Throughout the season, wrestlers have fought many battles.
The final week of high school action has come, and now, it is time for the winner of the war to be determined.
A trio of locals will compete in the CIF State wrestling championships on Friday and Saturday at Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield. All three come in with very similar resumes, having secured CIF Southern Section Southern Division titles before placing second in last week’s Masters meet.
Edison senior Elijah Palacio enters as the most accomplished of the group. The 132-pounder has qualified for the state meet in all four of his high school seasons.
Palacio comes into the tournament ranked fourth in the state. He draws a first-round matchup with Central Section ninth-place qualifier Tyler Caldwell of Visalia El Diamante.
The Chargers were the beneficiary of a pair of transfers this year. They brought in Palacio from Calvary Chapel, and Jared Williams also came over from Manhattan Beach Mira Costa.
Last year marked Williams’ first appearance as a state qualifier. He is back with an opportunity to become a first-time state medalist.
Williams is ranked eighth in the state at 152 pounds by the California Wrestler, but he defeated third-ranked Troy Mantanona of Palm Desert by major decision (16-5) in the Masters. In the final, Williams wrestled to a 6-3 decision loss against second-ranked Trey Munoz of Trabuco Hills.
The opening round will feature Williams, the No. 6 seed, against Central Section fourth-place qualifier Max Anderson of Clovis.
Fountain Valley’s Max Wilner showed himself to be the area’s top freshman this year. After an impressive Masters tournament that saw him drop a 3-1 decision to Riverside King’s Adrian Salgado in the 145-pound final, Wilner has been rewarded.
The Barons’ rising star will be seeded 11th at the state meet, and he has drawn a matchup with Santa Rosa Cardinal Newman’s Harry Bruno (North Coast Section third-place qualifier) to begin his tournament.
CIF State wrestling championships
Where: Rabobank Arena (1001 Truxtun Ave., Bakersfield, CA 93301)
When: Wrestling begins at 9 a.m. on both Friday and Saturday.
Fan Info: Adult admission is $11 on Friday, $12 during the Saturday day session, and $13 for the Saturday evening session. High school students, children age 5 and older, and seniors are $8 on Friday, $9 for the Saturday day session, and $10 for the Saturday evening session.
ADHSHL Playoff Brackets Released
The Anaheim Ducks High School Hockey League has released its playoff brackets.
Edison, which resides in Varsity Division 1, will take on JSerra next Thursday in its first-round game at the Rinks Anaheim Ice.
The Chargers made the leap to Division 1 after winning a Division 3 title last season. Edison brought back a senior-heavy roster, a big factor in the Chargers’ decision to move up.
Edison (2-13-0-1, seven points) lost a pair of one-goal games against JSerra (9-6-0-1, 28 points) this season.
All teams are entered into the ADHSHL playoffs. There are seven teams in Division 1, meaning top-seeded Santa Margarita (16-0) has received a first-round bye.
The Division 1 bracket will be played out over a brief, three-day period, with the final taking place at Anaheim Ice on Saturday, March 10, at 7:30 p.m.
Huntington Beach (2-9-2-1, 11 points) finished in the middle of the pack of the Coast View Conference in Division 3. The Oilers will be hindered during the playoffs, as Los Angeles Jr. Kings 18U AAA forward Kyle Baker will be ineligible.
ADHSHL Director of Communications and Media Erik Pessolano said that players must dress in half of their team’s games to participate in the playoffs. Baker played in six of the Oilers’ 14 games.
Huntington Beach will oppose Upland Christian (7-5-0-2, 23 points) in the first round on Saturday at the Rinks Lakewood Ice. Puck drop is at 2:45 p.m.
Newport-Mesa (10-1-3-0, 36 points) is the top seed in the Junior Varsity Division. The Ice Kings will take on Palm Springs United (5-8-0-1, 16 points) at 4 p.m. on Monday at Anaheim Ice.