Huntington did not pin Maldonado until 39 seconds into the third period. Maldonado won his fifth-place match while Huntington subsequently faced Ontario High School senior Eddie Guzman in the third-place match. An 8-0 major decision victory gave Huntington third place.
"I'm still happy with the third place," Brockson said. "Devin just keeps improving. He's been working all summer to get better as well."
Phillips opened the tournament by pinning Jayden Portillo of Etiwanda High School with seven seconds remaining in the second period. Phillips then pinned Rancho Cucamonga junior Dante Bertello 16 seconds into the second period. Adelanto High School senior Brandon Allen relegated Phillips to the consolation bracket with a pin 49 seconds into the second period.
The Carter Classic allows multiple wrestlers in a weight class, and Austin McSwain also attends Etiwanda High School. McSwain defeated Portillo in the consolation quarterfinal before pinning Phillips 53 seconds into the consolation semifinal and then winning the third-place match.
Prior to this season, a wrestler was limited to five matches in a day and often a grappler had to forfeit a consolation bracket placing match to an opponent who had fewer consolation matches. The 2023-2024 rules allow for up to six matches in a day, so Carter freshman William Vasquez was allowed to face Phillips in the fifth-place match. An 8-4 decision gave Vasquez the preferred placing position and Phillips sixth place.
If a wrestler has a lead of at least 15 points, a technical fall ends the match. Wilson obtained such a victory in the first round of the Carter Classic with a 20-4 score against Carter sophomore Jacob Saldana. Vista Murrieta junior Nathanial Frietas won a 14-7 decision over Wilson in the quarterfinals. Wilson's first consolation match ended 34 seconds after it began when he pinned Palmdale's Pete Knight High School senior Luis Barajas.
Wilson advanced to the consolation semifinal by pinning Adelanto junior Emmanuel Flores-Benitez 42 seconds into the third period. Adelanto senior Jovan Reese pinned Wilson 1:49 into the semifinal match. The allowance for a sixth match in a day enabled Wilson to compete in the fifth-place match although Beaumont's Ivan DeHaro pinned Wilson 48 seconds into the second period.
"They just keep on building," Brockson said of Phillips and Wilson.
Fallbrook senior Rowan Deputy also competed in the 138-pound division but lost both of his matches.
Lopez had a first-round bye and began competition against Colton High School sophomore Elias Velasquez, who pinned Lopez 1:31 into that match and eventually took second place. In the consolation quarterfinal, Lopez pinned Carter sophomore Daniel Mata 1:46 into the first period. Joshue Jimenez is also a Colton High School sophomore, and his path to third place included a 17-6 major decision win against Lopez in the consolation semifinal. Adelanto junior Jesus Moncayo pinned Lopez 47 seconds into the fifth-place match.
"I think it's really going to help accelerate his skill level," Brockson said of Lopez's experience at the tournament.
Fallbrook junior Jacob Sorden was in the 126-pound class. He followed a first-round bye with a loss by pin 57 seconds into the third period. In his first consolation match Sorden pinned Uziel Murillo of Colton High School 33 seconds into the third period. In the consolation quarterfinal whose winner eventually placed Sorden lost a 7-3 decision to Knight High School sophomore Anthony Lopez.
In the 190-pound bracket junior Cruz Aurora was pinned in his first match, pinned Carter's Omar Aguayo 1:29 into their initial consolation match, won a 9-6 decision over Colton sophomore Elijah Juarez, and fell one match short of the medal rounds when he was pinned by John Wesley North senior Jacob Arellano with three seconds left in the first period.
Both 215-pound matches for sophomore Jordan Anicete were losses.