Archuleta takes section title; state next |

Archuleta takes section title; state next

ALL | GrassValleyArchive

FOLSOM – Nevada Union wrestler Anthony Archuleta was a physical wreck going into his Sac-Joaquin Section 127-pound championship match with Oakdale’s Jeff Cox at Folsom High School Saturday.

Archuleta, who tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in the finals, broke his nose and came down with a case of pneumonia all within the space of the last four weeks, proved even at 80 percent, he’s still the best in the section.

Archuleta took Cox, a sophomore, to the mat twice in the first period and went on to win 8-6.

“My leg went dead yesterday, I couldn’t feel anything,” Archuleta said. “When I tried to stand up, I just kind of fell on my face. That’s when I thought it was pretty much over. I tried to stand up again, and, boom, I fell down again.

“I guess the third time was the charm because I stood up and I was able to limp away,” he said. “I knew if I got hurt again, that would be the end of my season. (Now I’m going to) keep on going until I can’t go no more.”

Archuleta leaves behind teammates Wade Sauer (217 pounds) and Mike Bock (Hwt.), as well as Bear River wrestlers John Cummings (147) and Pat O’Neal (217), each of whom failed to qualify out of Folsom.

Next up for Archuleta is a berth in the state championships at the University of the Pacific in Stockton Friday and Saturday. It will be his third trip to state.

“We’ve been rehabbing his knee a lot. He tweaks it almost every day in practice. With him, it’s one day at a time,” NU head coach Steve Pilcher said.

Archuleta, who wore a facemask to protect his nose, looked like a cross between Hannibal Lecter and an old-time hockey goalie when he hit the mat.

Cox stayed out of striking range for the first 36 seconds, but Archuleta put him to the mat for a 2-0 lead.

Archuleta struck again with a inside trip at the 47 second mark of the first period. He put three more points on the board with a near fall with time running down to take a 7-1 lead after two minutes.

“I try to think before a match what kind of move I’m going to do. If that doesn’t work, I do what ever comes to mind,” Archuleta said. “I did the same exact move in the league tournament two weeks ago. It was there, and I took it. Cox has long legs, he fell like a redwood.”

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