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Del Oro pins Grizzlies to gain SFL crown

By: Staff Report
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After a one-year hiatus, the Sierra Foothill League championship wrestling pennant has found its way back to Del Oro High School. Jumping out to a lead they wouldn’t relinquish, after starting the match with three pins in the first four matches, the Del Oro Golden Eagles got on their way to a 39-24 drubbing of Granite Bay in the battle of unbeaten SFL teams last Wednesday in the winner’s gym. The victory for the Golden Eagles cinched Del Oro at least a tie for the SFL crown going into last night’s SFL dual match finale on the road at Rocklin. Barring a major upset by the Thunder, Del Oro will head to this weekend’s CIF Div. II team dual championships as the SFL’s outright league champ and No. 1 representative in the duals. The CIF section Div. II duals will be held this Saturday at Lincoln High, in Stockton. Competitors will be the top two schools from the SFL, Capital Valley Conference and Metropolitan League. The CIF duals will be the first post-season step that will be followed by the CIF Section Div. II championship meet, which will be hosted by Del Oro on Feb. 17 to 18; and the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Masters meet, which will be held at Stockton Arena, on Feb. 23 to 24. The CIF State Tournament is then set for March 2 to 3, in Bakersfield. In last week’s big Del Oro triumph, Tanner Woods captured the first win of the night and clearly sent Del Oro off in the right direction. The 220-pounder held on in the final seconds to grab a 6-2 decision over Kevin Blank. Granite Bay tried to rein the momentum back in with heavyweight Tyler Barty, who took down Saul Meneses for a quick two points in the first period. But Meneses whipped Barty over and flopped on him for the reverse and held him down for a pin with 1 minute, 18 seconds remaining in the opening period. “I used my hips and I just got lucky,” said Meneses, a freshman. “It helped a lot and the next matches we got those good points.” Issac Blackburn pinned Dane Mortensen in the 106-pound bout and Jansen Englebrecht (113) made quick work of Thomas Nguyen to give the Eagles an early 24-0 lead. Zach Ruybal beat Chris Gallegos 9-0 in the 120-pound bout to extend the lead to 25-0. Granite Bay needed big points to close the margin with nine bouts to go, but matched up Del Oro’s touchdowns with only field goals. Sean Brown got the first win for the Grizzlies when he beat Tanner Robison 13-3, but could only notch a near fall in the final period with Robison clearly resisting the pin. The Grizzlies went 5-3 over the last eight bouts, but could only get one pin when freshman Cameron Smith (195) pinned Russell Pierce at the 1:30 mark in the second period. DEL ORO 39, GRANITE BAY 24 (DO listed first) 106—Blackburn pinned Mortenson 113—Engelbrecht pinned Nguyen 120—Ruybal major dec. Gallegos, 9-0 126—Robison dec. by Brown, 13-3 132—Zieour dec. Saylor, 7-5 138—Montoya dec. by Flinders, 7-3 145—Neu dec. by Mook, 6-3 152—Guardino dec. by Wagner, 13-4 160—Branum tech. fall Kovalchuk, 18-3 170—Kainrath pinned Miller 182—Love dec. by Guzman, 10-0 195—Pierce pinned by Smith 220—Woods dec. Blank, 6-2 285—Meneses pinned Bardy.