Four Things to Look Forward at the 2017 La Costa Canyon Tournament

Photos by Chris Mora

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The always tough La Costa Canyon tournament is scheduled to take place this weekend in the San Diego area. Last year, Selma High (CS), traveled almost 300 miles to conquer the field which included Brawley, Rancho Bernardo, San Marcos, and the top school in Nevada, Green Valley High. This weekend, Selma will once again journey their way to San Diego with high hopes of winning a second consecutive team title. The following is a list of four things fans in attendance can look forward at the tournament. Due to the Walsh Jesuit Ironman tournament in Ohio, being this weekend, teams like Selma and Rancho Bernardo will send a partial team to this event.
Three grapplers are back attempting to win a second title
Steele Diaz (Green Valley), Jaden Le (Rancho Bernardo), and Jonathan Ramos (Ramos) will return to the tournament in hunt of a second individual title. Diaz is a returning Nevada state champion and a multiple time Fargo All-American. He will be one of the favorites at 113-pounds. He recently competed at the Green Valley Duals where he finished 6-0 with five falls; none went past the second period. Le is a San Diego section masters meet place winner, as he settled for sixth place after getting injured prior to the semifinal round. He looks to be healthier as he recently competed at the Liberty Classic tournament where he was awarded the most outstanding wrestler award in the lower weights. Ramos is a two-time CIF state qualifier for the Bears and finished top 12 at the state tournament. He will be competing down at 152, a weight lighter than last year when he won the event at 160-pounds. He is coming off from placing fifth at the Rumble for the Rig tournament. He injured his knee at the during a match, so we are unsure if he will be 100% healthy to take the mats this weekend.
Can Selma repeat as champions?
Entering the 2017-18 season, Selma High is the No. 3 team in the state. However, this weekend, they will be without Super 32 finalist Richard Figueroa (106), CIF state medalists Tony Ramos (138) and Christian Rodriguez (170), as well as state qualifiers Tristan Lujan (113) and Chase Luchau (145). While the Bears will not have entrants at 106, 113, 138, 145, and at 152, they are fortunate enough to have the services of Manny Jaramillo (120), John Sosa (126), Tyler Sepulveda (132), Robert Areyano (138), Luis Ramos (145), and big man Isaiah Jimenez at 195-pounds. Don’t be surprised to see Selma finish top five in the tournament.
The lone California state champion
Downey High Jonathan Prata will be the only state returning California state champion competing in the field. He is also the highest ranked wrestler that will be in action, currently sporting the top ranking at 106-pounds. During the month of October, Prata competed in the finals of the California World Challenge and lost a narrow, yet unofficial, decision to Richard Figueroa of Selma. During the 2017-16 season, Prata placed second at the Southern Section Masters Meet qualifier, and then went on to close the season as a CIF state champion. Don’t be surprised if he racks up bonus point throughout the tournament.
The strongest tournament in San Diego?
With 55 teams attending the event from Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, and as far as the Oregon border, The La Costa Canyon tournament could win the title of the toughest tournament in the San Diego Area. It is an event like no other with many Fargo and Folkstyle Nationals All-Americans, state medalists, state qualifiers, and almost 100 wrestlers that competed at their respective CIF tournaments and placed. Fans in attendance should expect barn burner matches starting from the early rounds all the way to the finals. Sure, you could stay home and watch the Army versus Navy game, however, this tournament will give fans a glimpse of the talent the San Diego section currently has.