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California Weekend Viewer Guide


Gilroy’s Mid-Cal’s

When: Friday and Saturday

Where: Gilroy, California

Tournament notes: This has quickly become one of the marquee high school tournaments in Central California, drawing top teams from the Central Coast, North Coast, Central, and Sac-Joaquin Sections. Three-time CIF state champions Buchanan High will look to win another tournament title while San Diego power Poway High is back hoping to knockout Buchanan from the top spot in California. The 152-pound bracket is loaded with top talent. Three of the top ten wrestlers in Flo Wrestling California rankings – No. 1 Chase Saldate (Gilroy), No. 5 Aaron Gandara (Poway), No. 10 Evan Almaguer (Clovis North) – along with one of the top freshmen in California in Kanon Campbell of Buchanan are expected to compete this weekend.

Wrestlers to Watch

Chase Saldate (Gilroy) – Saldate is the No. 1 rated wrestler in the country and California at 152-pounds. He was triumphant during October in claiming his first Super 32 Championship Belt. Currently undefeated in the golden state, Saldate has won titles at the Clovis West Shootout, Reno TOC, Doc Buchanan, and 5 Counties.

Andre Gonzales (Poway) – Ranked as the top prospect in California at 106-pounds, Gonzales is a double Fargo National Champion ready to claim an individual state title this season. His lone loss this season was to the No. 2 wrestler in the country (Joey Cruz) in the finals of Reno TOC.

Brock Bobzien (Poway) – Ranked No. 4 at 120-pounds, Bobzien became a double Fargo All-American during the summer and claim National Greco-Roman Championship at 113-pounds. He is coming off from winning a tournament title at the rugged Battle for the Belt event.

Ryan Franco (Clovis North) – Franco is a multiple-time Fargo and Flo Nationals All-American. He has been superb during his high school career as he has advanced to the California state tournament on two occasions. He was All-Team at the Larry Nelson, was 3rd at Reno TOC, and a runner-up at the Zinkin Classic.

Luka Wick (San Marino) – Wick is a two-time state place winner and was 8th at the Super 32 tournament. Starting the season at 152-pounds, Wick was 1st at Carter and 3rd at Reno TOC before dropping to the 145-weight class and winning Do Buchanan and Battle for the Belt.

Esperanza Classic

When: Friday and Saturday

Where: Anaheim, California

Tournament notes: The field includes 24 teams from Southern and Central California. Esperanza, Sultana and Villa Park will be the leaders of the pack as they have many wrestlers ranked in the latest California rankings.

Wrestlers to Watch

Aaron Nagao (Esperanza) – The University of Minnesota signee was triumphant last year in claiming an individual state title at 126-pounds after having placed 2nd and 5th as a sophomore and freshman. He has competed only once this season as he was the champion at the Sonora TOC tournament.

Cole Sanchez (Northgate) – Sanchez is one of the top wrestlers at 152-pounds in the North Coast Section. He has advanced to the state tournament on two occasions after having placed 3rd in the section tournament. He was 3rd at the Sierra Nevada tournament and was voted as the Most Outstanding Wrestler at the Joe Rios Memorial in Chico High.

Yoshiya Funakoshi (West Torrance) – Funakoshi is only a sophomore that was successful last year in placing 8th at the state tournament as a freshman. So far this year he has placed 3rd at the Mann Classic, 5th Las Vegas Holiday Classic, and 1st at the John Glen tournament.

Ryan Spangler (Sultana) – The Duke University signee was 6th at the California state tournament after falling short a match as a sophomore. He is an NHSCA and Folkstyle All-American and ranked top 10 in California. Tournament placings include El Cajon Invitation, Raul Huerta and Battle for the Belt.

Ethan Aguiniga (Sultana) – Aguiniga made waves last weekend at the Battle for the Belt tournament as he placed 3rd in a loaded weight class.

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