California wrestler: O3T Weekend Recap

MICHAEL ROMERO – Wild West Folkstyle Champion


Jaden Abas (Rancho Bernardo)
Just as we report the success of our O3T student-athletes, we also want to talk about their losses. Jaden got the opportunity to wrestle at Flo Wrestling Who’s # 1 wrestling event. During the event, he competed against two-time Utah state champion and Fargo National Champion Keegan O’Toole. The match didn’t go the way Jaden was hoping to go as he was defeated 8-0. Jaden was exposed on his back twice during a cradle and the Abas roll move. Nevertheless, Abas should redeem himself throughout the season and hopefully, met up with O’Toole at Fargo.

Leonard Ashley (Wrestling Prep)
Leonard was the third O3T student-Athlete that traveled to New York to compete at the Journeymen Fall Classic. Competing in the middle school division, Leonard placed seventh at 80-pounds after going 2-2 and defeating opponents from New Jersey and Florida.

Tyler Badgett (Rancho Bernardo)
Tyler competed in the first annual Proving Grounds 5 vs. 5 Duals in Anaheim, California. Competing for Team Supreme, Tyler helped his team win the tournament as he finished with an overall record of (4-0) on the day. Tyler recorded two falls and two regular decisions as he was untouched by the competition during the competition.

Noah Blake (Del Oro/USA Gold)
Multiple time California state medalist, Noah Blake, decided to test the waters in one of the nation’s top folkstyle events and traveled to New York to compete at the Journeymen Fall Classic. Competing at 160-pounds, Noah had a couple of quality wins, including defeating two-time Missouri state runner-up Cory Peterson (5-1) in the first round to continue his quest to be in the finals. Later in a match, he lost a (5-1) decision to the eventual champion, Gavin Kane of Georgia, to get sent to the third-place match. In the third-place match, he went down (4-2) to fellow California wrestler, Aaron Gandara of Poway High.

Elijah Blake (Del Oro/USA Gold)
Elijah travel to Schenectady, New York, to compete at the always tough Journeymen Fall Classic. An event where some of the best prep wrestlers from the East Coast and throughout the United States go to compete. The event is a round-robin tournament where every wrestler gets an average of five matches on the day. Elijah dropped his first match to three-time Connecticut state champion Sean Johnson (3-0). He won his second match (6-3) before once again losing his second match of the day (3-1) to a Pennsylvania grappler. Elijah went on to win his next matches against opponents from New York and Michigan to place 13th in the tournament.

Chris Creason (Wrestling Prep)
Like many of his O3T student-athlete teammates, Chris also competed at the Proving Grounds 5 vs. 5 duals in Anaheim, California. Competing for Team Butcher Shop Boyz, Chris finished the tournament with a 6-2 record. Chris earned four falls, an (18-2) technical fall and a regular decision to help his team finish second in the dual-meet tournament.

Junior Fernandez III (Upper Lake)
Junior competed at the Wild West Folkstyle tournament and became a four-time place winner. However, for the first time in his four times competing in the event, Junior became a champion. He completed the day with a (3-0) record as he recorded a fall and two major decisions. In the finals, Junior won (12-3) by defeating a talented wrestler in Michael Miller from NorCal Take Down.

Richard Figueroa II (Selma)
Just like Jaden Abas, Richard was also invited to participate at the Who’s # 1 event in the state of Pennsylvania. He faced a familiar opponent in Jacob Decatur of Ohio. Neither wrestler could get much going offensively, and in the end, Decatur decided to take neutral in the third period which cost him, as Richard claimed a 1-0 victory. The win was sweet revenge for Richard as he was 0-1 against Decatur who defeated him last year in the semifinals of the Walsh Jesuit Ironman tournament.

Devin Holman (El Capitan)
Just like he did in 2015, Devin was triumphant in winning his second Wild West Folkstyle Tournament in Natomas, California. Competing at 138-pounds, Devin won three consecutive matches to reach the finals and take on Jose Flores of Team Monache. A talented wrestler, Flores, was a state qualifier in the Central Section and people in attendance thought the match was going to be closer. However, that didn’t occur as Devin dominated Flores from the beginning to win (9-2).

