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CdM wrestling routs Newport Harbor, retains Golden Singlet

Corona del Mar's Anthony Leon throws Newport Harbor's Nick Ibarra to the mat during the Battle of the Bay wrestling match.
Corona del Mar’s Anthony Leon throws Newport Harbor’s Nick Ibarra to the mat during the Battle of the Bay wrestling match on Wednesday.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

The Corona del Mar High School wrestling team left no doubt about its desire to keep the Golden Singlet in house.

For the third consecutive season, the sought-after trophy will remain with CdM, as the Sea Kings handily defeated Newport Harbor 51-20 on Wednesday in the Battle of the Bay match.

The Sea Kings pounced on the rival Sailors, opening the match with a string of 10 consecutive bouts won. Loscar Riestra (138 pounds), Adin Gallegos (170), Anthony Gonzalez (182) and Reid Butler (heavyweight) earned victories by fall during that stretch.

“It’s good, especially for my last year, it’s something to hold onto,” Gonzalez said of retaining the Golden Singlet as a senior. “I also feel like our team does a good job of holding each other accountable for making sure we come to practice every day and working hard. I’m proud of everyone.”

Corona del Mar's JJ Strapp tries to turn Newport Harbor's Matthew Pinon to the mat during the Battle of the Bay match.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

JJ Strapp (132), Antonio Aramburu (152) and Zion Hernandez (160) each recorded wins by major decision for CdM (5-1, 1-0 in the Wave League), while Anthony Leon (220) also contributed on the scoreboard with a win by decision.

Corona del Mar has made back-to-back CIF Southern Section Division 6 finals appearances, winning the championship over Montebello in 2020 and ending last season as the runner-up to Western.

“It definitely feels amazing to just totally outrun [the Sailors],” Hernandez said. “Just pin after pin after pin. We put [in] so much hard work in the room, and it just shows it pays off. This year, we’ll definitely be back with CIF.”

Corona del Mar coach Mark Alex spoke to the maturation that he sees from the kids in his program.

Corona del Mar's Reid Butler stands victorious over Newport Harbor's Max Hernandez in the Battle of the Bay wrestling match.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

“What this group is really developing into is they’re turning into fighters,” Alex said. “They keep going hard six full minutes. They don’t take timeout during the match. They keep pushing for the victory. They don’t let the score make them stop working hard. They really fight hard every minute of the match.”

Although the match was well in hand by the time Newport Harbor (4-7, 0-1) hit its stride in the lower weight classes, the Sailors had some moments of their own.

Put on his back in the third period, Newport Harbor’s Demian Pryima was able to reverse his fortunes and earn a dramatic pin in the 106-pound match against James Baldwin.

Kai Villasenor (113) then turned in a dominant performance for the Sailors, racking up the points in earning a technical fall over Vallon Johannesson by a score of 24-9.

Newport Harbor's Caleb Wheeler drives his opponent Angelo Gonzalez to the mat for the win during the Battle of the Bay.
Newport Harbor’s Caleb Wheeler drives his opponent Angelo Gonzalez to the mat for the win during the Battle of the Bay wrestling match.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

“Going into my match, the team score was obviously a little high on CdM’s side,” Villasenor, a senior who started on varsity as a freshman for the Sailors, said. “My coaches told me to go have fun, so I went out there. I wasn’t necessarily looking for a pin. I was just trying to have fun.”

Caleb Wheeler (126) added another pin for Newport Harbor, and Giovanni Sabatasso (126) won by decision.

Wave League

Corona del Mar 51, Newport Harbor 20

106 — Demian Pryima (NH) pins James Baldwin (CdM), 5:06.

113 — Kai Villasenor (NH) tech. fall Vallon Johannesson (CdM), 24-9.

120 — Caleb Wheeler (NH) pins Angelo Gonzalez (CdM), 5:33.

126 — Giovanni Sabatasso (NH) dec. Brendan Muse (CdM), 11-4.

132 — JJ Strapp (CdM) maj. Matthew Pinon (NH), 12-4.

138 — Loscar Riestra (CdM) pins Anthony Manno (NH), 2:00.

145 — Luke Villaluz (CdM) wins by forfeit.

152 — Antonio Aramburu (CdM) maj. Avery MacKinnon (NH), 10-1.

160 — Zion Hernandez (CdM) maj. Joe Jacobs (NH), 12-1.

170 — Adin Gallegos (CdM) pins Chase Judd (NH), 3:51.

182 — Anthony Gonzalez (CdM) pins Elliot Franco (NH), 2:58.

195 — Eugenio Franco (CdM) wins by forfeit.

220 — Anthony Leon (CdM) dec. Nick Ibarra (NH), 11-8.

285 — Reid Butler (CdM) pins Max Hernandez (NH), 3:39.

The Corona del Mar wrestling team celebrates with the Golden Singlet trophy, awarded to the winner of the Battle of the Bay.
The Corona del Mar wrestling team celebrates with the Golden Singlet trophy, awarded to the winner of the Battle of the Bay wrestling match, on Wednesday.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

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