Pacheco High’s league-opening dual wrestling meet on Wednesday night showed how much it will take to compete with the league’s top guns as Patterson defeated the Panthers 52-18.
Seven Pacheco wrestlers ended the night on the wrong side of a pin, but all three of Pacheco’s victories came by pin as well – heavyweight Joseph Coronado opened the match with a 42-second pin of Patterson’s Darrius Hunt, 132-pounder Martin Perez put Patterson’s Ethan Schut on his back in the second round, and 220-pounder Josh Tui took 53 seconds to pin Patterson’s Marc Lopez in the final match of the night.
“We’re starting to be more aggressive, and that’s one thing I want,” Pacheco coach Michael Singh said. “We’re looking for some things – get them in some head-and-arms, some arms swings, some throws. From the bottom we’re doing really good getting out. We’re scoring when we need to score. Especially with some of our JV guys, that was good to see.”
Tui is not officially the starter at 220, but has stepped up in the absence of fellow first-team all-league lineman Nick Vermillion, who has lingering issues from football season. Tui’s first move against Lopez was to get inside his reach, pick him up in a bear hug and set him down on his back. From there, it was a short finish.
“In practice, we’ve been working on a lot of moves. We really didn’t seem to show what we’ve worked on,” Tui said. “This group, we have a lot of injuries. We didn’t have a full varsity lineup with us, so we had to sub in some guys real quick. I feel like they carried their weight.”
Tui took fourth in last weekend’s Bear Creek Invitational in Stockton.
“That’s a good job. When Nick comes back, he’ll have a challenge,” Singh said.
Patterson’s Adrian Luna, Daniel Cota, Manuel Cruz, Dylan Christiansen, Brad Gill, Jerry Arredondo and Francisco Plasencia all walked out with pins. The closer matches included Sean DeOcampo’s 4-2 win over Pacheco’s Aroon Sarwari, Jordan Canseco’s 15-7 major decision over Christian Grijalva and Daniel Linares’ 5-0 decision over Marcus Azevedo.
“I like the fact that our kids dictate the pace,” Patterson coach Virgil Canseco said. “I’ve been talking throughout practice that they have to go out and dictate the pace, push the pace, and I like the way they came out aggressive and did that.”
A few of the matches were close before the Patterson wrestlers pulled away. Keith Kolenut led Christiansen 6-2 in the 152-pound match after two near-falls in the first round, but two penalties and a reverse tied the score. Christiansen got the pin in the second round. At 195 pounds, Javier Garcia also led 6-2 after the first round, but Plasencia put him on his back late in the second round.
Patterson, one of the Western Athletic Conference’s perennial contenders, has a home dual against two-time defending WAC champion Los Banos on Jan. 2.
“You know, Los Banos is a powerhouse in our league, so we’re looking forward to that match,” Canseco said. “I know they lost a lot of good guys, but they always have a good program coming in, so it’s going to be tough.”