Rivals ready to rumble

Newport Harbor High and Corona del Mar have the Battle of the Bay in wrestling. The two rivals will welcome 14 other schools to their "Battle by the Bay" Friday.

The two-day tournament begins at CdM at 3 p.m. Saturday's elimination bracket starts at 9 a.m.

Out of the 16 teams competing, Irvine is the favorite to win the event. The Vaqueros, ranked No. 3 in the CIF Southern Section Division V preseason poll, are the only ranked team in the tournament.

The rest of the field includes Costa Mesa, Capistrano Valley, El Toro, Foothill, Mater Dei, Northwood, Ocean View, University, Woodbridge, Century, Cypress, Anaheim and Tustin.

Coach Dominic Bulone said his Newport Harbor wrestlers are the most athletic he has had during his 12 years at the school. One Sailor to follow is 189-pound senior Bradley Beaudette, the brother of former Newport Harbor standout heavyweight Brian Beaudette, who reached the CIF State championships three years ago as a senior.

"It's too early to tell," said Bulone on whether Bradley can follow in his brother's footsteps and make it to state in March. "We are hoping our wrestlers bond as a team and each kid gets a lot of matches. If they can each get to wrestle seven times during the two days, it will be great."

*The state is much larger than a section.

Somehow, the CIF Southern Section Division III preseason coaches' poll has the CdM boys' soccer team ranked No. 2, but ESPN RISE has the Sea Kings at No. 2 in California.

Which poll makes sense?

The Sea Kings, who won the CIF Southern Section Division IV championship last season, moved up to Division III this season. The top-ranked team is Paramount, which claimed the Division III title last season.

The Sea Kings, led by UC Davis-bound senior midfielder Brian Ford and junior goalkeeper Connor Gaal, can prove this month that they are the top team in Division III.

Coach George Larsen has CdM playing in the Soccer Town High School Showcase in Santa Barbara on Dec. 10-12. When the Sea Kings return, they are at Mater Dei, ranked No. 6 in Division I, on Dec. 15, and two days later, the Sea Kings play host to Santa Ana Valley, No. 4 in Division III.

In late December, CdM competes in the Adidas South Orange County Challenge. Mission Viejo and El Toro, ranked No. 1 in Division II and No. 9 in Division I, respectively, are the hosts of the premier tournament.

If CdM fairs well in Santa Barbara, beats the likes of Mater Dei, Santa Ana Valley, and then wins the Adidas South Orange County Challenge, it might knock Paramount from the top spot in Division III.

"I'm a big believer in getting challenged," said Larsen, who's in his second season at CdM.

*Former CdM standout Reed Williams is one victory away from playing in the NCAA Final Four in soccer.

Williams, a freshman, is starting at UCLA (16-4-1), which is at top-seeded Louisville (18-0-3) Friday in a Division I quarterfinal match set for 3 p.m. The winner advances to the semifinals at UC Santa Barbara on Dec. 10.

Many of Williams' CdM teammates from last season will be in Santa Barbara for the Soccer Town High School Showcase.

"It would be cool if all the CdM guys can go out there and watch Reed play," Larsen said. "We're all UCLA fans right now."

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