The Yosemite High School wrestling team finished the California Classic Tournament with four wrestlers placing in the top six of their weight classes including a second place finish from Issac Soliz in the 138-pound division.
The tournament, held at McLane High School, more than 12 teams from all over the Central Valley from as far north as Yosemite and as far south as McFarland.
Soliz, a senior at Yosemite, won his first three matches and advanced to the finals only to be beaten by Mission Oak’s Jaden Enriquez. The final match was a tough test for Soliz who also took first place in a Dec. 13, dual meet tournament in Caruthers.
Soliz said he was happy with his performance and knows that he gave it his best throughout the entire tournament. An injury cut last year short for Soliz but Coach Dan Larsen believes he has potential to have a dominate season.
“He’s (Soliz) been doing really well, last year he was injured and that shortened his season but he has come a long way in terms of his wrestling ability and there’s no one with his type of work ethic and I think that will pay off for him. He definitely has a lot of potential and he’s going to do really well this year,” Larsen said.
According to Larsen the team has a limited number of wrestlers capable of wrestling all the weight classes making it hard to compete against the other teams as a whole but said he was proud of the individuals and thinks everyone is showing major improvement.
“It was a good tournament, it was a varsity level tournament and we developed a lot from watching each other and others....we have a young team and they were able to learn and get exposed to new things,” Larsen said.
Other members of the Yosemite team who placed included Michah Beaars—5th place at 138 pounds, Brandon O’Brien—6th place at 160 pounds, and Erik Johnson—6th place at 170 pounds.
The winning team of the tournament was Mission Oaks, of Tulare, who had 17 members place in the top 6 of their weight-class including division champs in the 113 pound, 138 pound, 160 pound, 170 pound, and 220 pound divisions.
The Badgers wrestling team will host their first dual meet of the year at 6 p.m. on Jan. 9 against Washington Union.
Larsen says he is excited about the upcoming duel meet against Washington Union and is optimistic about getting a win despite having a few weight classes they will be forced to forfeit.
“We are looking forward to our first league dual. Larsen said. “We haven't had a chance to see them (Washington Union) yet this year but it means the season is getting started and we have been working hard to have our wrestlers prepared for that day.”