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Prep Wrestling Preview: Many stars gone, but Buhach still ready to prove something

The transition to the Central California Conference was an easy one for the Buhach Colony wrestling team last season.

It helps when you bring one of the top teams in the section with you.

How good was BC last season?

Seven Buhach wrestlers won CCC titles and the team went on to win conference and Sac-Joaquin Section Division I South championships.

"Our guys have a lot to live up to," Buhach Colony coach Eric Osmer said.

Six of the CCC champs have graduated, including state placers Daniel Osmer and Frankie Flores.

Their departure gives opportunities to kids who were stuck behind BC's star-studded lineup on the depth chart.

"I think we have some guys who will surprise some people," Osmer said.

Maybe somebody like senior Cody Griess, who found himself stuck behind Josh Sandhaus last year.

Seniors Matt Sahota (112 pounds) and Tyler Miranda (160) will have a chance to step in the spotlight.

The cupboard isn't exactly bare.

Johnathan White (145) returns after advancing to the state tournament last year as a junior.

A dislocated shoulder may have been the only thing keeping Jeremy Camacho (119/125) from joining White in Bakersfield.

Camacho went 2-2 at last year's Sac-Joaquin Section Masters tournament despite wrestling from the second round on with an injured shoulder.

Osmer will also have one of the top 189-pounders in the CCC in senior James Kelleher.

Despite the new faces, a fourth straight conference title wouldn't be a surprise.

Here's a look at some of the other wrestling teams in the area:

ATWATER

After a couple years of low numbers, Atwater has roughly 60 kids this year in the wrestling room.

However, most of them are young.

Victor Lopez does return after finishing fourth at 135 pounds last season.

Johnny Pedro (103) and Josh Parker (189) could also make postseason runs.

LOS BANOS

Dan Roton's guys should be one of the teams to beat in the CCC.

Los Banos has one of the top wrestlers in the area in Andrew Vander Poel.

Vander Poel won CCC and Sac-Joaquin Section South titles on his way to the state meet.

Jordan Erickson, Jasbir Singh and Scott Miranda help fill out a formidable lineup.

MERCED

With a lack of numbers, Merced will struggle in dual matches.

Joel Rodas (103) returns after advancing to the section meet last year.

Ray Valenzuela (119) and Efrain Rojo (145) will also be tough matchups.

Merced also expects to get Chris Urquizo back in a couple weeks if he takes care of his work in the classroom.

The junior was the Sun-Star Wrestler of the Year after reaching the state finals last year at 140 pounds.

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