The first two-day wrestling tournament of the season for Fallbrook High School was the Thursday and Friday, Dec. 21-22, Lakeside Holiday Invitational at Lakeside High School in Lake Elsinore, and Fallbrook junior Nic Brockson won four 126-pound matches before losing in the championship match.
Brockson won his first two matches by pins in the first period and his next two matches by decision. El Dorado High School of Placentia senior Isaiah Quintero won the weight class championship by pinning Brockson in the first period of the final.
“He had a really hard finals match,” Fallbrook head coach Tom Brockson said. “The kid [Quintero] is a two-time state finalist.”
In the 2023 state tournament, Quintero was in the 120-pound division and lost a 1-0 match in the final. Quintero won the 106-pound state championship in 2022.
“The kid’s a really good wrestler,” Tom Brockson said.
The Lakeside Holiday Invitational closed out Calendar Year 2023 competition for the Fallbrook program. The Warriors’ only dual meet in December was at home Thursday, Dec. 14, against Army-Navy Academy. The meet between two teams whose nickname is the Warriors ended as a 45-6 Fallbrook triumph.
“It was a good meet,” Brockson said.
Wrestling has both individual scores and team scores. In each match 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. Infractions may give an opponent one or two penalty points.
A win by decision provides three team points, a major decision which means a margin of at least eight points is worth four team points, a 15-point margin triggers a technical fall which gives five points and a pin or forfeit win – usually due to default because the other school doesn’t field a grappler in that weight class rather than due to disqualification – adds six team points.
Cameron Joe Cruz, Sam Deputy, Devin Huntington, Ricky Lopez, Benjamin Moreno and Fisher Phillips pinned their Army-Navy opponents. Cruz Arroyo won by decision.
“A lot of our younger guys stepped up,” Brockson said.
Fallbrook brought eight grapplers to the Lakeside Holiday Invitational. Multiple wrestlers from a school may compete in the same weight class and Phillips, Jadon Gomez and Daniel Wilson all participated in 138-pound bouts.
“It went well,” Brockson said.
Brockson noted that the tournament included ranked California teams as well as schools from Arizona, Nevada and Utah.
Elsinore High School junior Erick Camarillo was Nic Brockson’s initial opponent in the Lakeside Holiday Invitational. Brockson pinned Camarillo 1 minute 30 seconds into their match. Brockson pinned Nikolai Salinas of Vista Del Lago High School in Moreno Valley at 1:27 into that match. Sultana High School of Hesperia senior Aaron Mesa survived all three periods against Brockson in their quarterfinal match, although a 6-1 decision victory allowed Brockson to advance. Lakeside High School junior Chase Carrasco took fourth place in the bracket after being relegated to the consolation matches with Brockson’s 9-7 decision win in the semifinals.
Quintero pinned his four previous opponents in the first minute. He needed 1:17 to pin Brockson in the championship match. Quintero had previously obtained a takedown and had a 2-0 lead before the pin.
“He got caught on the cradle,” Tom Brockson said of Nic Brockson.
Wilson won his first two matches, pinning Cesar Ochoa of John Wesley North High School in Riverside at 33 seconds after the match began and pinning Carlos Ayala of Schurr High School in Montebello at 1:36 into the match. In their quarterfinal match Mathius Garza of Eisenhower High School in Rialto pinned Wilson 54 seconds into the first period.
Garza eventually took second place in the weight class. Shadow Ridge High School made the trip from Las Vegas, Nevada, and Shadow Ridge senior Mark Shutt placed fourth. Shutt won six consolation bracket matches, defeating both Phillips and Wilson. In the match, whose winner would advance to the medal rounds and place, Shutt pinned Wilson with 25 seconds remaining in the first period.
“He’s right there,” Tom Brockson said of Wilson. “When he goes out there we know he’s got a shot to medal and we have a good shot to win that match.”
Phillips began the tournament by pinning Julian Flores of Elsinore High School with 22 seconds remaining in the third period. Last year Dallas Robinson of Desert Ridge High School wrestled at 132 pounds in the Arizona state tournament and placed fifth; the trip from Mesa to Lake Elsinore gave Robinson third in the 138-pound bracket and he relegated Phillips to the consolation bracket with a pin 1:01 into the second period. Shutt pinned Phillips with 13 seconds left in the second period. Gomez was pinned in both of his matches, lasting until the second period against Noah Villatoro of Sultana and losing in the first period against Spencer Hacking of Farmington High School in Utah.
Fallbrook’s other four wrestlers each won one match before being eliminated in the double-elimination tournament. Lopez was in the 113-pound class, Jacob Sorden competed at 120 pounds, Moreno faced 132-pound counterparts, and Arroyo was in the 190-pound bracket.
Joe Naiman can be reached by email at [email protected].