Valencia wrestlers earn several individual honors at Downey Invitational

The Valencia boys wrestling team continued its solid 2018-19 season, coming in fourth place at the Downey-32 Invitational this past weekend despite not having a full team.

Several Vikings won individual honors including senior Ben Gould, who earned the upper weights Most Valuable Wrestler Award wrestling at 195.

Gould went 4-0 with three victories by pins and one win by technical fall.

“The season is going great. We’ve done better than I thought we would,” said Valencia head coach Brian Peterson. “The kids are in the best shape and their techniques are looking great. “We’re really strong we just don’t have much of a full team. Our individuals are kicking butt.”

Junior Braden Smelser went 4-0 wrestling at 152, securing two wins by fall, one by technical fall and one by decision.

He even defeated his teammate senior Anthony Galvez in the finals.

Peterson is used to seeing his guys go against each other in practice and said there was no extra emotions watching his two wrestlers face off in the finals.

He just told them to go out there and have a good time.

“There’s no emotions, the kids wrestle every day at practice so there was no emotions,” Peterson said. “We just told them to go out there and have fun and not get hurt.”

Galvez’s only loss came at the hands of Smelser as he finished 4-1 with a victory by fall and three by decision.

Sophomore Trent Munoz came in first at 145, winning two matches by pins and two by technical falls.

Freshman Jake Quintana also went unbeaten, taking first place at the 113 weight class with one pin, one technical fall and two decisions.

All-in-all, seven Vikings wrestlers recorded nine pins in total.

“I definitely always push offense, it’s very common in the sport of wrestling to talk about offense because it’s so important,” Peterson said. “We work on defense as well, but it is the popular thing to say we work on our offense and generally a good idea to do that. We’re definitely an offensive team. It’s easy to do when you’re better than your opponent. You attack.”

Sophomore Kyle Roth went 3-2 at 138 with one technical fall and two decisions and sophomore Max Begley went 4-1 with one technical fall and three decisions at 182.

The Valencia girls wrestling team also participated in the Ridgeview High School “Born Vicious” Tournament in Bakersfield on Saturday, Dec. 15.

Senior Priscilla Ramirez went 3-0 with three pins and sophomore America Lopez also went 3-0 with three pins.

Senior Shani Tyson went 4-1 with three pins and one decision.

The boys team is currently competing at the Ed Springs Holiday Classic at Brea-Olinda High School.

Peterson said the team had a great first day on Friday, with six wrestlers advancing to the semifinals on Saturday.

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About the author

Dan Lovi

Dan Lovi

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Dan has covered sports from the high school level to the professional ranks. He is a graduate of Hofstra University in New York and The University of Southern California in Los Angeles. He is a sports writer for The Signal.