Bulldogs have three champs at Eagle InviteBy: Matt Long, Sports Editor
With only eight scoring wrestlers attending the Vista Eagle Invitational on Saturday, Folsom High’s wrestling team still managed a third-place finish in the tournament.
The Bulldogs finished behind champion Vista del Lago and Selma, while placing just in front of Sierra Foothill League rival Del Oro.
Folsom had three champions at the invitational, as returning state qualifiers Evan Taylor (120) and Kyle Richards (220) won their brackets, as did Caiden Cohen at 152 pounds, who qualified for Masters a year ago. All three wrestlers had standout performances. Richards, ranked fifth in the state, won all four of his matches by pin, including a pin of Del Oro’s Adam Lowe, who’s ranked 16th in the state. Richards was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding upperweight.
Cohen also had a perfect day, as he finished 5-0 on the day with four pins and a forfeit victory. In the finals, Cohen pinned fellow masters qualifier Brendan Thao of Roseville.
Taylor, ranked 20th in the state, won four of his five matches by pin and the other by technical fall, despite wrestling up a weight class.
David Lopez reached the finals at 132 pounds and placed second to Del Oro’s Brendan Johnson, 7-2. Johnson is ranked eighth in the state. Third-place finishers for the Bulldogs included Daniel Lopez at 113 and Justin Eldridge at 138. In his first varsity tournament, Lopez won four of five matches, his only loss coming to Selma’s Richard Figueroa, a defending state champion who’s ranked first in the nation in his weight class. Like David Lopez, Eldridge’s only loss came against a wrestler from Del Oro, as Eldridge fell to Evan Ivaldi, who’s ranked 12th in the state.
Owen Cobleigh placed fourth at 145, finishing behind three previous state qualifiers. Reide Staples won three of his four matches but placed fifth at 138 following his only loss to Ivaldi. Ben Mooy (160) and Josh Anderson (145) also picked up wins for the Bulldogs.
“Taking third as a team despite only having eight scoring wrestlers was a good showing,” Folsom coach Mike Collier said.
Folsom’s returning female state placer and All-American Desinee Lopez won her bracket at the Casa Roble Tournament.
Folsom will send one group of wrestlers to the Curt Mettler Invitational at Elk Grove High on Saturday, while the rest of the varsity team will attend the Mark Fuller Invitational in Lincoln.