Pollock, Alleva each win twice at state tourney

By: Matt Long
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The state wrestling tournament didn’t go as well as Connor Pollock and Jordan Alleva had hoped, but at least both Folsom High juniors tasted victory. Pollock and Alleva, competing at 119 pounds and 285, respectively, had hoped to come home from Bakersfield with medals around their next. Instead both got something a bit more valuable that will help them next season: experience. Pollock’s tournament started with a disappointing loss, a third-period pin by Justin Jauregui of Clovis East. Every opponent is tough in the state meet, but Pollock drew a difficult opponent to start. “Connor’s opponent was from the Central Section and they’ve got a lot of good wrestlers there,” Folsom coach Mike Collier said. “Connor was going with him and just made one mistake and he got caught.” Pollock rebounded with a big win in his first consolation bout, defeating Bear River’s Juan Gudino by technical fall, 18-2. He then earned a win by forfeit before losing to Hermilo Esquivel of Orland, dropping his second match by fall, this time in the second period. Esquivel went on to place fifth in the tournament. “Connor was right with him but got caught again,” Collier said. “If he can stay off his back, he can compete with anyone at that level.” Pollock was upset with himself with the mistakes he made. “I learned that I can’t make mistakes like that at the state tournament because guys will capitalize on it,” Pollock said. “Any experience you get at the state meet is good so I know I have another year and I hope to get back there and have another chance to earn a medal.” Pollock plans on heading to Virginia for Junior Nationals in few weeks. Alleva started his tournament with a win, beating Robert Chism of Downey, 7-4. It was a nice win for Alleva, who not only started the tournament with a victory, but also did so against the seventh-ranked wrestler in the state. “I was happy with my start because he was ranked pretty high,” Alleva said. “I thought that if I could get by him I would be able to win my next match too.” Alleva, however, lost to Alex Kelley from Vista (San Diego), 5-1. “Jordan’s opponent was a lot bigger than him and it’s hard to push guys like that around when they outweigh you by 30 pounds,” Collier said. “Jordan might weigh 250 and other heavyweights are right up there at 285.” Alleva then dominated Anthony Jimenez from Oak Hills, 15-2, before being eliminated from the tournament after a 6-3 loss to Temecula Valley’s Zachary Smith, 6-3, who entered the tournament ranked eighth in the state. “I thought Jordan did pretty well,” Collier said. “To finish in the top-16 as a junior is good and there are a lot of seniors in that weight class. I think next year Jordan could be ranked in the top-10 in the state.” Alleva added, “I thought that I did pretty well. I’m glad I got two wins and got a good feel for the tournament for next year. It motivates me because I really want that state medal.” Collier is happy that he’s got two returning state qualifiers coming back to the team next year. With nine other returning Masters qualifier, the Bulldogs look to have a strong team. “Our first goal will be to get the league title back,” Collier said. “With all the guys we have coming back it could be our year. We will have nine seniors in the starting lineup and I think the most I’ve ever had is four or five and that makes a big difference. “Connor will be returning as a two-time state qualifier and that should give him a lot of confidence and Jordan, if he trains hard, could be one of the top heavyweights.”