By Bill Tamburrino
Thirteen Bulldog grapplers competed in the first day of the Masters Meet at Otay Ranch High School and seven advanced to the second day of wrestling.
Ramona placed eighth as a team at the Masters Meet to finish a stellar season that included a CIF team championship and two individual CIF champions.
Only the top three wrestlers in each weight classification realize the dream of advancing to the State Meet at Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield on Friday and Saturday. Senior 170-pounder Devin Rhodes realized that dream for the second consecutive year.
Rhodes received a first round bye and then cruised into Day 2 by beating Ricardo Moriel of Mar Vista 9-0 and then beating Connor Anderson of La Costa Canyon 14-1. He entered Day 2 in the championship bracket.
Rhodes opened the second day of competition facing Josh McFadden of Central Union for the third time this season. McFadden won a 5-0 decision. Rhodes had to battle back in the consolation bracket. He beat Nick Lucio of El Cajon 9-0 to earn a shot at third place and another trip to Bakersfield.
Rhodes recorded a pin over Josh Herman of Grossmont in 3:09 to win a bronze medal.
CIF champion Arturo Osorio-Ramirez (126) opened the day by winning an injury default over Carlos Flores of Escondido. Osorio-Ramirez then lost to Lanzie Osuna of Brawley by fall. He wrestled his way to the final day of matches by beating Travis Mishler by an 8-5 decision.
Kevin Conroy (132) got a first round bye and then won a 17-8 decision over Juan Velarde of Monte Vista. He lost a decision to T.J. Grisafe of La Costa Canyon to go into the consolation bracket on day two. Conroy won one bout in the consolation bracket before losing to State Meet-bound Alexander Graves.
CIF champion Isaiah Ilich (138) started the day by recording a 15-0 technical fall over Jun Bae of Mt. Carmel after receiving a first round bye. He lost a decision to Cory Wood of Vista and entered the second day of the tourney in the consolation bracket. Ilich won one bout on Day 2 and lost to State Meet-bound Jesse Taylor.
Kirk Kaliszewski (152) lost his opening bout by fall to Luke Maffett of Torrey Pines but advanced to the second day by beating Ryan Martinez of Point Loma 7-6.
Noe Hernandez (182) opened the day with a pin over Francisco Solis of Otay Ranch in 1:39. He lost by fall in the second round to Brit Bastow of Poway and then earned a berth in the consolation bracket on Day 2 by pinning Utah Mann of Valhalla in 3:40.
Josh Allen (195) got a first round bye and then won a 6-2 decision over Jesse Godoy of San Ysidro. He lost to Guler of Brawley 15-2 and advanced to the second day in the consolation bracket.
Six Bulldogs were eliminated on the first day. Vince Adair lost by decision to Chris Frank of Rancho Bernardo and then lost by fall to Thurman of Del Norte in the 106 class.
Martin Dower (113) lost a decision to Max Zimet of La Costa Canyon and dropped a decision to Andrew Villanueva of Escondido.
Zach Lane lost to Mar Vista’s Jesse Terminal and to Helix’s Sami Popal in the 120-pound division.
Troy Jordan lost by fall to Jacob Gonzales of Brawley and was eliminated by Albert Navarro of Hilltop in the 145 pound class.
Zach Berg (220) opened by winning an 8-0 decision over Justin Trento of Mira Mesa. He then lost in the second round to Abdiel Mesa of West Hills and was eliminated by Victor Vizcarra of Calexico by 3-1 decision.
Jureall Simmons (285) ended his varsity career by losing by fall to Miguel Moreno of Brawley and Mario Williams of Orange Glen.