Falcons’ Martinez wins SCAC wrestling title; Benicia takes team honors
Fairfield's Rito Gomez wrestles American Canyon's Cyrus Estrella Soccaras Friday at the Solano County Athletic Conference Wrestling Championship in Vallejo. (Robinson Kuntz/Daily Republic)
VALLEJO — Fairfield’s Alberto Martinez stood alone among city wrestlers after Friday’s Solano County Athletic Conference championships at Vallejo High.
Martinez, competing at 120 pounds, won the SCAC championship with a 21-5 technical fall over American Canyon’s Matthew Manibuson.
“I worked hard for this, so it feels pretty good,” Martinez said. “My coaches, they trained me hard and my partners. I’m going to work on my conditioning (for next week).”
The top four finishers from Friday’s conference finals advance to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II tournament Feb. 15-16 at Del Campo High in Fair Oaks.
Benicia won Friday’s team title with 168.5 points, followed by American Canyon (144), Bethel (86), Fairfield (57.5), Vanden (56) and Vallejo (55).
Falcons coach Kyle Holsworth was more than happy with Martinez winning the SCAC title.
“Alberto did really well today,” Holsworth said. “He was seeded first and we knew that he had the potential. We knew there wasn’t too much competition for him in league.”
As for who Holsworth thinks will have the best chance of advancing to the SJS Masters Tournament in two weeks?
“Alberto seems to be the one to have a chance to take first (at sections),” Holsworth said. “The other guys taking third are going to have some tough matches. We’re looking to get some of these guys into the Masters.”
Other Fairfield wrestlers moving on include Mark Beckendorf (third, 138), Russell Sales (third, 145), Jesse Martinez (fourth, 160), Rito Gomez (second. 220) and Cedric Page (third, 285).
“Rito was a big surprise,” Holsworth said. “He stepped it up to get second. Just to win his match to get into the finals was good for him. This has been a very successful year for us. We just have to get the (team) numbers back up.”
Vanden High didn’t crown any champions, but the Vikings will be sending seven grapplers to the section tournament.
The Vikings Joey Zambori, wrestling at 106 pounds, finished second, as did Brandon Dontogan at 182 pounds.
Vanden coach Lloyd Wilson knows the SCAC isn’t very strong and his wrestlers could have a tough time making it to Masters.
“This is a very weak league,” Wilson said. “We’re going to get curb-stomped at the next level. I don’t think we’re really a Division II league. We more like a Division III league. But we’ll go and do what we can.”
Other Vikings moving on to the section tournament include Fernando Angulo (fourth, 132), Alberto Bernales (third, 152), Kyle Tygart (third, 160), Nick Palacios (fourth, 170) and Xavier Penrod (third, 195).
“Zambori, at 108s, beat the No. 2 seed and he was seeded No. 3,” Wilson said. “That was surprising. Alberto at 154s was seeded third and he came through today and took third place. Those guys are pretty good.
“Hopefully we’ll get with a MEL school (next week) and workout with them (before sections), because the MEL is much tougher than this.”
Reach Brian Arnold at 427-6969 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/barnolddr.
Fairfield’s Rito Gomez wrestles American Canyon’s Cyrus Estrella Soccaras Friday at the Solano County Athletic Conference Wrestling Championship in Vallejo. (Robinson Kuntz/Daily Republic)
1992 graduate of San Francisco State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism.