Four stories to follow this weekend at the Bakersfield College Duals by Pablo DiMaria

Photo credit John Sachs (Tech-Fall)

 

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We are just a few days away from the opening season of the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) wrestling division. Host school Bakersfield College will welcome to the Gil Bishop Sports Center Cerritos College, Moorpark College, Santa Ana College, and West Hills College. The dual-meet tournament is scheduled to kick off on Saturday at 9 AM. Here are four stories that all wrestling fans should follow at the dual-meet tournament.

MOORPARK COLLEGE REINSTATES WRESTLING PROGRAM 
Approximately a decade has passed since the Raiders had produced a CCCAA All-American. The year was 2007, where Octavio Lucatero (Moorpark/San Benito HS) wound up second in the state tournament at 149 pounds and garnered the last All-American honors for the Raiders. Due to budget cuts, the wrestling program was discontinued in August 2009. Then again, along with tragedy, comes success. In April of this year, Moorpark hired former Newbury Park High coach Lindley Kistler to oversee the wrestling program. Kistler, who competed under legendary coaches Dan Gable and Bobby Douglas at the University of Iowa and Arizona State, respectively, was a two-time All-American. Fans in attendance cannot miss the opportunity to watch Moorpark College shake off the cobwebs and get back on the mats.

MARCIO BOTELHO MAKES HIS DEBUT AS A COLLEGE COACH 
For the past ten seasons, California Wrestling Hall of Famer Kent Olson anchored the West Hills College team. However, with Olson leaving the program, a new coach has stepped up to take over the reins. Marcio Botelho, current head coach at Lemoore High, will now be in the driver’s seat of both programs. Botelho is a former Fresno State wrestler that gathered All-American status during his sophomore season in college for the Bulldogs. His enthusiasm and love for the sport should be of benefit for current and future Golden Eagle wrestlers ready to make a name for them in the college scene. Make sure to make the drive to Bakersfield College to see Coach Marcio Botelho launch his college coaching career.

CAN DAVID VAN WEENS OF CERRITOS COLLEGE REMAIN UNDEFEATED ONCE AGAIN? 
There’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that returning CCCAA state champion David Van Weens (197) is slated to have another successful season. However, the question everyone is pondering is whether he can remain undefeated! Last season, he wound up with an individual state title for the Falcons and a 23-0 record. His initial test on the season should be CCCAA state medalist Zavion Robertson (Bakersfield College/ Ridgeview HS). Van Weens is a grappler that is certainly on the radar of many college coaches across the country.

CAN THE FALCONS SWEEP THE DUALS? 
Last season, the Falcons of Cerritos College swept the Bakersfield College duals with scores of 43-0, 32-18,32-19, and 49-0, to claim the team title. They followed that by winning the Mt. Sac Duals and the Southern California Regional Team Duals. The Falcons finished the 2016 season with an 18-1 record; their lone loss was to NJCAA power Clackamas College, Oregon. With two state champions and five additional state medalists, the Falcons should have little or no trouble this season.