Four things to look forward to at the Santa Ana College Tournament

TCW Bear LogoThe California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) wrestling season is in full swing entering the third week of the season. This weekend, we should have a great tournament in Orange County with the top six ranked teams in the state competing. Upsets can happen in the tournament as no one untouchable.

Team Race
In the movie Vision Quest, Louden Swan comes back from a deficit and defeats three-time state champion Brian Shute with a lateral drop to get the applause of the spectators. Don’t expect that to occur this weekend with Fresno City being in the field. The Rams are (3-0) in dual-meet competition and have blazed through the competition at the Sacramento City College KLS Air Express and the West Hills tournaments. The rams are currently ranked # 1 in the state and have 16 wrestlers ranked. It will take a perfect weekend for such teams as Cerritos College, Mt. San Antonio and Sacramento City College to overthrow the Rams.

Guaranteed Wins?
Nothing is guaranteed in life. Fans found that out last weekend at the West Hills tournament when 2017 CCCAA state champion Isiah Perez of Fresno City was defeated by unknown Oliver Rivero of Santa Ana (3-2) in the finals. However, here’s a couple of wrestlers that should continue their quest to finish the season undefeated.
Josh Brown (133) Cerritos College – Brown, who earned All-American honors last season, won the West Hills tournament with ease by earning two technical fall victories, a major decision, and a 7-3 win over KLS Air Express champion Luis Ramos of Fresno City. He will attempt to win the event after having placed third last year.

Ruben Garcia (157) Fresno City – The three-time state place winner for Selma High has been on fire! He won the KLS Air Express and the West Hills tournament by dominating the field. He earned four falls prior to winning the West Hills event by injury default. He should see another dominant weekend by Garcia as he is getting ready to take his skills to a Division I school.

Abner Romero (174) Fresno City – The one-time Buchanan wrestler opened his CCCAA season by winning the West Hills tournament by pinning 2017 state runner-up Abel Garcia of Sacramento City College in 1:22 of their championship match. We could see a rematch this weekend as both athletes are scheduled to compete in the tournament.

Rivero/Perez Rematch?
As previously mentioned, the win by Rivero over Perez in the finals of the West Hills tournament was huge! Perez dominated the competition last season with little or no challenge at all. So, to see Rivero, unknown in the CCCAA defeat Perez, gives hopes to those wrestlers with great inspirations to win a state title. Seven of the top eight ranked athletes at 133-pounds should be in the tournament. However, most spectators will be hoping to see a rematch between these outstanding grapplers.

Returning champions
Out of the entire field, only Isaac Perez of Fresno City (133) and Isaac Bertalotto of Sacramento City College (184) are the lone wrestlers that were triumphant last year in winning the tournament. Perez won the 133-weight class with three-falls. Including pinning Pedro Corona of Bakersfield in the finals. Bertalotto won the 184-weight class by earning two falls, and two decision wins. In the finals, he defeated 2017 CCCAA state runner-up Luis Melecio of Mt. San Antonio College (8-4). Both athletes will need to step up their game to repeat such feat and help their teams in the team standings. Returning runners-up include Nick Camacho of Cerritos College (141), Conrad Lopez of Fresno City (165), and Luis Melecio of Mt. San Antonio College (184).