Of 13 returning varsity starters, nine placed at the Bay Valley Athletic League Championship last season, including three champions and three second-place finishers. Two are returning North Coast Section champions, and one placed in the super-competitive State Championships. Nine of the 13 are also currently ranked in the top eight in the NCS.
The varsity Lions recently competed at the McNair Invitational in Stockton, where they took first place as a team by an overwhelming margin of 213 points. Covina finished with 122 points, while Granada eeked out 116.
Eight Lions won their weight brackets in Stockton. Anthony Thurgood (130 pounds) was named Most Outstanding Lightweight at the event. Paul Gomez (112), David Klingsheim (125), Nick Caponio (135), Jesse Baldazo (140), Ryan Smith (145), David Rios (160) and Shayn Brown (Heavyweight) each finished first in his respective class, and Ben Duran claimed third in the 103-pound division.
The JV team is off to a hot start of its own after a strong showing at the Oroville Invitational, where Daniel Trice, Corey Hummel and Anthony Boler took first in their respective classes. Anthony DeJesus, Mike Diaz and Justin Thomas earned second-place finishes, and Eric Saro and Justin Finley claimed third.
With a record-setting influx of 30 wrestlers, the freshmen team traveled to Vallejo High School, where Josh Fio, Devyn Parsons, Nick Fisher and Tyler Blank each enjoyed first-place finishes. Second-place winners included Michael Gray, Shawn Whalen and Ryan San Andres.
Female wrestling phenomenon Brittany David traveled to the Thousand Oaks Invitational, where she easily landed the first-place trophy. David is currently ranked first in the state.
Liberty High School will be hosting the highly touted Lou Bronzan Invitational Friday and Saturday, Dec. 14 and 15. To date, 66 teams have registered, making it one of the top tournaments in the state. Wrestling will start at 11 a.m. on Friday and continue until around 8 p.m. The action resumes on Saturday at 10 a.m. and concludes with the finals round, which will begin at 5 p.m.
— Contributed by Scott Moravec