The Doc Buchanan tournament is considered the most competitive tournament in the West Coast, and some of our O3T Scholar-Athletes in high school, traveled to Clovis, California, to take on the best the golden state had to offer. At the end of the two-day tournament, only Abas and Figueroa claimed individual titles. Many of our youth wrestlers traveled to Anaheim to compete at the USA Folkstyle Showcase.
Richard Figueroa (Selma, CS) 106-pounds
Winning a prestigious hat at the Doc Buchanan tournament is no easy task. Only elite athletes rarely accomplish this rare feat. Seeded No. 3 in the 106-pound bracket, Figueroa made his way to the semifinal round of the tournament by pinning a foe from Clovis North in the first period and obtaining a 6-1 decision over Reno Tournament of Champions runner-up, Hunter Leake of Buchanan. His semifinals opponent was Jonathan Prata (Downey) the No. 1 ranked wrestler in the state and a defending 106-champion. A rare opening on Figueroa’s defense helped Prata obtained the first takedown to go up 2-0 with 47 seconds left in the first period. Nevertheless, Figueroa got the reversal prior to the end of the period to tie the match 2-2. In the second period, Figueroa earned the escape and a takedown of his own to go up 5-2 and never let go of the lead. In the third period, Prata chose bottom but couldn’t get out of the grip from Figueroa and lost to the phenom freshman. In the finals, Figueroa took on a top-five ranked grappler in Nick Kayal of Bergen Catholic High out of New Jersey. Figueroa scored the only points of the match as he got an escape, a takedown, and near fall point to win 5-0. His wrestling impressed the tournament committee and was awarded the lower weights most outstanding wrestler award.
Tristan Lujan (Selma, CS) 113-pounds
It was an emotional weekend for Tristan Lujan of Selma. You see, Tristan’s older brother (Jesse) was killed in a car accident the summer before his senior year in 2011. And since them, His dad (Jesse Sr.) has hosted The Jesse Lujan Memorial Basketball Invitational the same weekend as the Doc Buchanan tournament at Selma High. With the memory of his brother (Jesse) fresh in his mind, Tristan got business taken care of on the wrestling mats. Just as his teammate Figueroa, Lujan got a bye in the first round and then got a fall and a 6-1 decision to advance to the semifinals. In the semifinals, Lujan was pitted against double Fargo champion Brandon Garcia of Pueblo County, Colorado. Lujan controlled the pace of the match as he was successful in defeating Garcia 6-0 to advance to the finals and take on fellow central section wrestler Gino Petrucelli of Clovis High. Against Petrucelli, the match went into triple overtime and ended in a 2-1 victory for Petrucelli as he was successful in riding Lujan the entire overtime period. The tournament should boost Lujan confidence and get him ready for next weekend competition at the always tough Five Counties tournament.
Ryan Franco (Clovis North, CS) 126-pounds
Just as his elder brother (Chris) dominated the competition during his high school years, freshman Ryan Franco is trying to achieve the same task. Seeded No. 5 at 126-pounds at the Doc Buchanan tournament, Franco advanced to the semifinal of the tournament after pinning his three first opponents. In the semifinals, Franco ran into a brick wall as he took on 2017 CIF state champion Cleveland Belton of St. John Bosco. Their match was close entering the third period as Belton had a 3-1 led. Franco was constantly on the attack with high hopes of getting the tying takedown. However, Belton was successful in getting the takedown with 23 seconds left in the match to get the victory. Franco went on to win two more matches to obtain the bronze medal.
Junior Fernandes (Upper Lake, NC) 126-pounds
Fernandez displayed great character throughout the weekend at the Doc Buchanan tournament despite getting upset in the first round by a tough grappler in Zane Romney of Simi Valley High, 8-6. His loss fueled his greatness as he won five consecutive matches in the consolation bracket to earn a sixth-place medal. To stand on the medal stand, Fernandez pinned Cal Poly signee Hunter Sparks of Roseburg, Oregon, in the second period of their blood round match. His quest to wrestle for the bronze match was stopped by fellow O3T member Ryan Franco as both met in the consolation semifinal round.
