Three Bulldog wrestlers win divisional championships
Folsom had three section champions and qualified nine wrestlers for this weekend’s Masters Tournament at Stockton Arena.
As a team, the Bulldogs finished second to Ponderosa at the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I championships at Pitman High School in Turlock over the weekend.
Mason Koshiyama (140), Lorenzo De La Riva (147) and Nick Fiegener (162) won divisional titles, while Carlos Alvarez (115, second), Curtis Booth (108, third), Devon Nooner (172, third), Connor Watson (154, fourth), Andrew Coyne (122, fifth) and Jason Bergquist (134, eighth) also qualified for Masters.
Jon Yslas placed ninth at 197, while Jordan Denny (128), Justin Badger (222) and Robbie Cuhna (Hwt.) did not place.
Koshiyama, 36-8 on the season, dominated his opponents at 140 pounds with a pin, a technical fall and two major decisions, including a 13-2 advantage over fifth-ranked Brandon Claiborne of Oak Ridge in the finals.
“I’m peaking at the right time,” Koshiyama said. “I’ve been practicing harder and I had a good draw. I’m very confident right now.”
Koshiyama would love nothing more than to make the state tournament and to do that would need a top-seven finish at this weekend’s Masters Tournament. Last year he finished one win shy of qualifying.
“It’s going to take hard work,” Koshiyama said.
De La Riva (42-7) also had an impressive tournament, including two pins and a major decision on his way to defeating Ponderosa’s Tyler Shamblin in the finals, 9-4.
“I felt I wrestled well,” De La Riva said. “I knew once I got into the third period that he would get tired so I pushed the pace hard. My goal was to win it. I felt that if I wrestled my best I should win the tournament.”
De La Riva, ranked third in the section, has a goal to win the Masters tournament this weekend and qualify for the state tournament.
“The guy favored to win, Vacaville’s Hayden Fry, I only lost to him 2-1 at the section duals,” De La Riva said. “My conditioning is my strength, so I try to push the pace and rely on that when my opponent is exhausted.”
Fiegener (47-2) followed a 46-second pin in the first round with a narrow 5-2 decision over Turlock’s Albino Orozco. He then earned a major decision over Franklin’s Darnell Harper, 15-6, before pinning fifth-ranked Kyle Thorpe of Atwater in the finals in 2:17.
Alvarez (36-12) reached the finals at 115 before losing to Turlock’s Jason Valdovinos, 4-1.Valdovinos is a returning state qualifier and is ranked third in the section. Booth (35-7) pinned his first two opponents at 108 before suffering a 10-9 loss to Elk Grove’s Tristan Scott in the semis, ranked third in the section. He rebounded with a pin and then an 8-2 decision over Oak Ridge’s Josh Ploke to place third.
Nooner (26-12) dropped a 1-0 decision to Lodi’s Colin Anderson in the second round before winning four straight matches in the consolation bracket; two by pin, one major decision and an 8-1 win over fourth-ranked Kendall Richmond of Monterey Trail in the match for third place.
Like Nooner, Watson (37-14) lost a close second-round match, (3-0 to returning state qualifier and third ranked Braden Henderson of Elk Grove) before rattling off three impressive major-decision victories (15-1, 10-0 and 9-0). Watson then lost his final match to Pitman’s Logan Wolfley, 4-1, and finished fourth.
Bergquist enters this weekend’s Masters Tournament with a 32-17 record, while Coyne sports a 24-12 record.
“We look forward to Master’s Tournament, as we try to continue our streak of eight straight years with at least a couple of state qualifiers,” Folsom Coach Mike Collier said.