Fountain Valley Wrestling : Cooper (26-0) Helps Canyon Capture Title

Zach Cooper of Canyon High School utilized his quickness and finesse to score a 9-1 victory over Tony Flores of Rio Mesa in 192-pound division final to lead the Comanches to the team championship in the Five Counties wrestling tournament Saturday at Fountain Valley High.

Cooper (26-0) established his domination early as he took a 3-1 lead over Flores (28-3) after one period. Cooper then scored two takedowns in the second period and one in the third to put the match out of reach.

Canyon, which last won the Five Counties championship in 1987, finished the competition with 124 points. Clovis West of Central California finished second with 106 points and Poway was third with 105.

El Dorado was the second highest Orange County team, finishing 11th with 72 points. San Clemente was 12th with 71.


“The kids achieved more with less than any team I’ve ever had,” said Canyon Coach Gary Bowden, whose wrestlers scored nine pins and a superior decision in the first round Friday. “We had only four seeds--a first, seventh, eighth and ninth--but all our kids wrestled way above their standings. We were hoping to get into the top 15 going into this tournament, but our kids really came through for us.”

In other matches involving Orange County competitors, Rob Langenwalter of Esperanza overcame a knee injury he suffered in his semifinal match earlier Saturday to score a 2-1 decision over Chris Wilyard of San Clemente (24-1) in the 120-pound division.

Langenwalter, who took a 2-0 lead in the second period, limited Wilyard to a 1-point third-period reversal as he held on for the victory.

In the 139-pound division, Heath Sims (29-1) of Woodbridge, last year’s state 132-pound champion, used his superior strength and quickness to pull off a 12-7 decision over Ralph Olivas (17-3-1) of Clovis.

Sims who has scored 23 of his victories this year on pins, broke a 4-4 tie after one period with two takedown maneuvers to take an 8-5 lead at the end of the second period.

In the 176-pound division, Joe Pastorello (27-0) of Katella overcame a 2-0 deficit to take a 10-8 overtime decision over Vacaville’s Tim Patelzick (32-3).