Devin Holman (El Capitan, SJ) 132-pounds
Competing at the Dinuba Invitational this weekend, Holman continued his winning ways as he wrestled up a weight class (132) and still manage to demolish the field. Holman finished with a 5-0 record with three falls and two regular decisions. His finals opponent Max Gaona of Dos Palos didn’t know what hit him as Holman racked up the points against him to win the match 11-6 and gain another tournament title. So far, this season, Holman has earned four tournament medals by placing at the Chukchansi Invite, Los Banos Morning Star, Zinkin Classic, and winning the Dinuba Invitational.
Jaden Abas (Rancho Bernardo, SD) 138-pounds
There was no doubt that Jaden Abas was the heavy favorite to win his first Stenson hat at Doc Buchanan this past weekend. His technique and great setups were too much for the competition, and he proved that by dominating the field that included six of the top eight ranked wrestlers at 138-pounds. His finals opponent was Sonny Santiago (St. John Bosco), a rugged sophomore with man-strength. Both grapplers traded escape points. However, the winning move was a takedown for Jaden at the conclusion of the first round. Jaden will have the opportunity next year to become a two-time Doc Buchanan champion in any way he decides to compete.
Tyler Badgett (Rancho Bernardo, SD) 145-pounds
In a strong weight class that included Cadet World team members, Fargo All-Americans, and state champions, Tyler did something many wanted to do – to stand on the medal podium. Seeded No. 9 in his weight class, Tyler pin his first opponent to meet up with a Colorado wrestler for the opportunity to advance to the quarterfinal round. However, Tyler didn’t know that his opponent was a master on utilizing the gator roll to win his matches (he pinned three opponents with the same move in the tournament) the same move he used to pin Tyler in 26 seconds. Tyler went on to win three more matches in the consolation bracket to eventually place eighth after falling to 2017 CIF state runner-up Bernie Traux (Rancho Buena Vista) in the 7th/8th place match. Tyler should get another shot at Truax at the San Diego Section masters meet tournament in February.
Noah Blake (Del Oro, SJ) 160-pounds
Noah Blake had one thing in his mind entering the Doc Buchanan tournament – to win the event or to get an opportunity to compete against Joel Romero (Buchanan), an opponent ranked higher in the state rankings, and someone Blake has been waiting to wrestle. His dream of facing Romero became a reality as he confronted him in the 3rd/4th place match of the tournament. With the match tied 2-2 after three periods, the match went into overtime. In overtime, Blake took the lead via a takedown with 19 seconds remaining to be crowded the match winner. His performance in the tournament should make him the clear No. 1 ranked wrestler at 160-pounds in the next state rankings.
Christian Rodriguez (Selma, CS) 170-pounds
There was no doubt that Rodriguez was one of the heavy favorites to advance to the finals of the Doc Buchanan tournament as he is the No. 1 ranked wrestler in California at 170-pounds. The question was who was going to be his finals opponent. Rodriguez was quietly hoping to compete against Chris Foca of Bergen Catholic, a wrestler ranked top 10 in the country, and No. 1 in the Garden State. However, the meeting never materialized as two-time Utah state champion Cole Moody (Bingham) defeated Foca 6-4 in the semifinal round. Against Moody, their match was close entering the third period when an opening in Rodriguez defense allowed Moody to acquire the winning takedown.
Uriel Beristain (Mater Dei, SD) 170-pounds
Last season, Aaron Olmos became the first state medalist for Mater Dei and now competes for Pac 12 power, Oregon State. With this being said, Uriel Beristain is attempting to become the second Mater Dei grappler to place his name in the record books of the CIF state tournament. Unseeded in the tournament, Uriel defeated his first opponent via a fall in the first round to meet up with the eventual champion Cole Moody of Bingham, Utah. Their match wasn’t as Beristain wanted to be as he lost via a tech fall in the third period. Nevertheless, determined to display his competitive side, Beristain won four additional matches to become a place winner in one of the toughest tournament in the West Coast.
Aiden “Bullet” Chur (Unleash the Beast)
In two days, Aiden “Bullet” Chur competed at the USA Folkstyle Showcase and the 4th SDIKWA Tournament with excellent results. At the showcase, Chur placed third in the 10 & Under bracket at 89-pounds to finish the tournament with a 3-1 record. The following day, he traveled to Brawley, California, where he won the tournament in the 85-97 weight class.
