Huntington Beach wrestling did it the hard way
John Morgan, the third-year coach of Huntington Beach High’s wrestling team, walked between the mats at Thursday’s Sunset League finals and uttered these words: “Some people want it more.”
It was a phrase fit to be the motto for the third-place matches at league finals, a do-or-die stage that saw the winner advance to the CIF Southern Section Southern Division Individuals, to be held at Brea Olinda High on Feb. 16-17. The loser’s season ended right there.
Huntington Beach made its money in that scenario at league finals. The Oilers went 5-1 in third-place matches, accounting for all but one of the team’s CIF qualifiers.
“That’s one thing that we’ve been building all year is that war-like mentality,” Morgan said. “I tell these kids, ‘Whenever you go out on the mat, you make whoever you wrestle remember your name.’
“What I mean by that is that you wrestle so hard that whether you win or lose, that guy is going to remember you.”
The third-place qualifier at 182 pounds, Kevin Traw exemplified what Morgan has been preaching. Morgan said that Traw had been pinned by Newport Harbor’s Miguel Licona twice this week (in a league dual meet and in the main draw of league finals), but in the critical consolation match, Traw came away with the 9-8 decision.
Brian Perez (126), Spencer Machan (145), Scott Martel (170) and Devin Beebe (220) also extended their seasons in third-place bouts.
Huntington Beach had six CIF qualifiers as a team, with freshman Cade Haakenson serving as the Oilers’ lone league champion at 106 pounds.
“The first year that I came on, we took two [to CIF],” Morgan said, pointing out the rise of the Oilers’ wrestling program. “Last year, we took three. This year, we’re taking six.
“We’re very proud, but we’re not close to being done. We have a whole team of sophomores and freshmen. The next four years are looking really bright, too.”
CdM’s Muse joins field at Girls’ CIF Finals
Corona del Mar junior Kiersten Muse, a 137-pounder, qualified for the CIF Southern Section Girls’ Wrestling Finals, which begin next week on Friday at Eastvale Roosevelt High.
Muse recorded a technical fall and received an injury default to advance out of the Southern Regional at El Toro High on Saturday.
ADHSHL All-Star games fast approaching
The Anaheim Ducks High School Hockey League will carry out its seventh annual All-Star game showcase on Wednesday at Honda Center.
Three games – a junior varsity, a varsity, and a senior game – will take place, as well as skills competitions during the intermissions.
Admission to the event is free. The puck drops for the junior varsity game at 4 p.m.
All the latest on Orange County from Orange County.
Get our free TimesOC newsletter, sent three times a week, for the news that matters most to your community.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Daily Pilot.