FAIRFIELD — Saturday could be one of the biggest day for local wrestlers in recent memory.
In town, the 42nd annual Armijo Invitational starts at 9 a.m., with the final scheduled to begin in the late afternoon.
Down in Concord, Vacaville, ranked second in the state by thecaliforniawrestler.com, will face off with No. 1 Clovis at the De La Salle Showcase.
Twenty five teams from around Northern California and Nevada will converge on E. Gary Vaughn Gymnasium for the Armijo Invite. The Indians, along with other local wrestlers from Rodriguez, Vanden and Will C. Wood, will vie for team and individual championships, with Rodriguez also sending some of its members to the Oak Ridge Invitational in El Dorado Hills.
Armijo coach Cesar Correa is excited to see what his wrestlers can do in their own gym, where they placed fifth out of 22 teams a year ago in their own tournament.
“The top team from our section will be Franklin (of Elk Grove),” Correa said. “Amador Valley from the North Coast Section has some pretty good individuals. South Lake Tahoe will be there. They have some pretty good kids, some Nevada state qualifiers. It’s nice to have a team (that competes) out of state.”
Even with the tough competition, Correa thinks his team is up to the task.
“I’d like to get a few champs, or put three or four in the finals,” Correa said. “If we finish in the top four (as a team), I’d be happy with that.”
Vacaville will also compete in a dual match with Gilroy, ranked No. 8 in the state, but all eyes will be on its clash with No. 1 Clovis, the two-time defending state champs.
The doors at De La Salle are scheduled to open at 3 p.m., with the Bulldogs facing Clovis at 4 p.m. and Gilroy at 6 p.m.
Other ranked wrestlers for Vacaville include Anthony Hernandez (16th, 113), Cameron Bailey (10th, 126), Hayden Fry (13th, 145), Zack Dawson (9th, 152), Chris Lai (5th, 182), Zach Crane (26th, 220) and Steven Gomez (40th, 285).
Clovis is bringing 10 state-ranked wrestlers to face the Bulldogs, including three No. 1s. Jonas Gaytan (126), Adrian Salas (170) and Nick Nevills (285) are all at the top of the rankings, with Gaytan finishing fifth in the state a season ago, while Salas was fourth and Nevills third.
Other ranked wrestlers for the Cougars include Kelvin Olivas (120, 23rd), Caleb Trace (34th, 138), Jason Ladd (3rd, 145), Dominic Kincaid (23rd, 152), Brody Brand (19th, 160) and Matt Weiss (3rd, 195).
Gilroy has one top-ranked wrestler in the state in Nikko Villarreal at 145 pounds and is the defending state champion.
According to an email from Vacaville c0-head coach Adam Wight, Clovis had only lost two dual meets in the last five years, posting a 65-2 record over that span. Wight and co-coach Clint Birch have compiled a 202-46 dual meet record in their eight years at the helm of the Bulldogs, adding to the school’s all-time record of 1,043-154.
Reach Brian Arnold at 427-6969 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/barnolddr.