Wrestling Hits the Mats In Search of SEC 4-Peat
San Luis Obispo (October 1, 2016)- The Cuesta Wrestling team has captured three consecutive SouthEast Conference titles and is trying to stretch the program’s best title run ever into a four-peat. The Cougars graduated almost all of their starting line up from 2015 and with a young team and a dearth of numbers the Cougars will, for the first time in four years, not enter the season as title favorites. Coach Joe Dansby (103-76/16th) is unfazed by the pundits’ title expectations and plans to concentrate on each grappler reaching their own potential on the mat. He says "Rather then focus on a team conference championship, we will place more of an emphasis on individuals attaining their personal goals.” In an individual sport the better each athlete does on the mat, the better the team will do in the standings. The 2016 squad boasts only 14 wrestlers to fill the ten weight classes, but Coach Dansby says, “Barring injuries the team boasts some of the State's top individuals and we could push the team to a top 5 contender at the CCCAA State Championships in December. The More We DO, The More We Can DO!”
125- Sophomore Isaac Galaviz (Orange Cove HS) is set to lead off the Cougars line up. He was 9-12 last season and is primed for a big sophomore campaign. Coach Dansby says, "Isaac is an excellent technician that exhibits outstanding quickness and speed. He seems to be very focused and his maturity will serve him well". Freshman Jace Heryford (Sutter HS) was an all-Butte View League grappler at Sutter Union and possesses a size and lankiness that will give plenty of his opponents fits. "Every single week Jace seems to be showing mass improvement and will be someone to reckon with" says Dansby.
133- Coach Dansby has high hopes for this division and says, “This weight could constitute double All-Americans for the Cougars, because Sophomore Ross Arve (Clovis) and Freshman Leif Dominguez (Gilroy HS) are both very talented.” Arve reached the 2016 CCCAA Regional Meet, but his season ended after only one bout. He was 10-13 on the year. Dominguez was a three-time All American, two-time undefeated league champion and, won a CCS title at Gilroy High. Dansby says, "Ross is very strong and powerful, while Leif is one of the best technical wrestlers in the room. I would describe both wrestlers as scrappy and mat rats.”
141- 2015 All-SEC Honorable Mention choice Modan Goldman (Sunnyvale) is the quiet leader of the team. He was 14-17 last season, but fell short of the CCCAA State Meet after losing at the CCCAA Regionals. "Modan is very consistent and hard to score on. We will be working on expanding his offense this year in order to advance him deep into the post season this year.” Says Assistant Coach Albert Garza. Pushing Modan will be the very gritty Niko Zanarini (Brentwood).
149- Sophomore Marvin Apreza (Oceano: Arroyo Grande HS) is back after redshirting in 2015. He was 7-11 for the Cougars in 2014, but finished 3rd at The Brawl Tournament at East LA to end his freshman campaign. Apreza’s use of his year off should make him fun to watch this season, especially with the division all to himself. Coach Dansby says and believes, "Marvin's confidence has grown along with his wrestling skills. Since serving as a volunteer assistant coach at his alma mater (Arroyo Grande High), Marvin has come to be a by-product of why coaching makes you a better wrestler"
157- All-Mission Trail Athletic League choice Logan Gomez (Gonzales HS) might be the surprise performer on the team. Assistant Coach Albert Garza says "Logan is hard-nosed and if he can make the adjustment to college wrestling while gaining a little size he could do very well".
165- Two-time State place winner and prep All American Alex Garcia (Salinas) is expected to step directly into state title contention. He will begin the season in the upper weight classes, but the coaches want him to work his way down to this weight. "Alex is powerful and very mat savvy. we are excited to see where a healthy and conditioned Alex will finish for us." says Dansby.
174- Freshman Jaegeon Choi (Salinas) has begun the season at a higher weights, while Alex Garcia (Salinas) has racked up a 10-1 mark in this division. Choi is one of the hardest workers in the room and will end the season at this weight.
184- Highly improved Sophomore Tyrone Crockett (Los Osos: Morro Bay HS) will not be contested at this weight as the season progresses. Crockett, after nearly a decade off the mats, saw limited action last season with a 1-7 mark, but has worked himself back into contention this season. Garza announced, "Ty learned how to wrestle last year, this year will be about making his mark. Ty is strong and in superb condition. “ Freshman Jaegeon Choi (Salinas) will also begin the season at this weight, but is expected to drop down a division. Fellow Freshman Isaias Maganda (Atascadero HS) will also wrestle at this weight.
197lbs- Freshman Isaias Maganda (Atascadero HS) will start at this weight and depending on the team’s need he can move up or down. However, eventually, Freshman Issac De La Cruz (Santa Maria: Righetti HS) is expected by the coaches to hold down this division. They believe he can really make a run down to this weight class.
285lbs- Freshmen Issac De La Cruz (Santa Maria: Righetti HS) and Evan Marshall (Thousand Oaks HS) will share the match final bout for the Cougars. Dansby says, "Evan is a good size heavyweight who we will be concentrating on effectively using his size and building his W's.” states Dansby.