GHS wrestling squad gears up for yet another tough test
In its first competition of the year, the Gilroy High wrestling team traveled to the well-respected Zinkin Classic in Fresno. Then it was on to Reno for the “toughest tournament in America,” the renowned Tournament of Champions. This weekend brings a trip to Clovis for the 28th annual Doc Buchanan Invitational, easily one of the stronger competitions of the year in California.
That’s a lot of time on the road for a group of high school students.
Welcome to life on a back-to-back CCS championship team.
“You never have a break when you’re with a top-notch wrestling program,” said 130-pound junior Adin Dueñas. “This is just another one of the toughest tournaments in the state.
“We’re all looking forward to it.”
The two-day tournament begins today at Clovis High, located near Fresno, and includes a field of 47 schools, including five of the top eight teams in the state rankings.
Bakersfield, Ponderosa, Lemoore, Hughson … the list goes on an on.
Individually, the tournament not only includes a bevy of wrestlers in the state rankings, but also nearly a dozen who are ranked nationally.
“These tournaments are what it’s all about,” GHS head coach Armando Gonzalez said. “Seeing and competing against the names you see in the rankings and putting yourself in position to be recognized with the best.”
Thirteen Mustangs are making the trip for Gilroy, one of just two teams invited from the Central Coast Section, along with Watsonville.
And while some of those 13 might take home an ugly loss or two – an occasional slice of humble pie was dished out in Reno – none of them seemed like they’d rather be going somewhere else.
“The Doc Buchanan isn’t easy,” Dueñas said, “but for us, we really wouldn’t get much out of the local tournaments. They’re just not as competitive.”
Competing against the best is the only way to get better, agreed 119-pounder Rudy Maldonaldo.
“It’s definitely good experience … good to see all the top-caliber guys,” the sophomore said. “Even if it means losing, it’s still worth it to measure yourself against the highly ranked guys.”
(Rankings in parentheses)
103 – Nicolo Naranjo (1st CCS)
Watch for: Justin Durham, Ponderosa (2nd CA)
112 – Tim Ibanez (7th CCS)
Watch for: Keith Gibson, Mt. Whitney
119 – Rudy Maldonaldo (5th CCS)
Watch for: Corey Borges, Hughson (1st CA), Paul Ruiz, Firebaugh (2nd CA)
125 – Joseph Serrano (2nd CCS)
Watch for: Edgar Mercado, Madera
130 – Adin Dueñas (1st CCS, 7th CA)
Watch for: Billy Murphy, Hughson (1st CA, 9th US)
135 – Armando Gonzalez (1st CCS, 2nd CA)
Watch for: Joe Soto, Porterville (1st CA), Dustin Rocha, Lemoore
140 – Austin Gubrud
Watch for: Brett Land, Bakersfield (4th CA)
145 – Joseph Delgado
Watch for: John Daly, Elk Grove
152 – Luis Albarran
Watch for: Jordan Danz, Ponderosa (2nd CA)
160 – Hunter Collins (3rd CCS)
Watch for: Shaun Ceremello, Clovis (2nd CA)
171 – No Gilroy entry
Watch for: Michael Drake, Elk Grove (1st CA)
189 – Andres Barragan
Watch for: Jake Varner, Bakersfield (1st CA, 3rd US)
215 – Daniel Gamez
Watch for: Ryan Flores, Buchanan
275 – Luis Chavez
Watch for: Chris Lewis, Clovis West (4th CA)