Cougars make the state rankings
Oct. 25, 2011 — In a matter of a few short weeks of the season beginning, several Lassen College wrestlers made the state rankings when it was announced Wednesday, Oct. 5.
Freshman Jeff Lobos ranked eighth in the state in the 133-weight class for the Cougars.
Before dropping a weight class, sophomore Marcial Rodriguez ranked fourth at 157 pounds.
Dusty Vaughn, head coach for the Cougars, said with Rodriguez dropping to 149 pounds, he should be ranked third or fourth.
Freshman Josh Cutts rounds out the Cougars state rankings at fourth in the 184-weight class.
Vaughn said there are several other wrestlers worthy of honorable mentions on the team.
Freshmen Ricky Ugarte and Yasier Alvarez at 125 pounds, freshman Owen Craugh at 149 pounds and freshman Zarek Sanchez at 157 pounds all earned honorable mention for the state rankings.
Vaungh said Craugh will be dropping to 141 pounds this week and should be ranked in the top eight in the state.
He also said Sanchez has a 12-2 win over fifth-ranked Miguel Torres from Fresno City.
“All the athletes are on the radar and in position to make big moves (in upcoming competitions),” said Vaughn.
The Cougars had some injuries in the start of the season and Vaughn said the wrestlers have returned into the lineup for the team.
“A lot of movement in the lineup and a ton of development taking place,” said Vaughn. “We are hitting the iron while it’s hot, getting this team ready for the state championships (in the month of) December.”
The young team had several battles with tough competition in the past two weekends.
The Cougars placed ninth at the Modesto Tournament, held Saturday, Oct. 8.
Vaughn said the team was a mere six points from a top-five finish at the tournament and it was a “very close point race.”
Lobos placed third in the 133-weight class, Cutts earned fourth place in the 184-weight class and Thomas Marshall place third in the 197-weight class.
“The team wrestled well,” said Vaughn. “The Modesto tournament is basically the equivalent to our state tournament minus three teams.”
The North Regional Duals, held Saturday, Oct. 15, in Santa Rosa, Calif., found the Cougars competing against the top teams in the state including the number-one ranked and defending state champions Fresno City College.
Other teams in attendance were the third-ranked Sac City College, fourth-ranked Santa Ana College and eighth-ranked Sierra College.
The winner of the dual at North Regionals will compete for the Dual Teams State Championship.
The team was 2-2 in duals during the North Regionals.
In the first round, Lassen beat Skyline 30-21 after forfeiting two weight classes due to illness which resulted in 12 of the 21 points Skyline had resulting from forfeits.
In the second round, Lassen wrestled defending state champions Fresno City.
“The guys wrestled tough and fought hard in this dual,” said Vaughn. “Every match was a close 2-4 point match.
Lobos, now ranked third in the state, wrestled number-one ranked Chris Padilla from Fresno City.
After having an early lead, Lobos lost the match 10-11.
Marshall, ranked fourth in the state, upset the third-ranked wrestler in the state from Fresno City, 8-2.
A.J. Estrada, wrestling at 174 pounds, was 3-1 on the day having a breakout tournament.
Vaughn said Estrada really showed great leadership qualities and wrestled very aggressively.
Vaughn said competing in duals is the most exciting thing about wrestling.
“You compete one-on-one against another team to see who is the best. The spotlight is all on the individual out on the mat. It is very exciting,” said Vaughn.
The Cougars’ first home competition is scheduled at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 26, against Shasta College.