BC wrestling goes 1-2 in tournament


Alisia Sanchez

Jack Murphy, left, tries to get top position against his Cuesta College opponent at the South Athletic Confrence dual tournament held in the BC gym.

Mohamed Bafakih, Reporter

Gil Bishop Gymnasium was finally able to lay its wrestling mats down after 35 days without an event as the state’s 10th-ranked Renegade wrestling team hosted the South East Athletic Conference dual tournament Nov. 15.

Three other ranked teams: Cuesta (6), East LA (12) and West Hills (18) joined banged-up Bakersfield to gain some conference rights.

Cuesta breezed through the competition going 3-0 overall and winning each match with double-digit team points.

Coming in second was East LA that went 2-1 on the day, followed by Bakersfield (1-2) and West Hills (0-3).

Despite BC only winning one match against West Hills 24-21, the Renegades were forced to forfeit 18 total points after giving up three weights classes.

Marco Velasquez, 125-pound freshman, who has had a tremendous season to this point, was a late scratch after sustaining a right ankle sprain two days before the tournament while training that will keep him out for at least two weeks.

“Honestly, it sucked,” Velasquez said. “I feel like it was a missed opportunity, but I’m just going to take some time now and get better to get ready for regionals and state.”

Along with Velasquez, Greg Pagela (165 pounds) and co-captain Cesar Luna (174 pounds) were unavailable as well.

Pagela tore his meniscus following the Modesto Tournament and is out indefinitely while Luna was excused for Marines-related duties.

Vincent Gomez replaced Luna as a captain and showed up well, winning all three of his matches – including one against seventh-ranked John Sinclair of Cuesta – despite cutting nearly 30 pounds from 184 to 157.

“I’ve been on the mat since I was 3 so it’s like nothing new (cutting weight), but it’s definitely something that you have to mentally prepare yourself for because cutting weight and having to wrestle – and perform on top of that – is not easy,” Gomez said.

Gomez also mentioned it has been the best he has seen the team as a whole.

For head coach Brett Clark, it was still a pleasant afternoon despite dropping two of three matchups.

“There’s still some work, but I feel good, you know,” Clark said. “We wrestled really well against West Hills … we battled. We battled against Cuesta. [with] East LA. We were in there but we made some dumb mistakes.”

Renegades’ workhorse and the state’s number one wrestler at 197, Jack Murphy, also individually put on a show and continued his superb season with key wins over the state’s third best at 197 Clayton Hartwell, East LA’s Herrera, and a forfeit by West Hills.

“He (Hartwell) is kind of a younger guy and if there’s anything that my dad has taught me is if you wrestle these younger guys, you got to break them mentally because they’ll easily break,” Murphy said.

Murphy broke Hartwell mentally by getting the needed takedowns and went on to win the match 9-4.

However, Hartwell will be looking to regain himself as he and Cuesta will meet Bakersfield once again at The Brawl down at East LA College this Saturday before heading into the Southern Regional Championships and CCCAA Championships.