Rookie wrestlers come to forefront for Oroville

SPRINGDALE – The Oroville wrestling team still isn’t able to put the team on the mats that coach Chuck Ricevuto hoped to see at the beginning of the season.

But that has given some of his younger wrestlers a chance to compete, and some of them are taking advantage of the opportunity, such as at Saturday’s tournament in Springdale.

“It’s a good thing no team scores were kept,” Ricevuto said. “Because of sickness, injury and many other reasons kept a lot of our wrestlers from attending. This is indeed fortunate because we are the defending champions of the tournament and looked forward to keeping that title alive.”

The only truly experienced Hornet to wrestle was Alex Kelly (138 pounds) and he recovered from a tough 8-7 semifinal loss to earn a bronze medal.

Rookie Alex Lopez took fourth place, just out of the medals, while freshman Leo Curiel (132), Cory Childers (138) and Eric Herrera (285) each placed fifth.

The Hornets’ three girls had a solid day as well. Breanna Dodd (106) won both her matches to win her weight class. Fernanda Perez took silver while pinning her second opponent while Kaylee Harris (155) lost her three matches.

“(Harris) lost three hard-fought bouts,” Ricevuto said, “but she is improving with each bout.”

The Hornets were at Lake Roosevelt on Tuesday for their first league mixer of the season and host their home tournament Thursday, Dec. 22, beginning at 10:00 a.m.