Jacob Jones (Team Puma)
Competing in the 15 & Under bracket at 83-pounds, Jones made his way to the true-second match of the USA Folkstyle Showcase by winning three consecutive matches in the consolation bracket. In the true-second match, Justin Wells of Elk Grove Wrestling Academy, forfeited his match and the second-place medal was awarded to Jones. Jones only blemished of the tournament was to the eventual champion Allan Hendricks (Valdez Wrestling) in the quarterfinal round.
Auckland Asiata (USA Gold)
Once again, Auckland Asiata had a great weekend that saw him placed third at the USA Gold Holiday Roundup in Loomis, California, while competing in the varsity division. He finished with a 3-1 record with his lone loss of the tournament coming to the eventual champion Aydan Wohlford (Granite Oaks) in the semifinal round.
Marcus Caro (Team Puma)
Competing in the 12 & Under division at 78-pounds, Marcus Caro of Team Puma, wrestled his way to the podium as he completed the day at the USA Folkstyle Showcase by placing fifth in his weight class. Caro was triumphant in advancing to the semifinal round as he obtained the fall in his first two matches.
Jalen Concepcion (Poway Elite)
Traveling to Michigan who is known for cold weather didn’t affect the performance of young Concepcion. Concepcion worked his way to the finals of the Great Lakes Championships – Mat Mayhem, 10 & Under division, but was unsuccessful in acquiring an individual title as he fell in overtime to Mason Ketcham (Nyway) in the championship bout.
Christopher Creason (Wolfpack)
Winning championship belts is becoming a habit for Christopher Creason of the Wolfpack wrestling club. You see, this past weekend he won the USA Folkstyle Showcase in dominating fashion and was awarded a championship belt – his fourth overall! He finished the event with a 3-0 record, all matches were won by fall, at 69-pounds in the 10 & Under division.
Dimitri Garza-Alarcon (Bear Cave Wrestling)
This past weekend, Dimitri Garza-Alarcon, traveled to Omaha, Nebraska, to compete at the always tough Winter Nationals. Without any hesitation on his part, Garza-Alarcon advance to the finals of the novice division at 100-pounds. In the finals, he faced a tough challenger in Maurice Bell (Ready RP Nation), the No. 1 seed in the tournament. It didn’t take long before Garza-Alarcon had Bell on his back and pin him in one minute and one second of their championship match. Garza-Alarcon finished with a 4-0 record and had three falls over the weekend.
Hunter Jauregui (Ayala Smash)
Winning medals at every tournament he enters are becoming a habit for Hunter Jauregui of Ayala Smash. This past weekend, he competed in the 10 & Under division at the USA Folkstyle Showcase at 57-pounds and returned home with a third-place medal. Jauregui pinned his first two opponents before falling in the semifinals to Rocklin Zinkin (Dethrone). He wound up with a 4-1 record in the event.
Christian Perez (USA Gold)
Competing in his home gym, Christian Perez was successful in placing third at the USA Gold Holiday Roundup at 66-pounds. His lone blemished of the tournament was to Logan Meredith (Orland Jr. Trojans) in the semifinal round. Perez was able to win two additional matches in the consolation bracket to earn his first medal of the year.
Ryan Rios (Cali Gold)
Traveling to a different state where the weather is chilling cold and being able to dominate the competition is no easy task. Nevertheless, for Ryan Rios, it was just a typical day as a youth wrestler. Competing at Great Lakes Championships – Mat Mayhem in Michigan, Rios loss his first match of the day to John Knight (Team West Virginia). However, he was able to bounce back and win three additional matches to place second at 75-pounds in the 10 & Under division.
Michael Romero (Titan Mercury)
Romero was too much for the competition at the USA Folkstyle Showcase 10 & Under division this past weekend. Competing at 65-pounds, Romero went 4-0 with three falls and a major decision. In the finals, he met up with Travis Cardenas (Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club), a rugged wrestler with excellent credentials. Nevertheless, that didn’t matter to Romero as he pinned him in 58 seconds to win himself a championship belt.