San Fernando seeks City Duals crown
By Dave Shelburne, Staff Writer
Postseason championship competition will take place on five fronts for area
wrestling teams Saturday, when the City Section Dual Meet tournament is scheduled
for Birmingham High of Lake Balboa and Southern Section individual divisional
titles will be determined at Brea Olinda, Westminster, Marina of Huntington
Beach and La Quinta.
Undefeated San Fernando (18-0) is the top seed in the City Duals, in which coach Fernando Gonzalez will start a strong and balanced lineup that includes four wrestlers - freshman Rashaad Reynolds (130 pounds) and seniors Julio Lopez (135), Eddie Uribe (145) and Santos Delgadillo (275) - ranked No. 1 in the City at their weights.
San Fernando, hoping to match Bell's Dual Meet and City Championship sweep last season, enters postseason with 10 of 14 weight-class starters ranked third or better in the City.
Five-time City Dual Meet champion El Camino Real of Woodland Hills comes in 10-2 with two top-ranked City wresters - Steve Munoz (119) and Adir Tal (160) - and a strong 112-pounder in T.J. Niemeyer, who is ranked second in City behind two-time state qualifier Oscar Garcia of Chatsworth.
Competition starts at 9:30 a.m., with the championship match expected to get underway about 4:30 p.m.
The City Championship tournament is scheduled for Jan. 25 at University High in West Los Angeles. San Fernando and Steve Fischer-coached ECR both will be bidding for a record 11th City team title.
Southern Section: Marmonte and Pacific View league qualifiers will open postseason individual competition at the Southern Division championships at Westminster, and Golden League qualifiers will be at the Central Division championships at Brea Olinda.
Mission League qualifiers compete in the Coastal Division championships at Marina, and Rio Hondo League qualifiers will be at the Eastern Division championships at La Quinta.
Wrestling in all four two-day competitions starts at noon Friday and at 11 a.m. Saturday, concluding with weight-class finals that run 5-7 p.m. Saturday. The top five finishers at each weight in each of the Southern Section's six divisionals advance to the Feb. 24-25 Masters Meet at Fountain Valley High.
Individual outlook: Top area postseason prospects include state-ranked Kevin Dunn (119) of Royal of Simi Valley and Cameron Teitelman (125) of Calabasas in the Marmonte League. Dunn is 32-3 and ranked No. 3 in the state. Teitelman is 38-2, ranked No. 8 in the state and has defeated then-top-ranked 125-pounder Scott Prentice of Alhambra and Dunn (at 125 in a league dual meet).
Mikey Murphy (35-8) of Simi Valley also is a strong postseason contender at 125; he handed Teitelman one of his two season losses at that weight, in the Sam De John Tournament final at San Fernando.
Michael Lemos of Rio Mesa of Oxnard is ranked No. 2 in Southern Section at 189 pounds.
Four-time Mission League champions Sione Fua (275) and Luis Munoz (112) and 152-pound Lamar Reed, a five-time tournament winner this season, are top postseason candidates for Crespi of Encino.
Antelope Valley of Lancaster 140-pounder Eric Timson (34-3), who came within one victory of qualifying for the state finals last year, is a standout in the Golden League, which includes Lancaster league champions Jeff Merrill (112) and Kevin Plunkett (215) among its top wrestlers. Heavyweights Giovanni Sarran (Palmdale) and Jason Fonzi (Quartz Hill), Littlerock's Ryan Cambaliza (215) and three-time league champion Josh Purpus of Highland of Palmdale (125) are other strong Golden entries.
Notable:!off Chaminade of West Hills has qualified six of its nine wrestlers for postseason, including league champions Ryan Cirillo (119) and Adam Mazzeo (215), the Mission League's upper-weight MVP. ?
Former Royal wrestler Richard Carrillo coached Chatsworth to its first City Section title in 30 years in 2004. Last season, he returned to his alma mater as an assistant to Paul Mole and helped coach Royal to the Southern Section Div. V Dual Meet title. This season, he stepped up to head coach at Royal and directed the Highlanders to another Div. V Dual Meet title.
Antelope Valley, which ended Highland?s three-year run as Golden League champion this year, finished 16-4, reaching its first section Dual Meet final before losing to Royal.