Canyon Wrestlers Win Tournament

Times Staff Writer

Canyon High School, with virtually half a team, had an easy time winning the 19-team Canyon Invitational wrestling tournament Saturday at home.

Canyon's 156 points were well ahead of second-place Esperanza's 117. Rowland (108 1/2) finished third, Savanna (103) fourth and Sunny Hills (79) fifth.

Its ranks depleted by sickness and injury, Canyon had only seven varsity wrestlers in the tournament. The other six spots--there are 13 weight classes-- were filled by junior varsity wrestlers. Six of the seven varsity members advanced to their respective finals and three won tournament titles.

Brian Schultz (24-0) won the 128-pound final when Esperanza's Jeff Rex was forced to default the match because of an injury to his right shoulder.

Dominic Choi won what was thought to be the tournament's toughest weight class, 167 pounds. Choi (24-7), who was named the tournament's upper-division most valuable wrestler, defeated Savanna's Matt Smith, 13-3, in the final. Smith is 34-3 on the season.

"That was a great win for Dominic," said Gary Bowden, Canyon coach. "That whole class was tough. Dominic was seeded sixth, and rightfully so. There were a lot of good wrestlers in there."

Canyon's third champion was sophomore Zack Cooper (30-6), who defeated Westminster's Brian O'Hara, 10-3, at 177 pounds. Cooper showed explosive talent in his final match. He led, 4-3, early in the final period, then came on strong.

But as far as explosions were concerned, no one in the tournament had anything on Fountain Valley's Brad Woodbury.

Woodbury, wrestling at 140 pounds, advanced to the final against Paul Casper of Clark High of Las Vegas. The match was tied, 2-2, after two periods. In the third, Casper took a 4-2 lead and held it until there were 15 seconds left.

At that point, Woodbury executed a Gramby roll on Casper and earned four points--two for a reversal, two for a near fall--to win the match, 6-4.

John Rosales, Fountain Valley coach, describes the Granby--named for Granby High of Virginia, where it originated--as "sort of a roll across, mini cartwheel without using your hands."

The tournament's other winners included Sunny Hills' Greg Andres, who improved to 30-0 by defeating Rowland's Jed Cowan, 7-2, at 101 pounds.

David Seeldeen went to 28-2 after he defeated Savanna's Tony Okada, 8-5, at 121 pounds.

Katella's Chris Molkoy (27-65) defeated Canyon's J.D. Jeppson (25-6), 12-7, at 147 pounds.

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