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Wrestling the Central Coast sport with the most depth this (truncated) school sports year

Wrestling the Central Coast sport with the most depth this (truncated) school sports year

Central Coast wrestlers showed off their depth in 2019. They did the same thing in 2020.

By the time the 2020 wrestling campaign was over, the Central Coast had one state semifinalist, two CIF Central Section championship teams and several state tournament qualifiers.

No other sport on the Central Coast had that kind of depth in the 2019-20 school year.

Spring sports 2020 were truncated statewide because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Schools closed statewide in March.

On April 3, the CIF state office formally announced the cancellation of all spring sports post-season events. The spring sports season had come to a de facto end weeks earlier.

The last sports events on the Central Coast took place March 13.

Before all that, Righetti sophomore Dominic Mendez finished fourth at 108 pounds at the CIF State Meet in Bakersfield. The Pioneer Valley boys and Santa Maria girls won Central Section Division 2 and Masters championships respectively.

Pioneer Valley coach Kent Olson and Santa Maria coach Jose Torres said good depth and good health helped their respective teams to Central Section titles.

"This is the first time this year that we've had all those 14 guys (at the Division 2 championship meet) in the lineup," Olson said some days afterward.

Pioneer Valley edged Porterville Monache 183-181.5 at Madera South High School for the Division 2 championship.

Santa Maria beat Bakersfield Ridgeview 107-102 at East Bakersfield High School for the Central Section Masters championship, the first girls wrestling sectional title in school history.

Ridgeview edged Santa Maria for the team title at an invitational Santa Maria hosted early in the season. At the Masters meet, "We had all our starters," said Santa Maria coach Jose Torres.       

Richard Gonzalez of St. Joseph won at 147 pounds at the Central Section Division 4 championship meet in Visalia. Richie Sandoval of Santa Ynez won a Southern Section divisional title at 120 pounds.

Meanwhile Righetti, the 2019 Central Section Division 2 champion, advanced 10 wrestlers to the Masters Meet in 2020. The Warriors competed in Division 1 in the 2019-20 campaign.

Righetti sophomore Matt Rodriguez finished eighth at the boys state meet. Nipomo senior Jesse Garza finished in the top 12.

Santa Maria's girls wrestling squad had a huge year. The Saints took the Central Coast Athletic Association championship for the first girls league title in school history then followed that up with the Masters win. 

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Sports Reporter

Kenny Cress, sportswriter for the Santa Maria Times since September of 2000. BA in political science from Cal Poly Pomona. BA in journalism from Cal State Northridge.

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