Folsom places second at Curt Mettler Invitational

Fiegener wins 145 weight class
By: Matt Long Telegraph Sports Editor
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The Bulldogs made it known Saturday that they’re one of the top wrestling teams in the area. Folsom placed second at the Curt Mettler Invitational at Elk Grove High, a tournament that featured several top teams from this area and beyond. Folsom finished second behind host Elk Grove, ranked ninth in the state, while finishing ahead of fourth-ranked De La Salle, the defending North Coast Section Champion, Chico, the defending Northern Section champion, Righetti, ranked 20th in the state, and St. Francis, ranked 27th in the state. With their strong performance, Folsom moved up four spots and are ranked 21st in the state. “We took 13 wrestlers and finished second, despite missing four of our top returning starters,” Folsom coach Mike Collier said. “We had 10 of the 13 wrestlers place at this tough early season tournament that draws some of the top teams from around Northern California.” Nobody had a better day than sophomore Nick Fiegener, who won the 145-pound weight class by beating two state-ranked wrestlers standing in his way. Fiegener entered the tournament seeded fifth, but upset the fourth, second and No. 1 seeds on his way to the title. In the semifinals, Fiegener took down top-seeded Alex Abono of De La Salle in overtime to win the match, 5-3. Abono finished fourth in the state a year ago and is currently ranked second. In the finals, Fiegener defeated ninth-ranked RJ Raffanti of Bellarmine, 7-3, to win the weight class. “I definitely feel pretty good about my tournament,” Fiegener said. “Winning the semifinal match, especially since he was ranked pretty high in the state, was big. Last year my goal was to make it to the state meet and I didn’t quite make it so this is definitely gives me a confidence boost.” Alex Hurlimann, competing with just five days of practice under his belt after finishing the football season, also had a great day with a second-place finish at 182 pounds. “Alex is still working his way into wrestling shape, but it was a fantastic start to his senior season,” Collier said. “He was considering sitting out one more week to get in better shape, but he obviously made the right decision coming to compete at this tournament.” Freshman Mason Koshiyama and senior Tevenn Lewis placed third for the Bulldogs, Koshiyama at 138 and Lewis in the 195-pound weight class. Koshiyama ripped Matt Bettencourt of Elk Grove, who is ranked 26th in the section, by technical fall in the match for third place, 16-0. “Mason turned some heads by finishing third,” Collier said. “He was dominating in his wins and his only loss was a one-point decision to senior Joey Moita of De La Salle, who was a prior state placer and ranked number-five in California.” At 195, Lewis’ only loss came by one point to Mark Jorgenson of Chico, a returning state qualifier. Lewis rebounded with a convincing win over his opponent from Elk Grove to place third. Lorenzo De La Riva, a freshman competing at 120 pounds, placed third, and his only loss came to a state-ranked wrestler, Mason Sauseda of Chico, who is a two-time state qualifier. After losing by two points to Sauseda, De La Riva pinned his next opponent in the first period to place third. Senior Tony Hernandez placed fourth at 132 pounds, the toughest weight class of the tournament, according to Collier. Both of Hernandez’ losses came against a state qualifier from James Logan. Kyle Parrott and John May placed fifth at 126 and heavyweight, respectively, while Carlos Alvarez (106) and Devon Nooner (170) both placed sixth. “Carlos routinely gives up size and strength to his opponents, but his technique is usually better than his opponent,” Collier said. “Sometimes the bigger guys just overpower him and that’s what happened in this tournament. This was Parrott’s second varsity medal in two weeks, while May did a great job getting his first varsity medal of the year. Nooner would have probably ended up higher but we had to injury default him the last couple of matches after he was brought down hard to the mat in the semifinals.” Tyler Hoffman (113), Roger Berton (126) and Trever Lewis (220) finished one match away from placing. At the junior varsity level, Folsom had 15 wrestlers reach the finals of the Clayton Valley Tournament, nine of those winning their weight classes, including Eric Helm (138), Kyle Prado (138), Eli Diaz (138), Cooper Fields (145), Jason Mica (160), Lukas Novak (160), Jake Bienvenue (170), Austin Badger (195) and Justin Badger (195). Second-place finishers included Connor Friery (113), Kevin Borgh (120), Matt Mitchell (132), Jordan Denny (132), Connor Watson (145) and Jerod Nooner (182). Carson Fox (138), Matt James (150) and Emmanuel Sierra (170) placed third in their respective weight classes, as Folsom athletes brought home 18 medals. Folsom will host the Jailbreak Duals on Friday and Saturday with the junior varsity tournament beginning at noon Friday and the varsity tournament starting at 9 a.m. on Saturday.