History was made between cross-town rivals on the Lompoc High wrestling mat on Wednesday night.
Lompoc brought out 13 wrestlers on the girls side. Cabrillo came with seven in tow – all leading to the first-ever all-girls wrestling duel between the schools.
In the end, it was the Braves that got the upper hand 42-18. But it came on a night that signified the start of a booming girls wrestling movement for both schools, and for two schools that finally had the numbers to start an all-girls team and lock it up on the wrestling mat.
Lompoc head coach Kyle Mayse says interest has spiked for girls wrestling.
“We get one or two new ones every week – and I’m going to keep accepting them for as long as I can,” Mayse said.
Cabrillo had six girls to help form its own team one year ago, which got CHS to compete in exhibition matches plus helped produce King University wrestling commit Leslie Hernandez. While head coach Mike Wallace acknowledges that it’s hard to replace the CIF state qualifier Hernandez he’s admiring the growing numbers for CHS girls wrestling.
“Leslie is a tough one to match. But with what Leslie accomplished as a junior and senior, I think it did bring in a lot more girls because of that,” Wallace said.
Before the evening began, the Lompoc Unified School District approved of the all-girls varsity wrestling team for both LHS and CHS three weeks before. Then, six matches took place once 6 p.m. struck inside the Paisola Pavilion at Bryan Ayer Court.
Lompoc claimed three forfeit wins – Lillian Garcia in the 116-pound class, Aaliyah Martinez in the 121-pound class and Flor Zamora through the 126 division.
But then, Destiny Burke of Cabrillo and Dasha Grant of Lompoc entered the white Lompoc High Brave circle – leading to the first official match of the night.
The 137-pound Burke immediately went after Grant’s leg and gained control of her opponent. Grant managed to reverse the hold, but Burke retook control of Grant and ended the evening pinning her opponent.
With Lompoc up 18-12, Lucera Rodriguez swung the momentum back to the Braves’ side. Going up against 143-pound Cassandra Ortiz, the CHS wreslter tussled Rodriguez to the ground, but only to lose her handle and leading to Rodriguez reversing the CHS wrestler and winning by pin. The win gave LHS a 12-point lead.
Jasmine Hernandez won by forfeit for LHS in the 150-pound division. Then, Yoana Esquivel broke away from an arm grip by Julie Esparza and claimed another pin for the Braves, putting LHS up 36-12.
Cabrillo’s Lydia Mondero won by forfeit in the 170 division. The final contest of the evening was the first heavyweight battle among girls between LHS’s Marlen Carrillo and CHS’s Jasmine Gonzalez.
Carrillo (235) went for the early shoot through but Gonzalez managed to break away. Both girls went past period one but then Carrillo managed to roll Gonzalez and earn the pin, winning 6-4 and solidifying the Braves’ win.
Lompoc 42, Cabrillo 37
While the Braves won by total points, it was Cabrillo winning six matches by pin or by points compared to two by LHS.
Wallace not only raved about the effort of his team, but CHS 2018 Hall of Famer and former star wrestler Kris Andrews congratulated Wallace – shaking his hand and saying “That’s the best I’ve seen Cabrillo wrestle in years. Good job”
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“For such a young team, we wrestled very well tonight,” Wallace said. “Our young guys stepped up. My returners stepped up. We did a good job.”
The 145-pound class was the first match of the evening – and one that got the crowd to use their vocal cords loud and proud.
Frank Villalobos of Lompoc took on CHS’s Isaiah Reyes. Villalobos locked his hands around Reyes’ waist early in the first, ultimately bringing him down for the two points. But Reyes gained control with less than a minute left in the first period. Reyes then interlocked his hands in the second and stayed in control for the rest of that period, taking a 7-6 advantage with him. Reyes finished his match by getting his chest planted on top of Villalobos – ending with the pin and 10-6 victory with 48.9 left in the third.
Abel Lorca of Cabrillo fought off a bloody nose to win his match in the 120-pound class. He held on for the 8-2 win over Erick Aguirre.
In the 113 pound division, Xavier Reyes of Cabrillo locked it up with Ruben Manzanerez. Reyes managed to grab a hold of his opponents’ legs and gained control from there, leading to the pin with 51.4 left in the first.
Cabrillo’s Ryley Daltorio won his contest 18-4 in the 126 pound class – even overcoming Blake Rehder lifting him up by the legs which ignited the crowd. Daltorio squeezed in a reverse takedown to help regain the upper hand.
Trey Robison of Cabrillo was the next to pin his opponent. He immediately took down Efrain Pacheco in the first nine seconds of the first before winning by pinfall with 55.4 left in the beginning period.
Then, football star and returning All-Los Padres League wrestler Patrick Durham showed he’s picking up where he left off from last year. The 182-pounder grabbed hold of his opponent Alex Zuniga’s left leg and gained the upper hand from there – winning by pin with 56.4 left in the first.
Lompoc’s Oscar Tenorio (160) scored one of the two wins in dual competition – planting Kaeshon Gilbert’s back to the LHS mat and winning with 1:26 left on the first period clock.
Dechlan Sparrow of LHS was the other Brave who won his contest – driving Sam Hough into the mat right away and then wrapping his arms around Hough’s chest for the hold. Those maneuvers led to Sparrow’s pin with 1:32 into the first.
Donovan Dimock (106), Drake Hannold (132), Gracen Hayes (138), Michael Lewis (195) and Jacob Nunez (heavyweight) all won by forfeit for LHS.
Thousand Oaks 96, Lompoc 60
The Braves began the Arroyo Grande Tournament with a 36-point loss to the Lancers.
Andrew Villa had 16 points while Ryan Morgan and Benecio Cayabyab both had 11 apiece. Collin Oestereich added 10 points.
Lompoc 56, Paso Robles 47
Bella Robles led the way with 21 points and the Braves took the win over the Bearcats.
Raya Gonzalez added 11 points. Mya Mendoza scored eight points and Kayla Taylor added seven.
"The girls played well together," head coach Claudia Terrones said. "Team chemistry is getting better."