Fiegener places second at Doc Buchanan InviteBy: Matt Long, Sports Editor
Sometimes your best isn’t good enough and that was the case for Nick Fiegener Saturday.
Folsom High’s standout junior wrestler had won his first four matches in the 160-pound weight class at the prestigious Doc Buchanan Invitational and squared off against Lemoore’s Isaiah Martinez in the finals. The two-time state champion Martinez had his way with Fiegener, beating him by technical fall, 16-1, but Fiegener wasn’t too disappointed with a second-place finish in the toughest tournament outside of the state tournament in early March.
“It would have been nice to win, but I’m happy to place second in a big tournament like this,” Fiegener said. “I knew it would be tough to beat a two-time state champ.”
Fiegener, seeded second in the tournament, said he wanted to keep away from Martinez and throw lots of fakes his way to keep him guessing. Trailing 4-1 after one period, Fiegener said he got a little bit away from that strategy in the final two periods and Martinez, who’s ranked second nationally at 160 pounds, took advantage of it.
“It was a good experience for me,” Fiegener said. “I’m sure I’ll see him against at the state tournament.”
Having not placed in the Doc Buchanan Tournament last year as a sophomore, the jump to a spot in the finals and a second-place finish was just fine with Fiegener.
“The competition at this tournament is as close to state as you can get so I’m happy with second,” Fiegener said. “Getting to wrestle down here in the Central Section where a lot of the tough wrestlers are was good.”
To reach the finals, Fiegener defeated Bakersfield senior Hunter Hodges, the tournament’s sixth-seed, by technical fall, 15-0. It was an impressive win on paper, but also in Fiegener’s mind too.
“(Hodges) had beat a kid that placed eighth in the Walsh Ironman tournament so I thought it was neat that I teched him,” Fiegener said.
Fiegener pinned his first two opponents before earning a 7-3 decision over 10th-seeded Brody Brand, a junior from Clovis High, in the quarterfinals.
Fiegener’s teammate, sophomore Lorenzo De La Riva, also placed in the tournament, finishing seventh in the 145-pound weight class. It was the second straight year De La Riva placed seventh, which is where he finished last year at 120 pounds.
De La Riva easily won his first two matches by technical fall and pin, before losing 8-0 to the eventual runner-up, Victor Lopez of Poway, 8-0. De La Riva rebounded to pin Wyond Mills of Laguna Hills before losing to Buchanan’s Conner Francis, 6-2. In the match for seventh, De La Riva earned a 3-2 win over Tory Williams.
Sophomore Carlos Alvarez (106) and junior Josh Lazaro (126) won two matches at the tournament, but did not place. Sophomore Mason Koshiyama (138) and senior Devon Nooner (170) each picked up one win. Folsom placed 14th in the tournament that featured nearly 100 schools.
“Doc Buchanan is the toughest regular season tournament in California and arguably the premier tournament on the west coast,” Folsom coach Mike Collier said. “We had two placewinners and a finalist and finished higher than any team in the Sac-Joaquin Section despite only bringing six wrestlers.”
Folsom also had a group of wrestlers competing at another tournament in Anderson and bringing home medals from there were Andrew Coyne (fifth at 120) and Curtis Booth (113), Jason Bergquist (132) and Jerod Nooner (195), who all placed sixth in their respective weight classes.
Folsom opened Delta River League action earlier in the week with a dominating 70-6 win over Pleasant Grove. The highlight of the night was a 4-3 win by Devon Nooner over Logan Paxton. Wrestling up a weight class at 182 pounds, Nooner scored a reversal with five seconds to go in the match to earn the win over Pleasant Grove’s top wrestler.
Folsom heads to Oak Ridge Wednesday for another league match.
“We beat them earlier in the finals of our Jailbreak Duals 53-23, but I anticipate this one being much closer since it is in their house,” Collier said. “They are very strong in the upper weights and that's where we are young and don't have as much experience.”
At the junior varsity level, the Bulldogs had seven champions at the Vista del Lago Tournament, including Alder Moreno (113), James Angello (114), Tito Moreno (126), Zach McMillan (128), Braedon Kavan (128), Kevin Borgh (132) and Connor Friery (138). Folsom had two other wrestlers place, as Zach Sloan finished third at 120 and Eli Wood was fourth at 145.