While Lucas Gramlick tries to become only the second American Canyon High boys wrestler to qualify for the state meet in his fourth varsity season, there are plenty of Wolves looking to follow in his footsteps.
“We lost a lot of key seniors last year, but we have reloaded,” said head coach Rick Manibusan. “We have many first-year freshman and sophomore wrestlers competing this year. This is one of our largest turnouts of freshmen and sophomores to date. The future looks bright.”
Manibusan became a head coach for the first time since he was at the Hogan helm from 1987-2011, taking over for brother Tom this year.
After hosting defending Solano County Athletic Conference champion Benicia on Wednesday night, the Wolves will get ready for Monday’s 13th annual King of the Valley Tournament at Justin-Siena.
“We are looking forward to the King of the Valley duals and competing against defending champion Vintage,” said Manibusan, whose program won the tournament in 2016.
Gramlick is 15-2 with 13 pins after placing seventh at 285 pounds at the Doc Buchanan Invitational, the largest boys wrestling tournament on the West Coast, in Clovis on Friday and Saturday. He went in ranked fourth in the Sac-Joaquin Section and 20th in the state in the most recent thecaliforniawrester.com rankings of Dec. 21.
The two-time defending SCAC and two-time King of the Valley champion has first-place tournament finishes at American Canyon, Vista del Lago, where he was the MVP, and Liberty, where he pinned the No. 4, No. 1 and No. 2 seeds
“He has a solid top and standup game,” Manibusan said of Gramlick. “He is very agile for a big man. With his football strength and leverage, and mobility to move like a lightweight, he gives opposing opponents problems. His fundamentals are sound, he’s very easy to coach, and he’s a team leader.”
Also picking up wins in last week’s SCAC opener at Fairfield were Elijah Beronilla (106), Sebastian Lopez (113), Zachary Ferrer (132), Aaron Villa Carlos (138), EJ Beronilla (145), Aviyen Ferreira (170), Michael Fredette (182) and Jesus Sanchez (220).
Elijah Beronilla has two top-three tournament finishes, and Lopez was third at the AC Classic.
Villa Carlos, a junior and third-year wrestler, was All-Valley and an SCAC champion last year. He was second at the AC Classic and sixth at Vista del Lago.
“Aaron has a physical and aggressive standup game,” Manibusan said. “He’s a team leader, and he likes to challenge himself and always rises to compete at the next level.”
Returning starter Mateo DelaFuente (120) was third at the AC Classic.
EJ Beronilla (138) was second at Vallejo, Miquel Yturralde (132) is a returning starter, Ivan Romero (138) was fourth at Vallejo, Jonathan Su (138) was second at Vallejo, and Justin Del Rosario (145) was second at Vallejo.
Joshua Salazar (152) is a third-year wrestler, a junior with strong fundamentals and an aggressive standup game who was second at the AC Classic. Julian Hester and Fabian Moreno add depth at the weight.
Alec Hoover (160) is another junior in his third wrestling season, with strong fundamentals and team leadership. He was first at the AC Classic this year and was a team captain last year. Joseph Brumm (160) was third at the AC Classic.
Ferreira, a senior and third-year wrestler, “has a physical upper-body game and uses fundamentals to grind his opponents,” Manibusan said, and is a team leader. He was second at the AC Classic. Jared Martinez (170) adds depth.
With Fredette, the Wolves now have wrestlers at 160, 170 and 182, which they didn’t have last year.
Sanchez is another junior in his third wrestling season. All-Valley last year, “he is fast for an upperweight, with a physical and aggressive standup game,” Manibusan said. Also at 220 are Glen Garduce (220), who was second at Vallejo, and third-year wrestler and senior DJ Urrutia, who was third at the AC Classic and has a strong standup and top game and is a team leader, Manibusan said.
The junior varsity team has three strong 106-pounders in Nate Pult, Jason Hester and Gabriel Camacho, who placed 2-3-4 at the Vallejo tournament. Devin Wakin (113) was second at Vallejo, and Benjamin Gomez (120) was fourth there.
Devin Garingarao (126) was second at the AC Classic and fourth at Vallejo. Christian Gomez (132) was third at Vallejo, Joshua Ricafort (140) was fourth, and Ezekiel Anderson (145) took third. At 152 pounds, Fabian Moreno, Davion Salanga and Evandrick Bagta placed 2-3-4 at Vallejo.
Colten Pittman (160) was fourth at Vallejo, and 182-pounders Marben Centeno and Joshua Garduce were third and fourth, respectively. Shannon McClinton (195) and Ronald Hamilton (285) were each fourth at Vallejo.