Postseason is time to shine for wrestlers

By: Matt Long Telegraph Sports Editor
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It’s safe to say that the regular season didn’t go as well as Casey Rhyan had hoped. Oak Ridge High’s wrestling coach had big expectations for his team that didn’t come to fruition, but there’s still time to achieve. In fact, that’s no better time for wrestlers to strut their stuff than in the postseason. The second season kicks off Saturday at Folsom High in the Delta River League championships. Oak Ridge won three league dual matches over Jesuit, Sheldon and Pleasant Grove, but lost badly to league champion Folsom and archrival Ponderosa. A strong performance in the postseason would make the disappointing regular season a distant memory. Rhyan believes his team has the potential to have a great postseason. “We didn’t come close to showing what we could do in our duals against Folsom and Ponderosa,” Rhyan said. “It was definitely the low point of our season. I really feel like we’re peaking at the right time. The kids are finally wrestling with confidence, being aggressive and everyone is healthy. I think it will be the first time all year we’ve had our entire lineup together.” The postseason represents a second chance to Oak Ridge’s wrestlers. With the dual meets now over, the postseason is a time when individuals shine and Rhyan believes his team has the potential to shine brightly. “We have a very good team, better than most people believe,” Rhyan said. “Sometimes better than our own wrestlers believe. I think that’s the key for this team, believing in themselves. We’re one of the best teams in the Sac-Joaquin Section. Our wrestlers just need to believe that. When this team is wrestling with confidence, the sky’s the limit.” Oak Ridge finished the league dual season with an easy win over Pleasant Grove on Feb. 1. The Trojans won 11 of the 13 matches and picked up a forfeit in the other weight class. Six Trojans won by pin including Xavier Liongson (128), Trey Reese (134), Cameron Miller (140), Taylor Ellerman (147), Keaton Subjeck (162) and Preston Dean (197). Andrew Gularte (122) and Ali Atebar (154) won by technical falls, Gularte winning 17-0 and Atebar coming out on top, 21-6. Eric Rohrer picked up a major decision at 184, 14-5, while Xavier Lopez (222) and Jacob Proul (287) won the two most competitive matches. Lopez avenged an earlier loss to Eric Carda, 9-5, while Proul defeated Paul Sandu, 2-1. The match was the final home dual meet for the team’s seniors including Gularte, Reese, Miller, Taylor Ellerman, Hugh Ellerman, Rohrer, Dean and Lopez. Seniors who didn’t wrestle include Andrew Pearson, Jacob Hamilton and Sonny Singh.