OROVILLE – The Oroville Hornet Wrestling team sends a mixture of talent to the mats this year, with several state vets, but a number of young wrestlers as well.
In his thirty-fourth year at coaching for Oroville, Chuck Ricevuto was there when the program first began. He believes in the Granby System of wrestling and has found it successful throughout many of those years. Ricevuto is assisted by Rick Kelly, who has also become an integral part of the Hornet’s program.
This year the team has 22 wrestlers turning out, an above average turnout, according to Ricevuto. There are nine freshmen, plus five kids from grades 10 through 12 who have little to no experience, he said.
“The remaining eight wrestlers have anywhere from two to 10 years of experience,” he said.
There are four seniors who return with experience to the team. Ricevuto points to five wrestlers who bring lots of wrestling experience, with some veterans of the state tourney.
Bryce Woodruff is a three time state veteran, who finished runner-up twice at state. Matt Kelly and Carlos Herrera are each three time state veterans whose accomplishments include a third-place finish at state. Tim Porter brings 10 years of wrestling experience, said Ricevuto.
Other wrestlers that did exceptionally well last year, include Davis Castillo and Tyler Herrera, according to Coach “Rice.”
“Both are regional vets with Davis being a state alternate,” said the coach.
Ricevuto points to a long list of team members who show promise, including Alex Kelly, Mike Lynch, Nick Perez and Duke Sykes. “(They) show real promise early in the season. All of these guys have already placed in the top three in at least one tournament this season,” he said.
At this early stage of the season, Coach Ricevuto says his team must “make it happen ASAP.”
“They are going to have to learn quickly and be mentally tough! If this happens we could have a pretty good year,” he said.
Among the teams strong points are four very experienced seniors and a sprinkling of other returning wrestlers and four very strong freshmen, according to Ricevuto.
If the team has any weaknesses it is the fact that some team members are not yet at the right weight classes and there is a constant struggle with eligibility and injuries and illnesses, according to the coach.
Last year the Hornets finished nine and one in league duals, 11 and five overall, with a season finish of fifth in state.
Coach Rice doesn’t see the team making any big changes in strategy to improve that record. However they will stick with the Grandby