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High school wrestlers scout foes on YouTube

Adm Golub/adgolub@modbee.com 
Garret Fortado, from Oakdale High, Stays on top of Blaze Fidler from Golden Valley during the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Wrestling tournament at the Stockton Areana in Stockton, Calif., February 26, 2011.  Garret Fortado took first place in the 112lbs weight class.
Adm Golub/adgolub@modbee.com Garret Fortado, from Oakdale High, Stays on top of Blaze Fidler from Golden Valley during the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Wrestling tournament at the Stockton Areana in Stockton, Calif., February 26, 2011. Garret Fortado took first place in the 112lbs weight class. Modesto Bee

Frank Lemos probably spent a couple hours this week searching YouTube online.

It wasn't an attempt to see what crazy things Charlie Sheen was saying. Instead, he was doing homework.

The Dos Palos wrestling coach was looking for videos on upcoming opponents to put together game plans for his two state-bound wrestlers D.J. Quiroz and Logan Enos.

The days of going into the CIF State Wrestling Tournament blind are over.

Unlike football where the two teams exchange game film, in wrestling you're on your own to find video.

With a few clicks of a mouse coaches and wrestlers can scout their opponents.

"You can find video on just about anybody if you look long enough," Lemos said. "It's a big difference from just four or five years ago."

The state meet gets under way today at 9 a.m. at Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield. The goal for each wrestler is to finish in the top eight and receive a medal.

Quiroz will go into his first match today against Northern Section champion Mick Morelli from Paradise knowing what Morelli likes to do when he's on top or on bottom.

Chopper Mello has also logged on time on the computer with his two state qualifiers Blaze Fidler and Julian Terry.

"It's a big tool we use. Especially at this level where you're wrestling elite wrestlers. There's bound to be video.

"Before the only information we had was if we'd wrestled a guy before. When you got to this level we hadn't seen the guys down South.

"Now, we can see if they attack a certain leg or which leg they put in front. It can make a big difference."

You can bet Mariposa's Alex Harrington and Los Banos' Jorge Munoz have done their research online before making the trip to Bakersfield.

Websites like FlowWrestling and YouTube have made it easy to scout opponents.

Almost every big tournament is being videotaped by coaches, family and wrestling fans.

Eventually, that video ends up on the Internet.

The scouting doesn't end at home.

"When we're at the arena we'll pull out our phone and show our kids something before the match," Mello said. "That's the nice thing about all these mobile devices."

Mello also uses these online videos as a teaching tool.

If he can't show his kids how to physically do a move in practice he can search the move on YouTube and show the kids a video of how to do the move.

"I use this stuff some, but my younger assistants are all over this stuff with these kids," Mello said.

Shawn Jansen is a Sun-Star sports reporter. He can be reached at sjansen@mercedsun-star.com.

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