PREP WRESTLING: Bear River grapplers headed for postseason
February 7, 2019
The Bear River wrestling squad hit the mat at the Pioneer Valley League Tournament held at Colfax High School last Saturday and came away with some impressive achievements.
"Everyone wrestled really well," said Bruins head coach Kevin Figueroa, who will be sending eight wrestlers on to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V tourney. "As long as we can get our heads on straight and limit errors, we'll see who is going on to Masters. It's not an easy road."
Sophomore Ashlyn Canizalez pinned her male opponent about 30 seconds into her match to win first place and claim the PVL title in the 115-pound weight class, the first ever by a female wrestler in Bear River program history.
Senior Aiden Smith (184) also pinned his opponent to repeat as PVL champion, securing first place for a top seed and a trip to the Divisional tournament which starts today.
"Right now in their mind they have to take on every opponent as if it were their last," added Figueroa. "If you lose two, you go home and your season is over. They need to find a way to win through Friday and get to the final (Masters qualifying) rounds Saturday. It hits really hard on seniors. The likelihood of them hitting the mat again beside assisting or coaching is very rare."
The Bruins took third place as a team at the PVL tourney, finishing behind PVL champ Center and Marysville, which nabbed second. Bear River finished the regular season 4-1, good for second place in the PVL. Center finished the season unblemished at 5-0.
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Also advancing to the Divisional tournament for the Bruins is senior Trae Nix (222), who placed second at the PVL tourney, seniors Jared Baze (197) and Chandler Brown (154), who each took third place, Derek Warner (108), who took second, Waylon Spence (162), who finished third and Micah Warner (147), who qualified with a fourth place finish.
The Sac-Joaquin Section boys D-V tourney will be held today and Saturday at Calaveras High School. The girls regional tourney will take place today and Saturday at Natomas High School. Only the top four finishers from each respective weight class will earn the trip to Masters.
Brian Shepard is a freelance sports writer who contributes to The Union regularly.
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