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Bulldog grapplers fall short in DFAL opener

Alhambra’s Jacob Smith (left) stands neutral with his opponent during his match in the 152-pound division at the Bulldogs’ opening meet in Diablo Foothill Athletic League play on Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015. Smith pinned his opponent after scoring three near falls earlier in the match. (MARK FIERNER / Martinez Tribune)
Alhambra’s Jacob Smith (left) stands neutral with his opponent during his match in the 152-pound division at the Bulldogs’ opening meet in Diablo Foothill Athletic League play on Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015. Smith pinned his opponent after scoring three near falls earlier in the match. (MARK FIERNER / Martinez Tribune)

By GERARDO RECINOS
Martinez Tribune

The Bulldog wrestling team opened their Diablo Foothill Athletic League campaign with a shock loss to Acalanes on Thursday, Dec. 10.

Coach Pep Roa said before the match that he and his athletes were still scouring the school to fill out their roster. The unfortunate reality is that not having a wrestler to fill out a spot results in a forfeit. That came back to haunt the Bulldogs in their 37-36 team loss.

In contested varsity matches, the Bulldogs were 5-4, but in conceding the 170 and 182 pound weight classes they conceded 12 crucial points.

The junior varsity wrestlers opened the night with four straight wins coming from Mikey Gargaro, Tyrone Hall, Troy Haisley and Claire Casaws.

Ricky Lopez opened the night for the Bulldogs in the 132-pound weight class. Lopez struggled in a traditionally tough class and was beaten on points after being taken down three times.

Damion Pergakis followed up with a win in the 138-pound weight class. After a take down and near fall in the first period, Pergakis wasted little time in the second, taking down his opponent and pinning him in under a minute.

Dustin Deluca followed in the 145-pound weight class, and delivered the win of the night. After being taken down, Deluca escaped, took his opponent down and pinned him with 28 seconds left on the clock in the first period.

In the 152-pound weight class, Jacob Smith opened his DFAL campaign with a win, totaling three near falls before finally getting it done.

After an opening period where both wrestlers were blanked, Smith had two near falls in the second period, but time expired before the official had seen a definitive pin. He proceeded to take down his opponent and pin him with only 57 seconds remaining on the clock for a third win in a row for Alhambra.

Both Fabian Garcia and Andre Parilla were beaten to break up the streak for the Bulldogs. Garcia fought through his match against his tough opponent despite being taken down twice and then being nearly pinned. Parilla, a freshman, was pinned in the 220-pound weight class with 1:17 on the clock in the first period.

Joey Miller made quick work out of his opponent in the heavyweight division. He scored once on a takedown, then pinned his opponents just outside of a minute of time elapsed.
With a chance to give the Bulldogs a safety lead, Tyler Kingsley came up big in the 120-pound weight class. Kingsley scored a quick take down and then pinned his opponent with 52 seconds still left on the clock in the first period.

It all came down to Nate Winslow in the 126-pound weight class.

Winslow was being outclassed by a tough opponent, but managed to stay in contention through the first two periods, only down 5-1. That result would have forced a draw in the team score, but in the third period the Acalanes wrestler went off. He collected the points he needed so that even by not securing the pin, he got his team the win.

Two take downs and a near fall secured the Dons’ win and sent Alhambra home one point short of their league opening win.

The Bulldogs hosted Campolindo on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2015.

About Gerardo Recinos

Gerardo Recinos is a journalist currently living in Concord, Calif. He is a recent graduate of San Francisco State University, with a degree in Journalism (History minor). Gerardo covers sports throughout Martinez and Pleasant Hill. It's his lifelong mission to get people in the U.S. to stop calling football "soccer," and to call American football "handegg."

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