Prep Impressions: Jan. 14, 2012

I covered the finals of the Battle of the Belt Temecula Valley Invitationala wrestling tournament for The Press-Enterprise on Saturday, Jan. 14, 2012 and came away thinking Inland Area wrestlers trail their San Joaquin Section counterparts, and that Temecula Valley wrestling puts on an obnoxious show.

As for the technical aspects of the competition, Clovis High School dominated the meet. The Cougars had three wrestlers earn belts and three others compete in finals in their respective weight divisions.

Brothers Johnas Gaytan (120 pounds) and Daniel Gaytan (126) won belts, as did Nick Nevills (285). Zach Nevills (170), Ryan Davies (182) and Dakota Gorgon (195) got to the brink.

Natrelle Demison (138) from Bakersfield and Isaiah Martinez (152) from Lemoore both won a third consecutive belt. It’s an interesting feat considering the meet just completed its sixth competition.

The Inland Area had just one finalist, Robert Marchese (195) from Hesperia Oak Hills. And he barely squeaked by, earning a two-point takedown over Clovis’ Gordon in the waning seconds of the third period. He won 2-1.

But I did not speak to him. Nor did I speak to any of the winners.

Simply, it was a near-impossible situation in which to have a conversation. The lights were dimmed for the finals, the music was turned way up and blaring, and it was akin to a low-budget pro wrestling enterprise than a high school meet.

I had a hard time locating interviewees, nevermind having an audible conversation. With exactly zero finals participants from the metro Riverside/San Bernardino areas, I had to scramble to find guys who finished sixth and seventh, and I was lucky to pluck Moreno Valley Canyon Springs’ Immanuel Barber and Temecula Chaparral’s Bradley Christensen from the crowd.

Sort of an annoying event, really, with girls in prom dresses delivering belts and medals, and the pop music and the smoke and the lights. I’ve seen better backyard wrestling productions.

On the bright side, the producers had a large projection screen 25 feet above the mat. It displayed a 5-to-10 second delay of all the action. It was sort of a constant replay throughout the night, and was a nice touch upon an otherwise grating evening.

One Response to “Prep Impressions: Jan. 14, 2012”
  1. Miller says:

    Great picture.

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