Bruins, Miners send wrestlers on
Bear River wrestlers Pat O’Neal and John Cummings approached Friday’s subsection tournament at Natomas High School differently.
O’Neal decided on a more conservative approach; Cummings, as aggressive as ever.
Though different in strategy, the pair netted the same result, winning two matches to make it to today’s semifinals. Nevada Union’s Anthony Archuleta also made it to the semifinals, while three other Miners stayed alive in wrestlebacks.
Semifinal matches and the third round of wrestlebacks begin at 9 a.m. at Natomas High School, with consolation matches continuing right up until the finals, which are slated for 4 p.m. Wrestlers will try to finish in the top six in their weight classes to qualify for next week’s Sac-Joaquin section tournament.
It took O’Neal less than one minute to produce a fall in his opening 217-pound match against Rio Linda’s Josh Heron. He then broke open a scoreless quarterfinal match against Ponderosa’s Joel Karlin with a double-leg takedown after a Karlin escape in the second period on O’Neal’s way to a 5-1 decision.
“(Karlin) was shorter than most wrestlers I’ve faced, and he was really solid,” O’Neal said. “He had a strong upper body, but I just kept working on the head to set up the takedown.”
O’Neal will now face Foothill’s Josh Garcia, who hung on for a 10-8 quarterfinal decision over Nevada Union’s Wade Sauer. Sauer won his wrestleback match by third period pin over Center’s Robert Atkinson to stay alive.
NU’s Chris Mosbacher (193 pounds) won his second round wrestleback match by technical fall, and NU’s Mike Bock scored a late takedown to secure a 4-1 decision in his wrestleback match.
Cummings and Archuleta had the least trouble Friday. Archuleta, seeking his third trip to state, won both of his 127-pound matches by pins. Cummings (142) won his opening match by first period pin, then scored a technical fall in his quarterfinal match to send him into a semifinal matchup with Rio Linda’s Justin Switzler.
“I felt I had to go out today and control my matches from the start,” Cummings said. “I just wanted to go out today and make a statement.”
Six NU wrestlers and four Bear River wrestlers were eliminated in the first day of competition.
“Our kids wrestled tough today, and next year’s tournament will be entirely different because these kids are right there,” NU coach Steve Pilcher said. “I hate to say it, but I’m looking forward to having the subsection in Vacaville next year because this was tough.”
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