VACAVILLE — It’s time for the Vacaville High wrestlers to show what their made of – again.
The Bulldogs are in Rochester, Minn., Friday and Saturday for the 12th time to participate in “The Clash,” a prestigious tournament showcasing some of the best grappling teams from around the country in a national dual tournament.
Vacaville has a combined record of 35-32 in the tournament over the last 12 years, finishing as high as third in 2002. The team finished 12th last year with a dual meet record of 4-2.
“Since 2002, Vacaville has made a commitment, backed by the financial support of our wrestling families (the team receives no money from the athletic department for the trip), to attend The Clash on an annual basis,” Bulldogs co-head coach Adam Wight said in a release. “Entry to the tournament is by invitation only, but for our loyalty, Vacaville is one of three teams that have a perpetual standing invitation to the National Duals – something we are immensely proud of.
“There have only been three California teams to make this journey – Vacaville, Clovis, and El Molino – and only Vacaville has returned for more than one.”
The Clash is a team dual format tournament held over two days. The first day consists of a qualification tournament, which will determine which round-robin pool teams are self-sorted into for the championship round-robin brackets.
During the first day, Friday, teams will be seeded and placed into one of four standard eight-team brackets. Two of these brackets will compete in a morning session consisting of matches at 9 a.m., 11 a.m and 1 p.m. The other two brackets will compete at 4, 6 and 8 p.m. The three matches will determine each team’s placing in the second day’s round-robin championship brackets.
During the second day, the championship portion of the tournament, each of the four teams that win their qualifying tournament will be placed together in a round-robin Division 1 group to determine positions 1 through 4 in the tournament.
The four runner-up teams from the qualification tournament will be placed together in the Division 2 group to determine positions 5-8 and so on. Groups 5-8 will wrestle Saturday morning, while brackets 1-4 will wrestle Saturday afternoon. A team that wins its first match Friday will wrestle Saturday afternoon. There will be four teams in each of these eight second-day pools.
The release said Vacaville wrestles in the Friday morning session, and is seeded third in Bracket A. Headlining Bracket A will be Oak Park and River Forrest High School, from Illinois – the consensus No. 2 ranked team in the nation. Also in Bracket A is North Dakota’s best team, West Fargo High, the fifth seed. The Bulldogs will open with Totino-Grace, Minneosta, a private school from Fridley, Minnesota, at 9 a.m. central time.
Totino-Grace is led by the No. 1 195-pounder in the country, Lance Benick, and is currently ranked No. 2 in Minnesota’s Class 2A division as a team. Should the ‘Dogs win their first dual, they will automatically qualify for the prestigious Saturday evening session, and likely face Bettendorf, Iowa, in round 2, Iowa’s top-ranked high school team. Bettendorf is especially strong in the lower weights, were Freddy Stroker is the No. 1 ranked 132-pounder in the nation, and Logan Ryan (145) has committed to wrestle for the University of Iowa.
All tournament wrestlers for Vacaville over the years at The Clash include Brett Slone (2002), Kyle Dubs (2004), Kody Klaus (2004, 2008 ), Clayton Jack (2006), Johnny Schupp (2012) and Kasey Klaus (2013).
Live dual results will be available through Track Wrestling at www.trackwrestling.com. Click on tournaments and then search for The Clash XII.
Every mat of the tournament will be streamed live through FloWrestling at www.flowrestling.org. Flo will be live streaming every mat (http://www.flowrestling.org/coverage/251107-The-Clash-XII), including highlights and interviews.
Reach Brian Arnold at 427-6969 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/barnolddr.