DAVENPORT – Injuries, illness and eligibility issues kept Oroville from fielding half its roster at Saturday’s season-opening Davenport Wrestling Invitational.
The Hornets finished seventh in a tournament that in past years they have cracked the top three in, but had a number of standout performances from the athletes that did make the trip.
“We had to leave 11 of our 20 wrestlers at home,” said Oroville coach Chuck Ricevuto. “This is especially tough going when you have to leave home three state placers.”
Alex Kelly (132 pounds) picked up pins in his first two matches and finished second in his weight class.
Leo Curiel, Michael Riple and Eric Hererra each placed fourth after splitting their four matches.
Two more first-year wrestlers, Alex Lopez-Smith and Cory Childers, didn’t place, but Lopez-Smith pinned his first opponent and Childers hung tough in a 5-2 loss that ended his day.
Alex Alvarez (160), in the largest and deepest weight class of the tournament, reached the semifinals with a pair of pins before losing to Reardan defending state champ Waylon Anderson, then lost a 15-14 heartbreaker in the consolation semifinals.
Angel Camacho started the day off strong with a pin over an opponent that defeated him last year. But then Camacho lost to three-time defending state qualifier Daniel Staufer (Davenport), and was eliminated from medal contention when he was pinned while holding a 7-1 lead.
After Wednesday’s dual at Tonasket, the Hornets will compete at Okanogan on Saturday, Dec. 10.
“Hopefully a few more kids will become eligible,” Ricevuto said, “so we can send a more competitive team to Okanogan.”