Camarillo’s Garcia Defends Crown

From Staff Reports

Ralph Garcia of Camarillo High kept his cool Saturday and defended his Southern Section Division IV wrestling title at Santa Margarita High in Rancho Santa Margarita.

Garcia, who became the first Camarillo wrestler to win two section titles, survived a physical 8-1 decision over Shawn Southern of Glendora in the 189-pound final.

Southern, facing Garcia for the third time this season, was penalized twice in the second period, allowing Garcia to build a 6-1 lead.


He head-butted Garcia early in the period, and was penalized again for an illegal move.

“We have a little bit of history with each other,” Garcia said. “We’re friends, but he doesn’t like to lose and I don’t like to lose. I kept my cool pretty good this time.”

Garcia, ranked No. 8 in the state by, won four matches in the two-day tournament and improved to 41-3.

He recorded his 23rd pin of the season in the second round on Friday and defeated Pacific View League rival Chris Davis of Rio Mesa, 17-8, in the semifinals.

It was the third meeting between Garcia and Davis in the last three weeks. Garcia defeated Davis last week for the Pacific View title and is 6-0 in two seasons against Davis.

The top four finishers advance to the Masters Meet Friday and Saturday at Fountain Valley High.

“I’m ready to go,” Garcia said. “This is the second season and this is my time to peak.”

Camarillo had two other qualifiers.

Jake Nishimura (103 pounds) took second and Daniel Valencia (119) was third.

Caleb Bautista of Rio Mesa finished fourth at 125 pounds.


Simi Valley heavyweight Dan Kunkes improved to 38-4 and took third at Torrance High.

Newbury Park’s Justin Patterson took third in the 171-pound weight class.

William Velasquez (152) of Thousand Oaks and Lee Martin (189) of Royal also qualified.


Correspondents Tony Solorzano and Danny Schumacher contributed to this report.