Archuleta takes fourth in state | TheUnion.com
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Archuleta takes fourth in state

NU assistant coach Shane Valdez talks to Archuleta as Friday's quarterfinal opponent Jeremiah Davis is attended to (background).
ALL | GrassValleyArchive

Nevada Union wrestler Anthony Archuleta thought he made the state finals.

As he and Clovis 125-pound wrestler Jason Williams tumbled out of bounds in the final seconds of their semifinal state match Saturday in Stockton, Archuleta clutched his opponent’s legs and torso, frantically battling for enough control to score a takedown and secure a three-point lead.



He got to his feet to learn differently.




Instead of being awarded a takedown, Archuleta was penalized a point for stalling, tying the match at 4. It went into double overtime before Williams prevailed with a reversal, 6-4.

Archuleta then wrestled back to reach the third-place match, only to default that match with Tulare Union’s J.J. Holt in the third period due to a combination of torn cartilage in his ribs and a thumb that had been dislocated during the match.

“I shot and thought I had a nice single leg,” Archuleta said of the final seconds of his semifinal match. “The next thing I know, I thought I won the match, and I look up at the score, and it is four to four.”

After a scoreless first period, Williams struck first with a reversal with 1:28 left in the second period. Archuleta cut the lead to 2-1 with an escape at 1:03, then took the lead in the final eight seconds of the period with a move that left Archuleta clutching his opponent’s legs as he stood over him.

It was during the second period that Archuleta injured his ribs, requiring an injury timeout.

Williams quickly responded to Archuleta’s advantage, however, with an escape just before the period’s end to tie the match at 3.

Archuleta opened the final period with an immediate escape to go ahead 4-3. With 20 seconds left, and both wrestlers already warned for stalling, the wrestlers began from the neutral position what would be the final sequence of regulation leading up to the penalty point.

“In my mind, Anthony is a state finalist,” NU coach Steve Pilcher said. “Unfortunately, the records won’t show that.”

The one-minute overtime period featured Archuleta wrestling without the cumbersome face protector he had worn since the sectional tournament. He managed one good shot during the abbreviated period, but was unable to finish the move against a senior known for being a defensive-styled wrestler.

Archuleta then lost the coin flip for double overtime, and Williams scored a reversal eight seconds later to advance to the finals.

“He is a great wrestler,” Williams said of Archuleta. “He has good technique.”

Archuleta rebounded from the semifinal disappointment to win a consolation match against senior Matt Schumm of Centennial Corona. Archuleta scored three near-fall points, an escape and a takedown en route to the 6-1 victory and a berth in the third-place match.

“When you win the semifinals, that just gets you a different-colored medal,” Pilcher said. “But when you come back when you are hurt, and win your next match, that builds character. That is what makes you a man. I’m real proud of him.”

Archuleta led 2-1 versus Tulare Union’s J.J. Holt in the third-place match, but suffered a dislocated thumb midway through the match. The match turned, Holt jumped to a 7-3 lead before Archuleta defaulted with 1:39 left in the match.

The thumb and rib injuries added to a list that included a nose broken nine days earlier and a knee injury that kept Archuleta from some matches in February. The sum total clearly took its toll on the senior, who grimaced throughout Saturday’s wrestling.

“The (trainer) came up to me and said I didn’t have any choice, that I’d have to fight through the pain,” Archuleta said. “That is what I tried to do, fight through it, but it just got too hard and I had to stop.”


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