Story by John Salzer
WALNUT, Calif. - The Santa Ana Dons Wrestling program went into Mt SAC shorthanded, with only four wrestlers competing and finishing 8th out of 8 teams, but on a mission nonetheless. "It wouldn't be fair to the guys that are showing up to practice if we didn't go," said head coach Vince Silva. Seven schools competed, being the Dons, host Mt SAC split into two teams, Palomar, Rio Hondo, East LA, and northern schools Modesto and Sierra. Wrestling for the Dons was Samuel Galdamez-Valle (125), Oliver Rivero (133), Joshua Fuentes - Norikiyo (141), and Luis Cervantes (184).
The Dons were put into the A pool with the Mt SAC Maroon team, East LA and Modesto. Their first matchup was with the Mt SAC Maroon team, who opened up the dual with a 13-4 majority decision victory by Zach Cunningham over Sam Galdamez at 125 pounds to give the Mounties a 4-0 lead. Santa Ana responded in kind at 133 with Oliver Rivero winning his match with a 16-4 majority decision over Mt SAC's Ethan Diaz. Diaz had scored the first points of the match with an early takedown, but Rivero quickly responded with an escape and takedown to ride Diaz out for the remainder of the first period. From there Rivero got an escape early in the second period before Diaz once again got a takedown to tie the match 4-4. Rivero would, in turn, get an escape for a 5-4 lead and would not give up any more points for that match, chaining a takedown plus two sets of 4 point near falls. Josh Fuentes at 141 found a challenge in his opponent Jesus Gardino as he fell behind 6-0 after a head and arm takedown from Gardino, and Fuentes in danger of being pinned. Fuentes would get out of the head and arm pin situation and earn the points back with a reversal and his own 4 point near fall, plus a takedown after an escape by Gardino to make the match 8-7 in Fuentes' favor. Fuentes would not look back as he scored a reversal, two takedowns, and a 2 point near fall plus riding time to win the match 17-8, putting the team up 8-4. After four forfeits to Mt SAC, Luis Cervantes would put last points on the board for Santa Ana with a 5-1 decision over Ian Basquez at 184 pounds. Two more forfeits to Mt SAC ended the dual with a score of 40-11 in favor of Mt SAC.
The second round saw the team face East LA, with Sam Galdamez at 125 pounds notching his first win of the season with a technical fall victory over his opponent Nathan Martinez 16-1. Oliver Rivero at 133 pounds kept his pace for the season with a similar result of a technical fall over his opponent Martin Gevorkian 18-0. Josh Fuentes wasted no time dispatching his 141 pound opponent Erik Echeverri, pinning him just 13 seconds into the match for what is so far the season's fastest fall for the Dons. This 16-0 lead would be the best that the team could do against East LA, as East LA would receive forfeits at 149, 157, 165, 174, 197, and 285. The last official match of the dual was at 184 pounds with Luis Cervantes facing East LA opponent Gabriel Rodriguez. Rodriguez would come out with an early takedown in the first period before pinning Cervantes with a cradle hold, with the final score of the dual being an East LA victory of 42-16.
For the third round, the team had the rare opportunity to wrestle against a Northern section team in the form of Modesto. At 125 pounds, the dual opened with Sam Galdamez taking on Houston Scibek. After a scoreless first period, Galdamez would choose bottom but would get turned by Scibek who earned a 4 point near fall. An escape and takedown by Galdamez would close the gap to 4-3 in favor of Scibek, but the Modesto wrestler would earn an escape followed by his own takedown to lead the match 7-3. The last reversal by Galdamez to bring the score to 7-5 would not be enough as time would run out and Scibek had an extra point for riding time, winning the match 8-5 and putting Modesto up 3-0. At 133 pounds, Oliver Rivero showed complete control of the match, pinning his opponent Jaime Pulido at 2'45" in the first period. Josh Fuentes repeated this at 141 pounds, pinning his opponent Aiden Villavicencio at the exact same time of 2'45" into the match. At 184 pounds, Luis Cervantes could not get on the offensive against his opponent Juan Rosales, losing by majority decision 13-5. Forfeits at 149, 157, 165, 174, 197, and 285 in favor of Modesto would make the final score 12-43, with Santa Ana finishing 0-3 in their pool and sending them to the 7th place match against the Mt SAC White squad.
In the 7th place match, Sam Galdamez would receive a forfeit victory to give the Dons the lead at 6-0. Oliver Rivero 133 pounds would put his cheap tilt maneuver to work, earning two 4 point near falls and several takedowns to earn a technical fall of 15-0 over his Mt SAC opponent Jessie Martinez, who was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct at the end of the match resulting in a one point team deduction against Mt SAC. Josh Fuentes would receive a forfeit victory to put the Dons up 17 to negative 1, with Mt SAC receiving three forfeit victories at 149, 157 and 165, and a double forfeit at 174 resulting in no points for either team. Luis Cervantes would close out the day strong for the Santa Ana wrestling team, earning a dominant fall in 3'36" to bring the Dons team points to 23. Two final forfeits in favor of Mt SAC resulted in a score of 29-23 for Mt SAC, and Santa Ana finishing 8th place for the day.
The Santa Ana Dons Wrestling team will be traveling to Lemoore for a tournament at West Hills College on 9/22.