Wrestling: Plenty of action at Estancia Tournament

Steve Virgen

COSTA MESA - Welcome to the Estancia High Wrestling Tournament,

where there are as many stories as there are nachos at the snack bar. How

could there not be? There were 49 schools, plus coaches, parents and

wrestling fans galore at the two-day event that began Friday.

No Newport-Mesa District wrestlers advanced to the championship

semifinals, which are scheduled for today, but they made the most of

consolation competition. Estancia juniors Victor Carmona (125-pound

weight class) and Jeeandy Morales (130), along with Costa Mesa sophomore

Silvio Estrada (125), junior Matt Grubisich (135), junior Adam Donovan

(135) and senior Doug Amburgey (140) will battle in the second round of

consolation today at 10 a.m. The Corona del Mar Sea Kings' Steve Shipman

(215) also advanced to today's second round of consolation with a pin in

4:50 in the consolation's first round.

In a battle of crosstown rivals, Carmona, who lost to No. 1 seed Matt

Schumm of Centennial of Corona, will face Estrada for the right to

advance to the consolation quarterfinals.

Overall the wrestlers took with them a valuable experience.

Take for instance, CdM senior Sterling York, who wrestled his first

varsity match ever. He lost, but his journey to wrestle the varsity match

was a noted feat all in itself. York dropped enough weight in 13 months

to get to the heavyweight class division. Friday, he filled in for

standout Steven Russell, who is preparing for next week's Ayala


"York's match was worth coming here," said CdM Coach Gary Almquist,

who did not want to disclose the amount of weight York lost, but said the

weight loss was amazing. "He didn't win, but it was fun to watch."

York's dedication has been an inspiration for his teammates this

season. He met goals that were set and earned the respect of his peers.

"I was really nervous," York said of his first match. "I had big

expectations to live up to. I'm disappointed with the results and that I

didn't win."

Another story at the Estancia Tournament could be told by Eagles Coach

Steve Perez, who is working overtime and then some running the two-day

show. With his team in a rebuilding stage, he intensified his focus on

making the tournament worthwhile for all competitors.

"It's been really hectic," said Perez, who announced and checked in

every wrestler of each class throughout the day. "This has to be the

biggest tournament besides the Five Counties (Tournament). We're trying

to make this a better tournament than last year with tougher


Costa Mesa Coach Matt Kellogg witnessed that competition. The Estancia

Tournament was the first tourney for his wrestlers this season. He said

he wanted his Mustangs to treat the tourney as a warm-up because they

have three tournaments over the next three weekends, at Workman, Covina

and Laguna Hills, respectively, before they enter the Pacific Coast

League finals.

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