PASO ROBLES — The Bearcats wrestled their second and last home match of the season on Wednesday night and came up just short 45-33. The Paso Robles High School wrestling team might have come up short in the end but the Gil Asa Gymnasium was electric as fans packed the bleachers and shouted words of encouragement and instructions to their friends and family.
All the lights in the gym were turned off except for the single spotlight above the mat. The match started quickly as both teams recorded two first-period pins in the first two matches. Bearcats 113-pound wrestler Jacob Marmolejo started the scoring off with six points and a pin then 132-pound Porter Tanner put on a show that earned the first ovation of the night.
“Going into the match I kind of already knew that I was looking for a pin to help my team out,” Tanner said after the match. “Because we knew it was going to be a close match out here. At first, I was trying to get it but it wasn’t really working for me so I got a little bit lower and started moving and it worked and just led right to the throw.”
Tanner was in control of Righetti’s Tommy
Bearcats senior Nathan Garcia who wrestled at 160 pounds had the strongest performance of the night pinning his opponent in the first round in dominating fashion.
“Well, first things first, I thought I would have to come out with a lot of emotion and get him off his feet to be able to take him down,” Garcia said. “Once I did I just started looking for pin combinations and got one together. It’s got a few terms but one of them is called the monkey grip. It is kind of like a claw, you reach across and go under the arm and under the neck and you suck them back and roll them over. As he turned into me, I just jumped on top and seatbelted him onto his back and ended up getting the pin from there.”
Garcia’s pin brought the Bearcats to within six points of the Warriors with six matches to go.
The next match was between 170 pounders and it was the match of the night. Paso Robles’ Cameron Gonzales and Righetti’s Ronald Kim were the only wrestlers to go the entire distance in the dual meet and it became a battle of stamina in the final round.
“I was just trying to go with the flow is what was in my mind,” Gonzales said. “If you try to think too much you will stutter and so I try to make it a consistent flow and relax more than you think you should, but don’t be too relaxed.”
After two periods, Gonzales was ahead 4-3 but was able to score a takedown late in the third period and eventually sealed the win 7-3. Gonzales’ efforts tied the match up for the third time, this time at 27.
Senior Blake Haupt also recorded a first-round pin in his match but ultimately the difference in the match was that the Bearcats forfeited two open weight classes — 195 and 285.
The Bearcats will be in Morro Bay over the weekend at the C.I.T tournament and will wrestle their next dual meet in Arroyo Grande on Wednesday.