The South Fork Cubs wrestling squad had a great day Saturday at the Humboldt-Del Norte Conference Championships in Arcata earning a 2nd, 3rd and 4th place finish in the event.
Senior Megan Garcia, who finished 6th in the girls NCS last week was not allowed to compete against the boys in the tournament but wrestled in a girls bracket.
Garcia defeated Cyndal Ethridge from Eureka in her first match fighting through a nagging back injury. Garcia wrestled through the injury against Marie Seely losing in just the last two seconds of the match. Garcia finished the day defeating Lexi Farias of Arcata to secure 2nd place in the girls bracket. Garcia took up wrestling just for her senior year and was able to defeat both boys and girls with much more experience than her.
Freshman Sean Sweeney had a bye into the semifinals round of the 170-lb. weight class where he faced #1 seed Colton Smith from Eureka. In that match he lost to the eventual champion by pin dropping him down into the consolation pool. In his 3rd place match Sweeney excelled under the pressure and won against his opponent from McKinleyville by a score of 5-3.
The 3rd place finish earned the freshman a birth in the North Coast Sectional. Sweeney is a dedicated young three-sport athlete. "South Fork could benefit from more students like Sean." Coach Rusty Pricer said.
Senior Justus Arreguin went into the championships seeded second in the 132-lb. weight class but was caught off guard in his semifinals match dropping him down into the consolation round. He was able to pin his first opponent in the consolation round but ended up losing a very close 3rd place match to Will Dilling from Eureka.
Arreguin, the Cubs team captain wrestled well in his final contest and was almost able to pull out the win. "I could not have asked for a better team captain." Coach Pricer said, "He always stayed positive with his teammates and showed great sportsmanship all season shaking every officials hand after a match win or lose."
Wyatt Gratzel who has spent the better part of the season dealing with an elbow injury wrestled hard in the tough 120-lb. division, but came up just short of qualifying for the NCS. South Fork is hoping for big things out of the sophomore in the coming years.
The Cubs will travel as a team next weekend in support of Sean Sweeney, their lone qualifier in the NCS.
Free Style wrestling is beginning as the high school season ends and is open to all ages with local tournaments going on every weekend. More information can be found at ca-usaw.org.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF ANDREA PERGENS
1. Sean Sweeney celebrates his NCS berth with his dad, and coach Rusty Pricer.
2. Megan Garcia controls her opponent. Something she’s been able to do all season with her strength and determination.
3. Justus Arreguin adds another win to his long list of high school wins.
4. Wyatt Gratzel works a head lever on senior grappler Brambila of Del Norte.