State champ – Sauer pins down heavyweight title
Nevada Union senior Wade Sauer ended his high school wrestling career the best way possible – or at least one would think.
Sauer confirmed his No. 1 state ranking by being crowned heavyweight state champion Saturday night in Bakersfield, after beating San Marcos senior Alex Mack 12-5 in the final bout of the CIF State Wrestling Championships.
He is Nevada Union’s first state champion wrestler in school history.
Sauer, known by his coaches and teammates to be somewhat of a perfectionist, said he actually could imagine one better way to close out his prep career:
“With a pin,” he said. “I actually had him on his back at the very end, but the period was over.”
Mack, the state’s second-ranked heavyweight and the Southern Section champion, had met Sauer in a No.1 vs. No. 2 matchup earlier in the season, when Sauer defeated 13-3 in the Los Angeles-area Five Counties Invitational on Jan. 17.
“It was closer this time,” said Sauer, a two-time Sac-Joaquin Section champion and a third-place finisher at 215 pounds at the CIF meet in 2003. “He came out pretty hard. He made it exciting.”
Sauer reached the finals by pinning Ernie Shaw of Palo Verde in 3:20 of their semifinals matchup, earning the shot to be the last heavyweight standing in the state of California.
“As coaches, we knew Wade was the best heavyweight in the state,” said Nevada Union coach Shane Valdez, a 1994 CIF state champion at 119 pounds from Calvary Chapel. “The only question was whether Wade was going to go out there and wrestle like he was the best – and he did.”
Sauer (49-3) advanced to Saturday’s semifinals by taking care of his first three opponents Friday night. He defeated Travis Ewart of La Sierra 6-0 in the opener, following by a 13-2 win over Joran Ohnstad in the second round. In his final match Friday, Sauer led Granite Hills junior Gabrial Moore 14-2 before scoring a pin one minute, 15 seconds into the second period.
Sauer’s title also led Nevada Union to prominence in team scoring, along with a strong performance from junior Drew Maraglia in the 135-pound class.
NU totaled 30 points, good enough for 23rd place in the state. Bakersfield won the team title going away, racking up 152.5 points to second-place Clovis’ 89.5. Poway finished third with 82.5 points.
Maraglia (40-16) suffered a 5-4 setback in a nail-biting opening match Friday night to Bakersfield freshman Tony Webber, but successfully fought for the right to advance to day two in his next two matches. He defeated South El Monte’s Richard Santeyan 8-5 and Buchanan’s Justin Schneider 8-3 in the first two consolation rounds Friday.
In the third round of consolation action Saturday, Maraglia beat Gilroy senior Chad Haygood 6-4, but was pinned by Temecula Valley junior Kipp Bowman in 2:37 in his next match.
NU’s Luke Manuel, a sophomore making his first visit to the state championships, lost to Righetti senior Jaime Rocha 10-6 in his opening match and then fell to Monache senior Eric Orozco 8-2 in the first round of the consolation bracket. Manuel finished the season with a 38-14 record.
Path to the crown
Results of Nevada Union senior Wade Sauer’s State Championship run:
Sauer (NU) defeated Travis Ewart (La Sierra), 6-0
Sauer (NU) defeated Joran Ohnstad (La Costa Canyon), 13-2
Sauer (NU) pinned Gabrial Moore (Granite Hills), 3:15
Sauer (NU) pinned Ernie Shaw (Palo Verde), 3:20
Sauer (NU) defeated Alex Mack (San Marcos), 12-5
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EL DORADO — Nevada Union’s up and down season continued Friday night as the Miners struggled mightily in a 41-7 loss to the Union Mine Diamondbacks.