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Bulldogs prepare for league tournament

By: Matt Long
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With success comes high expectations and sometimes those expectations are tough to meet. Last season Folsom High’s wrestling team had a school-record eight Delta River League champions and 11 finalists. When this year’s league tournament begins Saturday at Florin High, the Bulldogs would love to improve on last year’s performance. “Our No. 1 goal is to get all 14 weight classes to the Division Tournament, which we will be hosting the following week,” Folsom coach Mike Collier said. “We had a lot of guys do well in our league duals, so we should have quite a few wrestlers seeded pretty high going it, but they’ll still have to perform. Last year’s results will be tough to beat, but we’d like to improve on them.” Folsom had four wrestlers finish league with an undefeated record including Connor Pollock (103), Jake Whatley (125), Jordan Hart (145) and Adam Lymath (160), so they should be seeded first for the league tournament, thereby having the best shot at advancing. The top-four wrestlers in each weight class will advance to the Divisional Tournament on Friday and Saturday at Folsom High. The Bulldogs are coming off the Sac-Joaquin Section Team Dual Tournament held Saturday at Rosemont High. For the second consecutive year, the Bulldogs reached the semifinals, only to lose to the eventual champion. Folsom started the tournament with a 59-18 win over Tracy, but then lost to Elk Grove, 48-14. The Herd went on defeat Vacaville to win the section team tournament. Folsom started the match off well enough with Elk Grove, as captains Hart, Dillon Fader and Lymath all came away with wins to give Folsom an 11-0 lead. The Herd, however, came back with a pair of pins at 171 and 189, a decision at 215 and another pin at heavyweight to take a 21-11 lead. Pollock won Folsom’s final match at 103, which got the Bulldogs as close as 21-14. Folsom forfeited 112 and lost at 119 by pin and at 125 by major decision. Jake Whatley lost the final match in overtime at 130, as Elk Grove cruised to a 34-point win. “In the end our youth and less-than-optimal lineup caught up with us,” Collier said. “Having to forfeit at 112 hurt us; and our wrestler at 125 had an injury, so we had to bump up our 119 wrestler to cover the weight class. “In the end, though, the main difference was experience. Elk Grove had almost all juniors and seniors in their lineup, while our starting lineup consisted of freshmen and sophomores at more than half of the weight classes. Our upperclassmen performed pretty well and either won or lost close matches, but almost all of our younger guys lost (except for Connor at 103) and many lost by pin.” In the first-round win over Tracy, Isaias Diaz, Fader, Lymath, Jordan Alleva, Steven Duval, Pollock, Matthew Parker and Whatley all won matches for the Bulldogs, while Hart, Devin Ford and Brett Adcock picked up forfeit wins. Folsom’s Tianna Camous, who last weekend placed fifth in the state tournament, competed in the Girls’ Sac-Joaquin Section Tournament on Saturday and place second. Camous, a sophomore, picked up a pair of pins to reach the finals at 125 pounds, where she lost a heart-breaking 5-4 decision with a takedown in the final 10 seconds to a senior wrestler from Lindhust. The Bulldogs will host the Division I North Section Championships on Feb. 20-21 with wrestling beginning at 11 a.m. both days. Help is need in working the tables and at the snack bar. Anyone interested should contact Mike Collier at mcollier@fcusd.org.