Costa Mesa wrestling wins tightly-contest Battle for the Bell at Estancia

Jimi Welsher (132 pounds), Edward Ramirez (145) and Bengie Mendez (170) had pins, and visiting Costa Mesa High defeated Estancia 36-32 in the Battle for the Bell wrestling rivalry on Thursday night.

In addition to the in-city rivalry, Laguna Beach joined the festivities to make it an Orange Coast League double dual meet.


Costa Mesa defeated Laguna Beach 58-15, taking its record to 5-9 overall and 2-0 in league.

Laguna Beach started a wrestling program this season. Bobby Morales, who wrestled at Laguna Hills and was twice named an All-Orange County selection, has been named the Breakers’ first head coach. He previously helped out at St. Margaret’s and Mission Viejo.


“I tend to go to the schools that need the most help,” Morales said, adding that he was attracted to the opportunity to start his own program.

The Breakers wrestling history may only be a matter of months, but some are learning quickly. Seniors Miles Stripling (138) and Nick Besso (160) earned victories by fall against the Mustangs. Laguna Beach then edged Estancia 34-32.

Second-year Estancia coach Abraham Aguilar named senior Hector Camarena (120), junior Jacob Parsons (285) and sophomore Nallely Rivadeneira (132) as individuals he is high on.

Aguilar said that Rivadeneira has a chance to go to the CIF State girls’ meet. Ocean View’s Angie Vu was the only local girl, and one of three area wrestlers, to advance to their respective state championship meets last season.

Five Counties Invitational

Fountain Valley is hosting the Five Counties wrestling tournament, with the final day of action taking place on Saturday.

Wrestling begins at 9 a.m. with the championship quarterfinals. The medal round will run from approximately 2:30 to 4 p.m., while the finals are scheduled for 5:30 p.m.

Selma enters as a favorite to defend its team title at the tournament, after the Bears topped Covina Northview 219-196.5 last year.

Richard Figueroa (106), Tristan Lujan (113), Tony Mendoza (145) and Christian Rodriguez (170) are all projected weight-class winners for Selma, according to the California Wrestler.

Marina senior John McCoy is considered a candidate to reach the 145 final.

Fountain Valley is joined by Marina and Huntington Beach out of the Sunset League, as well as Ocean View from the Golden West League, as local schools competing at the event.