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Prep Wrestling: 'Rabbits pound Hawks for third straight league title
VICTORVILLE • Victor Valley is wrestling at a completely different level than everybody else in the Desert Sky League.
That was never more apparent than during its 67-6 win over Silverado, which was unbeaten in league, on Tuesday that gave the Jackrabbits their third straight DSL title.
The ’Rabbits have gone undefeated in league during all three of those championship runs.
“I’m proud of these guys,” Victor Valley coach C.T. Campbell said. “They stepped up to the challenge. We overcame some injuries, and we’re starting to get guys back.”
Victor Valley was helped by the returns of Richard Ruiz (106 pounds) and Logan Howell (152) from injury. The Jackrabbits were missing Tony Gutierrez (195), but Christian Gonzales (138) — who Campbell calls his utility man — filled in and recorded a decision.
Everyone in weight classes above Gonzales moved up a class.
Victor Valley didn’t get a pin until Efrain Velasquez (145) in the seventh match. Two matches later Michael Lopez (160) clinched the league title with another pin.
Blake Fifer (182), Twan Portis (195) and Anthony Rosario (HWT) each recorded pins as well. Ruiz, Hector Ruvalcaba (120), Carlos Morales (126) and Jonathan Oliveiras (160) all had technical falls.
Silverado (3-1 DSL) had some excitement early on when Jaime Ayala (113) scored a pin to give the Hawks a 6-5 lead. The Hawks finished second in the league for the second year in a row.
Silverado had five first-year wrestlers in the lineup.
“It’s never satisfactory to lose by a large margin, but we consider this a building season,” first-year Hawks coach Joseph Green said. “We’re trying to build up the team. We started with hardly anything, and I’m pretty happy with the way things are going. These guys had to learn the basics. They didn’t know a lot at the beginning. They’ve come a long way.”
Last season, nobody scored in double figures in league against Victor Valley. Only Barstow accomplished that this season by winning four matches, including a forfeit.
Victor Valley, which is ranked first in the CIF-Southern Section Division 3 poll, will likely be the top seed in the CIF-SS Div. 3 Dual Championships at Keith Gunn Gymnasium on Feb. 9. The Jackrabbits won the Div. 4 tournament last year.
But before they turn their attention to that tournament, the Jackrabbits will compete at the DSL Finals also at home on Saturday.
There, Victor Valley hopes to match or better last years mark of 11 champions and 14 finalists.
“We just have some goals we’re trying to fill, and the kids are working hard and responding,” Campbell said.
Victor Valley 67, Silverado 6
106 — Ruiz (V) tech. fall Ramirez (S), 15-0.
113 — Ayala (S) pinned Preciado (V), 1:33.
120 — Ruvalcaba (V) tech. fall Gonzalez (S), 18-3.
126 — Morales (V) tech. fall Bejarano (S), 18-3.
132 — Mazziotti (V) major dec. Carrion (S), 13-1.
138 — Gonzales (V) dec. Stiffler (S), 6-0.
145 — Velasquez (V) pinned Romero (V), 5:40.
152 — Howell (V) major dec. Gutierrez (S), 17-3.
160 — Lopez (V) pinned Sanchez (S), 3:10.
170 — Oliveira (V) tech. fall Johnson (S), 15-0.
182 — Fifer (V) pinned Smith (S), 2:53.
195 — Portis (V) pinned Moran (S), 3:44.
220 — Cruz (V) won by forfeit.
HWT — Rosales (V) pinned Jenkins (S), 1:58.
C.J. Daft can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (760) 951-6275.