Hunter Jauregui (Ayala Smash)
Competing for Team Tuff Kidz, Hunter helped his team to a fifth-place finish at the Proving Grounds 5 vs. 5 Duals. At the competition, Hunter finished with a 5-4 record and recorded three falls, a (16-1) technical fall, and a (10-9) decision over a tough opponent in Matthew Orbeta from The Supreme team.

Brenden Johnson (Del Oro/USA Gold)
Junior, Brenden Johnson, also competed at the Journeymen Classic alongside his USA Gold teammates Noah and Elijah Blake. Competing at 130-pounds, Johnson lost his first match (2-1) match to the eventual champion Caden Mccrary of Georgia but then went on to defeated two-time Florida state champion Christopher Rivera (3-1) and New Jersey state qualifier Gianni Manginelli (5-0) to advanced to the third-place match. In the third-place match, Brenden lost a (4-0) match to two-time New Jersey state medalist Hunter Gutierrez.

Jaden Le (Rancho Bernardo)
Just like O3T teammate Elijah Blake, Jaden also traveled to New York to take on the best at the Journeymen Fall Classic. Competing at 140-pounds, Jaden shutout his first two opponents 6-0 and 4-0 before disposing of two-time New York state place winner Alex Samson, 11-4. With a (3-0) record, Jaden advanced to the semifinal round where he obtained the (9-1) major decision over three-time Connecticut state champion Sean Johnson. In the finals, Jaden took on Delaware state champion and Fargo All-American, Jackson Dean. After a couple of questionable calls made by the referee, Jaden lost a close 10-6 match.

Austin Paris (Champions Wrestling Club)
Competing for Team Utah at the Proving Grounds 5 vs. 5 duals, Paris accumulated an overall record of 7-1 with six falls and a regular decision. His lone loss was a (3-2) decision to Antonio Rodriguez of Team Central California. As a team, Team Utah placed second in the tournament.

Ace Pena (Tri-Titans)
Competing in the Beach Wrestling Duals in Singapore, Ace was triumphant in compiling a (5-0) record as he and his teammates won the event with ease. Ace has improved a lot despite not competing every weekend during his stay in Asia. Ace should be more active in the sport of wrestling once he returns to the states.

Carson Prim (Nor Cal Take Down/Grace Davis)
Despite being the stud football player for the Spartans, on occasions, Carson likes to still compete in the sport he loves the most – wrestling. This past weekend, Carson entered the Wild West Folkstyle tournament at 126-pounds. He reached the finals of the event as he pinned and major decision his first two opponents. In the finals, Carson competed against Richard Castro-Sandoval, a tough wrestler from the Southern Section who was a CIF state qualifier in 2018. The first period was tied as neither gladiator was successful in gaining any points. In the second period, Sandoval picked neutral, a move that paid off as he took Carson down. As Carson was about to reverse him, Sandoval got a chin whip on him and pinned him. Not bad for Carson who hasn’t been consistent on the mats due to football.

Ryan Rios (Butcher Shop Boyz)
Competing for Team Butcher Shop Boyz alongside Chris Creason, Ryan finished the competition undefeated with an 8-0 record. Ryan recorded six falls, an (18-5) major decision, and an (18-1) technical fall in the event. His shortest contested match only lasted 16 seconds.

Michael Romero (Titan Mercury Wrestling Club)
Romero and his family made the 400-mile trip from Los Angeles to Sacramento to compete at the Wild West Folkstyle tournament over the weekend. Competing at 70-pounds in the round-robin bracket, Romero captured the championship title by earning two falls and a (5-0) decision over Edward Sheeran of Nor Cal Inferno. The other two opponents compete for Sac-Joaquin area top clubs Elk Grove Wrestling Academy and the Vacaville Wrestling Club.

Billy Townson (UTB Wrestling)
Competing in the always fun Temecula Valley Spookfest tournament, Billy won his 83-pound weight class in the schoolboy division by dominating all three opponents he faced on the day. In the semifinal round, Billy pinned Carlo Esoldo of Pistol Wrestling in 3:46 of their contested match. In the finals, Billy was triumphant an obtaining the winning takedown in the third period to defeat Emma Albanese of Pistol Wrestling, 5-3.

Elijah Valencia (Merced Bears)
Valencia participated at the Wild West Folkstyle Tournament alongside many of his fellow O3T teammates. Wrestling in the 70-pound weight class, Elijah won two matches and dropped a (4-0) decision to the eventual champion to place third.