TACOMA – After two whole days of tough competition, the Oroville Hornets wrestling team left the Tacoma Dome with one state placer among the three wrestlers who went.
At 140 pounds, junior Nick Perez finished the tournament in second place with his only loss occurring in the finals to Warden senior Samuel Suarez.
“[Perez] pinned his first opponent on Friday night and won a tough one-point decision over [Daniel] Stauffer of Davenport in the Championship semis setting the stage for his second trip in as many years for a possible State Championship,” Head Coach Chuck Ricevuto said. “He opened the bout with a great takedown attempt that went out of bounds. After a fairly strong first period, he was never able to ‘get his motor going’ again. Since he is only a junior, he will have one more shot next year as a senior.”
This was Perez’s second defeat to Suarez in the championships, having lost to him the week before at regionals.
“I could’ve done better,” Perez said.
Senior Davis Castillo at 119 pounds and junior Duke Sykes at 171 pounds also wrestled for the Hornets.
“Sykes opened his first trip to the Dome with a one-point decision Friday night,” Ricevuto said. “His next bout was against Senior Byron Smith from South Bend and he is ranked number two in state. Down two to one, with both wrestlers being warned for stalling, Sykes shot three great attempts but was denied. His opponent would be the eventual state champion in convincing manner. Sykes later wrestled in the consolation semifinals and lost another one-point decision in the last fleeting seconds.”
Castillo also lost out in the consolation bracket after making it there despite an injury.
“Castillo fought off a rib injury to win by pin in his second bout at State only to lose in the consolation semifinals,” Ricevuto said. “We are very proud of all three wrestlers but especially proud of Castillo and his final efforts in a Hornet Wrestling singlet.”