The 2009-10 Bulldog varsity wrestling team has plenty of returners and a good core of wrestlers up from the junior varsity and frosh teams.
“We have a great group of returners and several wrestlers who are hoping to step up to the varsity level this season, so the competition should be intense throughout the season,” said Coach Steve Koch. “Sixty-plus student/athletes have come out for the team this year and we are hoping to keep at least 50 out for the season. The wrestling team has a tradition of being tough and finishing strong, and we plan to continue this tradition this year.”
The Bulldogs have seven lettermen back in the 14 weight classes. Junior Connor Koch, who wrestled at 103 as a freshman and sophomore, will move up in weight this season. He was second team All Valley League last season and posted a 20-11 record, and has earned two letters.
Max Hughes is slated to wrestle at 119 this season. Max is a senior who has earned two varsity letters. He took fifth place in the CIF last season.
Spaso Ilich was first team All Valley League last season at 119 pounds and posted a 25-9 record. He came in second in the CIF and recorded 17 pins. He is a junior with two letters. He will wrestle in the 135-pound weight class.
Junior Brodie Chenowth was first team All Valley League last season and took fifth in the CIF. He has two varsity letters and will go at 152 pounds.
Jared Widner was first team All Valley League last season and took third in the CIF. He is a senior with two letters and will wrestle at 160 pounds.
Sophomore Devin Rhodes took sixth in the CIF last season and earned a letter. He is slated to wrestle at 171 pounds.
Junior Marshal Thrasher wrestled at 189 last season and turned in the upset of the year when he won the CIF heavyweight championship. He has two letters and will wrestle at 215 pounds this season.
Lorenzo Lizotte is up from the junior varsity and is set to go at 112 pounds
Sophomore Colton Houlihan is penciled in at the 189-pound slot. He is up from the junior varsity. Also coming from junior varsity is Marco Herrera, who is slated to go at 145 pounds.
Sophomore Kirk Kaliszewski won the SoCal Frosh tournament last year and is set to go at 140 pounds. Frosh Jake Ohnysty is looking solid in the 130-pound spot.
Jake Kaliskis is slated to wrestle at the 285 (heavyweight) spot.
Koch also had praise for the work of Marco Sanchez, Rio Rodriguez, Austin Stoody, Garrett Arnold, Brock Corbett and Brian Coane.
“We have wrestle offs and many of the spots are up for grabs,” said Koch. “Some of the newcomers are improving rapidly and will compete for varsity spots.
The Bulldogs traveled to Orange County for their first tourney of the season. Ramona took ninth place in the 38-team El Dorado Tournament. Thrasher took second place in the 215-pound division. Chenowth took the fourth place medal in the 152-pound class. Ilich finished sixth place in the 135-pound class.
“Eight wrestlers went 3-2 and nine out of 12 of our wrestlers advanced to the second day of the tournament,” explained Koch.