CA High School State Championships

It's on in Bakersfield this weekend!

Bakersfield high was poised and ready to defend their state title against favored Poway and the rest of the state when suddenly their defending state champion, Cisneros, failed to qualify out of the central sections masters meet. That is a major blow to the drillers and just about asures that the Title will go back to San Diego with the Titans.

Poway has dominated every single competition that they have entered this year with the exception of Reno where they finished in 4th place, a handful of points out of the lead. They advance 12 to the state tournament and having already won the 5 counties tournament by a land slide over the same teams that will challenge them in Bakersfiled, the championships looks to be a forgone conclusion.

There will be plenty of drama, however as there are many intriguing stories yet to play out in several of the weight classes. at 152 pounds, the top ranked wrestler in the state is a freshman. He is also in arguably the toughest weight in the state and if he wins it all, will become the only freshman to ever place at that high of a weight class. at 189, Jake Varner looks to cap a brilliant career by making his 3rd consecutive final and winning his 2nd straight state title. He is currently ranked 2nd in the Nation and will stake his claim to number one following this weekends events in Bakersfield.

Follow all of the action here:

For whever it's worth, this years California High School State Wrestling Championships were very special. We had 3 freshman in the finals with 2 of them winning state titles. Incredible! The state of California has only had 3 wrestlers win state titles as a freshman and now 2 do it on the same night.

At 152 pounds Louis Bland of Central Catholc hs finished a tremendous season with a 48 and 1 record and his first state title. He is a freshman and is being picked to runthe table and to dominate nationally in another year or so. The kid is phenominal.

At 189 pounds, Jake Verner, also known as the Beast to many in California, Ran his record to 48 and 0 with 44 falls. He was named the tournaments most outstanding wrstler by pinning his way through the tournament (6 falls). He ran his winning streak to close to 90 and 0 and claimed hs 2nd straight state title in 3 consecutive finals. The Iowa State bound senior now will focus on winning senior Nationals in cleveland later this month.

Poway had the 3rd best state tournament ever, points wise and claimed their 3rd Team State Wrestling Champiojship by outdistancing Bakersfield, 167- 111. Now Team California prepares itself for an allstar dual against Oregon next Saturday night. It ought to be very exciting.

What about Billy Murphy? This guy is awesome, gonna be a great college wrestler. Super aggressive, intense, and built for wrestling. Huge arms and torso, tiny little legs. My favorite wrestler of the tournament.

Varner is going to have a great college carrer too. He'll get his ass kicked all year long by assistant coach Sanderson.

You;re absolutely right about Murphy. Theincredible thing is that he's a junior and will be back to dominate one more season. Who ever lands him att he next level has a gem.

Other super impressive wrestlers this past weekend at State were also Moreno at 112 pounds who claimed his 3rd consecutive state tittle by defeating a 2 time national champion from Bulgaria. Very impressive! Colton Nichols of Poway was extremely dominant as well in route to winning the state title at 215 pounds and finished the season with only one loss and that was to the nations top ranked wrestler by a score of 5 to 3.

You;re right on the Sanderson thing, Varner goes from being absolutely unbeatable to the whipping boy of one Cael Sanderson. I have to believe that Varners future looks extremely bright over in Ames.

more on bland here:

I coach at Modesto JC, and I really enjoyed seeing so many local kids in the finals.  Stanislaus County had 6 finalist, with 5 of them claiming titles.  (Machado-Ching, Borges, Murphy, Gonzalez, Bland, and Angle). 

I also enjoyed the way that they conducted the finals.  The whole set up was great, and there was a lot of excitement for the finals.

I have a cousin that wrestled for MJC, Joey Olivas. Took 2nd in JC state. You might know him.

Here's an article on Moreno. He is amazing, started wrestling his freshman year, didn't even make it to state. His Sophmore year he won it. CRAZY!!!

The Orange County Register

Expectations sometimes can be a dirty word in the world of sports.

