Steve Koch is entering his 17th season as the head wrestling coach at Ramona High School. He has produced three CIF championship teams and seven league championships. He has sent wrestlers to the Masters and State meets.
He is very optimistic about this year’s team.
“We are young,” he said. “We only have three seniors returning, but we are talented and we are hard workers. We will compete for the league title and the CIF title.”
Over 50 wrestlers are out for this year’s squad and that is without the six or more grapplers who are still playing football.
“We have over 30 freshmen out, which is one of our biggest turnouts ever,” stated Koch.
Wrestlers are in the process of making weight, but here is what Koch expects to be this year’s varsity squad:
• 103 — Sophomore Connor Koch is back after lettering and going to the Valley League and CIF finals last season.
• 112 — Sophomore Eddie Delgado and junior Cesar Munoz are battling for the spot. Munoz won a medal at the SoCal Meet as a frosh.
• 119 — Sophomore Spaso Ilich lettered last season and went to the CIF and league finals.
• 125 — Senior Sean Conroy won a medal in the CIF and league meets last season.
• 130, 135 and 140 — Three wrestlers are still trying to make weight at these spots. Senior Wally Saldivar took last season off but went to the league finals as a sophomore. Sophomore Greg Peterson is in the mix. Junior Jared Widner, who lettered last year, is also in the hunt.
• 145 — Sophomore Brodie Chenowth is the front runner here.
• 152 — Sophomore Thomas Pacheco is the candidate here. He is on the football squad.
• 160 Connor Martin lettered last season at 130 but is wrestling at 160 this season.
• 171 This weight is wide open. Koch said that Mikey Head and Joey Dambrose will compete for the job when football season is over. Neither wrestled last season. Dambrose wrestled as a frosh.
• 189 Senior Captain Brian Orr, who was league and CIF finalist last season and is rated as one of the top three in the section, will man this weight group.
• 215 — Senior Brett Germain will fill this spot once football season is over.
• 275 — Senior Dannery Apaez, who took eighth in the frosh/soph state finals as a sophomore, will be this year’s heavyweight.
The Dawgs will have their home opener against a much-improved Torrey Pines on Dec. 4. Time was to be announced at this writing.
Ramona has a tradition of filling the gym for home meets. The snack bar will be open. The PA system will be in operation and the music will be loud.