By Bill Tamburrino
For the 15th year in a row, Ramona High School is sending a wrestler to the State Wrestling Championships in Bakersfield.
The Bulldog wrestling team took 10th place at the Masters Meet.
Kevin Conroy kept the string alive by battling his way through the consolation bracket after losing in the semifinals of the championship bracket. The 134-pound senior won the bronze medal for third place at the Masters Meet and qualified for the state meet.
Noe Hernandez lost a heartbreaker in his final bout to win the medal for fourth place. A win would have given Hernandez a ticket to Bakersfield.
“It was a tough match and a controversial call went against him, but he hung in there and represented RHS well,” said coach Steve Koch.
“Kevin would not be denied. He fought back all year and battled through some injuries. He would not be denied a trip to state. He and Noe are what this program is all about,” Koch said.
“We took 10th at the Masters and fourth in the CIF in dual meets. Our seniors and captains displayed great leadership and led this team all season. I am very honored to be their coach,” said Koch.
He also commended the alumni. “Every week they show up at dual meets and at tournaments and support us. Bruce Parker is always there. The coaches work hard the year-round. Tyler McKay, Duayne Guile and John Rodriguez do a lot of work that goes unnoticed.”
Noah Lagoe (106) advanced to the Masters as a freshman and lost in the consolation bracket. Vince Adair (120) started the meet with a victory by pin in the first round and then won by decision in the second round. He lost in the quarterfinals and was eliminated in the consolation bracket.
Martin Dowers (126) lost his first bout by fall and then won in the first round of the consolation bracket before being eliminated in the second round of the consolation bracket.
Conroy won his first bout by posting a 16-1 technical fall. He won a 6-2 decision in the second round and won by fall in the quarterfinals. He lost in the championship semifinal round and entered the consolation bracket. He posted a 5-3 decision to advance to the third place bout, which he won.
Jake Ohnysty (138) won by decision in the first round and lost a decision in the second round. He won his first bout in the consolation bracket and lost in his second bout of the consolation bracket.
Isaiah Illich (145) got a bye in the first round and won a decision in the second round. He lost in the championship quarterfinal round and then posted an 11-1 win in the consolation bracket before losing a decision in his second consolation bout.
Troy Jordan (152) drew a bye and won a 9-7 decision in the second round. He lost a decision in the quarterfinals and lost a 14-13 bout in the consolation bracket.
Jacob Grybow (160) won his opening round bout and lost by fall in the second round before he was eliminated in the consolations.
Raul Briseno (170) went to the Masters as an alternate and competed. He lost to the No. 1 seed in the first bout and then won two bouts by decisions in the consolation bracket before being eliminated.
Hernandez (182) drew a bye in the first round and won by fall in the second round. He lost in the championship semifinals and fought his way back to the bout for fourth place.
Zach Berg (220) won a 5-4 decision in the first round and won by fall in the second round. He lost in the quarterfinals and then won by fall in the consolation bracket before being eliminated.
Trae Rodriguez (285, heavyweight) lost a first round decision and then posted three wins, including a pin in the consolation bracket, before losing in the bout for eighth place.
Ramona High’s wrestling program has finished in the top 10 of the CIF for the 15th year in a row, and a plethora of wrestlers from previous teams were on hand at the Masters to support their Bulldog brothers.