If you reach them and surpass them, you're considered a hero.

If you fail to reach them, you're considered a failure.

Foothill High senior wrestler Brian Moreno has dealt with high expectations for the past two years, and those will continue today when the CIF State Wrestling Tournament begins at Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield.

Moreno begins his quest for a piece of history and his third consecutive CIF State title today against David Watts of El Diamante High of Visalia.

If Moreno does what he has done every match this year, and what he is expected to, he will become the first Orange County wrestler to claim three state titles.

As the California wrestling community converges on Bakersfield for the state tournament, all eyes will be on Moreno in his quest for history.

Expectations? He has dealt with them.

"It's been crazy," Moreno said. "I really don't think about it; I just wrestle."

But for Moreno, wrestling hasn't always been about consecutive victories, CIF, Masters and California State titles.

He didn't enter Foothill High as the phenom and wrestling icon that he is now.

His wrestling career began modestly as a freshman when, on the first day of practice, he was quickly promoted to the varsity team.

"We had to throw him into the fire right away," Foothill coach Russ Caldwell said. "He had to learn fast."

Moreno also remembers that day.

"I went into the wrestling room on the first day," Moreno said. "I checked my weight, it was 101, and coach said 'OK, you're my varsity guy.'"

Moreno took his lumps and, subsequently, losses during his first year. He posted a 32-13 record at 103 pounds.

"I knew nothing," Moreno said of wrestling. "But it was fun, and I liked it (wrestling) a lot."

"He always had the heart, desire and attitude, but the one thing he lacked was technique," Caldwell said.

During the offseason, Moreno stepped up his training, participating in camps, workout sessions at Santa Ana College and running to better his conditioning.

"I trained hard," Moreno said. "I didn't know that I was going to become good."

Moreno and Caldwell agreed that the turning point came during his sophomore year, when he finally defeated Hugo Guzman (Santa Ana), in their fourth meeting of the season. The victory advanced Moreno to his first Masters Meet.

"That's been the biggest highlight to me," Caldwell said. "That showed that all of the time that he dedicated and all of the time he spent running, finally paid off."

Moreno breezed through the Masters Meet, allowing just three points.

He culminated his sophomore season with his first state title, defeating Mick Ruiz of Poway on March 8, his birthday.

"(I) came out of nowhere to win state," Moreno said.

Hello, expectations. Goodbye, anonymity.

Moreno breezed through his junior year, dropping just one match, to Josh Oliver of Eastern Pennsylvania at the Reno Tournament of Champions.

That was the last time he has been defeated.

He also hasn't wrestled outof the consolation bracket since 2002. He has been pinned justonce in his career.

"It's a technical exercise," Caldwell said of Moreno's wrestling style. "He doesn't hold the school record for pins. He wrestles, and after six minutes (three, two-minute periods), he has the most points."

Moreno ended last year with his second state title, this time at 112 pounds.

Moreno wanted a larger challenge this season. He had dreams of moving up to 119 pounds, but he couldn't maintain the necessary weight, so he stayed within his comfort level of 112 pounds.

With all of his success, Moreno has had to fight to keep complacency from settling in.

He has handled things well, winning at Reno, Five Counties, CIF and Masters, among other places.

"When I get on the mat, I'm focused about wrestling," Moreno said. "I go blank. Whatever happens, happens.

"I'm never nervous."

More than likely, Caldwell will be more nervous than Moreno this weekend. Moreno is expected to advance through the 112-pound bracket and into Saturday night's final.

The scene will then be set for a run at history: Moreno wrestling upon a raised stage in the middle of the Rabobank Arena, and wrestling for his place in Orange County history.

He never shows emotion, not joy or anger, but with a championship victory Saturday, that could change.

"It's never been done in Orange County," Moreno said of three state titles. "And to be the first would be pretty sweet."

I remember Joey.  I think I worked out with him once when he was wrestling for MJC.  Nice article on Moreno.