Subjeck, nine others advance to Masters Tournament

By: Matt Long, Sports Editor
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After having the most wrestlers in school history compete in the Division I section tournament, Oak Ridge High will send the most wrestlers they’ve ever sent to this weekend’s Masters Tournament at Stockton Arena.

Ten Trojans placed in the top-eight of their respective weight classes at the divisional tournament held over the weekend at Pitman High School in Turlock. Keaton Subjeck, competing at 172 pounds, dominated all his opponents and was the team’s lone champion.

Subjeck pinned his first two opponents and earned technical fall victories in the semifinals and finals against Cesar Sotelo of Buhach Colony and Colin Anderson of Lodi, respectively.

“Everything was working well and I just wrestled like I normally do,” Subjeck said. “I knew I could beat everyone in my bracket. I felt really good and hopefully I’m peaking at the right time.”

Subjeck is looking forward to this weekend’s Masters Tournament. Last year he finished second McNair’s Jim Wilson at 160 pounds and this year he would love to win the 170-pound class. To do that, not only will he have to reach the finals, but would likely meet Oakmont’s Peter Santos, the defending champion who defeated him in the finals of the Tim Brown Memorial Tournament last month.

“Winning Masters isn’t my ultimate goal, but it would be great to get it,” Subjeck said. “It’s always good to be coming into the state meet with a win. If I were to make it to the finals against Santos, I would have a lot more confidence. I’ve found a good balance and I’m not stressing out about anything and am just relaxed and worrying about as little as possible.”

Subjeck will be joined at Masters by nine teammates. Brandon Claiborne placed second at divisionals in the 140-pound weight class, losing in the finals to Folsom’s Mason Koshiyama, 13-2. He won his first two matches by technical fall and pin, respectively, before earning a 9-7 decision over Ponderosa’s Christian Canepa in the semis.

Claiborne’s brother, Zach, placed third at 184 pounds. After losing his second match to Joey Banks of Franklin, Claiborne looked strong in winning four straight matches to take third.

“Zach was in a tough weight class with four of the top-six wrestlers in the section wrestling and he faced one of them in the second round,” Oak Ridge coach Casey Rhyan said. “He did a good job coming back to take third.”

Josh Ploke (108) and Sherman McVey (222) earned fourth-place finishes. Ploke reached the semis before getting pinned. He defeated Golden Valley’s Crisello Rivera, 7-4, to reach the third-place match before losing 8-2 to Folsom’s Curtis Booth.

McVey lost his second match, but then won three straight by pin before losing to Ponderosa’s Henry Sharoyan, 6-3, in the match for third.

“Josh did a good job,” Rhyan said. “He got caught and pinned in the semis and that was a tough break, but he had a good tournament. Sherman is wrestling up and giving up quite a bit of weight, but he did well.”

Other Oak Ridge wrestlers placing included Jacob Proul (Hwt., sixth), Ryan Redhair (134, seventh), Kevan Cryan (154, seventh), Ali Atebar (154, eighth) and Bishane Segal (197, eighth).

“The top-seven at Masters go to state,” Rhyan said. “Our section is the toughest around and even though we had a lot of kids finish seventh and eighth, they could easily beat a number-two finisher from another section and then they’d be in a good spot. It should be fun. It’ll be interesting to see how it goes because anything can happen.”