Coaches’ hunch pays off in RHS wrestling win
By Bill Tamburrino
Sometimes coaches have hunches. Sometimes those hunches are called calculated guesses. Sometimes they are called gambles.
Call them what you like. Coach Steve Koch and his assistant, Dwayne Guile, knew that the Bulldogs’ wrestling match against San Marcos would come down to
the final bouts. On paper San Marcos was stronger than the Dawgs in the lower weight classes, but the Dawgs held a slight advantage in the upper weight bouts.
So Koch and Guile took a gamble and their hunch was correct. Ramona beat San Marcos 39-32 in a dual meet in the Dawg House in a battle of two top 10 wrestling programs in San Diego County.
“We felt that Josh Allen could wrestle up a weight and had a good chance to pin their 220 (Blake Nash),” said Koch. “We also thought that Andy Burns could give their 195 a good bout and had a chance to win. Sometimes you are right and things work out the way you planned. We got that one right, because our kids came through and did a great job.”
The match started with Ramona’s 106-pound wrestler pinning Chris Kimball in 1:43 for the fastest pin of the night, giving Ramona a 6-0 lead. It was the last time the Bulldogs would lead in the match until the final bout.
San Marcos then won the next three bouts as Chris Waldberger (113) lost by fall to Eduardo Raymundo. Blake Hakala then lost a major decision to Brent Boomhower and Arturo Osario (126) lost by fall to Gernard Labaco. It looked like San Marcos would run away with the match as they led 16-6.
Kevin Conroy (132) then showed a preview of things to come. Conroy trailed 0-2 after one period and was down 4-3 with 18 seconds left in the bout, but he scored a reversal over Kameron Dugampat to win the bout 5-4 and make it a 16-9 match.
Isaiah Ilich (138) then used the same formula as Conroy. He trailed after two periods and rallied to tie the score at 7 in regulation. Ilich then beat Alexander Graves in OT 8-7 and it looked like the Dawgs might have a chance, with the score 16-12 in favor of the Knights.
The Knights then won three straight bouts. Ray Lemon (145) lost by fall to Tavis Ino. Brian Coane (152) lost a major decision to Arman Baghaei, and Justin Sojourner (160) lost by fall to Erik Colin to give San Marcos a 32-12 lead with four matches left on the card.
Enter Devin Rhodes (170). He pinned Josue Gonzales in 3:22 to give Ramona a mathematical chance at a victory. Noe Hernandez followed Rhodes’ lead and pinned Andres Cuadros in 5:25 to make it a 32-24 match with two bouts to be wrestled.
Now it was time to see if Koch and Guile’s strategy would work. Josh Allen was slated to wrestle in the 195 bout. Koch substituted Allen, an automatic win at that weight, with Andy Burns. Burns did his job. After a 6-6 first period, Burns dominated Neal Sustaita to win by a major decision.
It got down to the 220 bout. Allen was a lock in the 195 bout, but he had to give away over 25 pounds in the 220 bout. It took Allen 1:31 to pin Blake Nash and guarantee a victory for the Dawgs.
Allen was penalized a team point for being elated by his win. He was not unsportsmanlike, but he did raise his hands in celebration. Ramona led 33-32.
San Marcos forfeited the heavyweight bout to Jureall Simmons to give the senior a nice 18th birthday present and the Bulldogs a 39-32 win.
“It just goes to show that every once in a while coaching pays off, especially when your athletes do a great job,” deadpanned Koch.
- Bulldog wrestlers lose to Westview
- Bulldog wrestlers coast to 55-18 win over Patriots
- Grapplers on winning streak
- Ramona wrestlers overpower Orange Glen, San Marcos
- Wrestlers come from behind to win
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