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Bulldogs survive Ponderosa's comeback scare, 30-27

Folsom in line to win Delta River League wrestling title
By: Matt Long, Sports Editor
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Even though he lost his match, there wasn’t a happier person in the Ponderosa High gymnasium Wednesday night than Folsom High senior Jon Yslas.

The senior with only 13 matches under his belt this season lost the 220-pound bout with the Bruins’ Henry Sharoyan, 6-2, but because he stayed off his back and didn’t get pinned, that loss assured the Bruins could not win the match, as Folsom won 30-27 in a spirited dual with the inside track to a league title on the line.

With the victory, Folsom needs only to beat Sheldon Wednesday to win the league title and earn a spot in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I Dual Meet Championships on Feb. 2 at Lincoln of Stockton High.

Folsom stormed out to a commanding but not insurmountable 31-3 lead nine matches into the match, but two straight Ponderosa pins at 170 and 182 pounds and state-ranked heavyweight Jeff Camilli at the back end of the lineup had the Bruins thinking comeback.

With pins in the final three weight classes, the Bruins would have won 33-31. After Folsom was docked a team point after the 182-pound bout when an upset Jake Bienvenue threw his head gear, the Bruins only needed two pins and a decision to tie the score at 30. In that scenario, the Bruins would have earned the win because the Bulldogs were docked the team point.

Wrestling up a weight class, Yslas was giving away 30 pounds to Sharoyan and had to use his speed and quickness to his advantage. One thing was clear, while carefully taking a few shots; Yslas was doing all he could to avoid Sharoyan getting him down on the mat.

“I was just thinking, ‘don’t get pinned,’” Yslas said. “I just wanted to keep him standing and circle him.”

Yslas found himself on the bottom to start the third period, but quickly and fortunately for himself, earned the escape.

“I just sat out and stood up,” Yslas said.

From there, Sharoyan did everything he could, but never came close to getting Yslas on his back. Camilli’s forfeit win at heavyweight brought the final score to 30-27.

There were several key bouts leading up to the final bout at 220. Before the match, Collier felt his team needed to get a couple pins to win the match. They only got one, but it was a big win. Folsom’s captain and top wrestler, Nick Fiegener, pinned Josh Ferry with 24 seconds left in the second period after working up a 14-1 win. As it turned out, it was the eighth and final win of the night for the Bulldogs.

“We only had one pin, but it came from our captain and we absolutely needed it,” Collier said. “He had to pin him and he did.”

Folsom started the match with big wins by Carlos Alvarez at 106, who earned an 11-3 major decision over TJ Holloway, followed by a technical fall, 16-0, win by Curtis Booth over Pre Deitchman at 113. Andrew Coyne also earned a major decision, 11-2, at 126 pounds over Jacob Garcia. Pins were the goal, but as it turned out, they weren’t needed.

At 120 pounds, Jerry Garrido earned a hard-fought 2-1 decision over Jake Gonzalez, one of four matches Folsom won by three points or less. Jason Bergquist upset Colin Hustrulid at 132 pounds, 8-6, while Lorenzo De La Riva defeated Christian Canepa at 145, 8-5 and Connor Watson earned a 5-4 win over TJ Shamblin at 152 pounds.

“This was the epitome of a team win,” Collier said. “Every guy had to contribute. If we had lost any of those close matches, we would have lost the match. Even the guys who lost and didn’t get pinned helped us, like Jerod and Jon. That’s the great thing about wrestling; even if you don’t win you can still help the team. It’s all about what you can do to help the team.”

Collier felt the four matches from 120 to 138 were critical to the outcome of the match. Luckily for the Bulldogs, they were able to win three of them.

Garrido, who wrestled for several years prior to high school, didn’t come out for the high school team until this year, his senior year. His 2-1 win over Gonzalez was one of the key wins. Trailing 1-0, Garrido took down his opponent with 47 seconds to earn the win.

“Jerry and his twin brother wrestled a lot in our Mad Dawg program when they were younger, but I think they just got burned out,” Collier said. “He decided to come out this year just to have fun and be a part of the team, not even caring if he was in the varsity lineup. We had an injury (Tyler Hoffman) and I told him we may need him to fill in on varsity. He’s done everything we’ve asked of him and I’m sure glad to have him. He’s been great for us.”

Bergquist’s win at 132 pounds was impressive. His opponent, Colin Hustrulid, was coming off a fourth-place finish at the Tim Brown Memorial Tournament over the weekend, while Bergquist, a freshman, was eliminated on the first day of the tournament. Bergquist held a narrow 6-4 lead before a reversal with 15 seconds remaining secured the win.

“I got a switch and went to stand up and grabbed his leg and got the reversal,” Bergquist said. “That was big because I was only up by two at that point. I felt confident going into the match, because I felt I should have done better at Tim Brown. I had never wrestled him before, but my teammates had and told me to push the pace and not let him get his stuff and he would get gassed. It felt great to win that match.”

Collier said it was one of several big wins for the team.

“On paper, that was the biggest upset,” Collier admitted.

Folsom’s first loss of the match came at 138 pounds, when Mason Koshiyama dropped a close 4-2 decision to Jimmy Scarr. De La Riva didn’t allow the Bruins to gain any momentum, though, as he picked up his teammate with an 8-5 win over Canepa. 

Watson followed with his 5-4 win over Shamblin and Fiegener’s pin put Folsom up 31-3.

Devon Nooner lost by fall to Ponderosa’s top wrestler, Nick Troquato, at 170 pounds. Bienvenue was then pinned by Trae Providence, which cut Folsom’s lead to 31-15. After he threw his head gear, Folsom lost a team point.

“No one felt worse about that than Jake,” Collier said. “We’ll definitely address that to the whole team at practice. There are lessons you learn along the way and I bet he won’t ever do that again.”