Prep Preview: Riverside County Wrestling

I’m covering the Riverside County Wrestling Championships today for The Press-Enterprise. The best part of this assignment is two-fold. 1. It’s within walking distance of my house, and 2. it’s something resembling a big-time event.

THE LOW DOWN:
The first tournament of 2012, the County Championships are the beginning of what is a very busy two months for Inland Area wrestlers, the best of which will wrestle today. Schools scheduled to appear include Corona Centennial, Corona Santiago, Lake Elsinore Temescal Canyon, Moreno Valley Canyon Springs, Perris Citrus Hill, Riverside La Sierra and Temecula Valley, which hosts its prestigious invitational next week.

TAYLOR HALL

CHRISTIAN PAGDILAO

KEY WRESTLERS:
113 pounds: Taylor Hall, Moreno Valley Canyon Springs
120: Giovanni Castillo, Corona Centennial
126: Christian Pagdilao, Corona Centennial
132: Danin Calvin, Temecula Chaparral
138: Andrew Schulte, Corona Centennial
145: Nick Jazo, Vista Murrieta
152: Taylor McCormick, Riverside La Sierra
160: Harlan Kistler, Riverside La Sierra
170: Immanuel Barber, Moreno Valley Canyon Springs
182: Brett Sayre, Temecula Valley
220: Anthony Briones, Riverside Ramona

THE BATTLE BEGINS!
Grudges among Riverside County’s elite wrestlers seem to start here. As recently as 2010 when Corona Centennial’s Denzel Hawkins and MoVal Canyons Springs’ Bradley Johnson wrestled the first of five times that season. Hawkins won all five meetings, including 13-11 in overtime of the 152-pound championship match at the CIF-Southern Section Masters’s Meet. Scenarios like Hawkins-Johnson may be rare, but tension created at this weekend will almost certainly escalate over the coming weeks heading into Individuals (Feb. 17-18) and Masters (March 24-25).

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