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Charger Wrestlers Finish Perfect Dual Meet Season

Justin Moua (front) of Dos Pueblos battles with Santa Barbara’s Josue Vallecillo at 120 pounds. Moua got off to a strong start and won the bout 12-5.
Justin Moua (front) of Dos Pueblos battles with Santa Barbara’s Josue Vallecillo at 120 pounds. Moua got off to a strong start and won the bout 12-5. (Zack Warburg / Noozhawk photo)

It was a night of celebration at Dos Pueblos’ Sovine Gym on Tuesday night.

The Chargers wrestling team capped a perfect dual meet season with a 63-7 win over Santa Barbara in the Channel League and regular season finale. After the match, the wrestlers put on gold championship T-shirts and posed for a team photo.

[Scroll down to see highlight video]

It was a momentous occasion for the program, which repeated as league champion for the first time in 26 years with only three returnees from last year’s team.

“We lost 22 seniors last year,” co-coach Chris Mollkoy said. “We started working with them this summer, just telling them: ‘Do the basics and work hard.’ There were 11 guys who were brand new — they’d never wrestled varsity. But we kept working hard in the room.”

The Chargers (13-0) opened the season with eight wins, four against CIF-ranked teams, at a 10-team dual meet tournament in Camarillo.

“We went 8-0 and won, and the team really came together,” Mollkoy said. “They really bonded and that made all the difference, because the rest of the year they had confidence. It didn’t matter who we were going to wrestle, we were going to go 100 percent all the way.”

Fitness also has been a key to the Chargers’ success on the mat. That was evident in a couple of matches against the Dons. Diego Lopez fought off the furious rally from Marek Reszka and pinned Rezska at 1:13 of the third period. In the next match, 182-pound Joel Garcia fell behind 9-7 after Santa Barbara’s Jonathan Cruz scored a 3-point near fall in the second period. He trailed 11-8 before scraping out four points (2-point takedown and 2-point near fall) in the final 13 seconds to win 12-11.

The Dos Pueblos wrestling team celebrates after beating Santa Barbara to finish undefeated in dual meets. Click to view larger
The Dos Pueblos wrestling team celebrates after beating Santa Barbara to finish undefeated in dual meets.

“The thing we decided, ‘We may be young but we’re going to be in the best shape of every team we wrestle,’” Mollkoy said. “There hasn’t been a team we wrestled all year that in the third period can stay with us.

“We’re young and inexperienced but we’re going to hustle all the way.”

Santa Barbara had some good performances in the match. Miguel Cruz pulled out an escape point in the final 10 seconds to edge DP’s Aidan Yamasaki at 154 pounds.  Jesus Corona built a 7-0 lead in the first period and defeated Tommy Johnson, 15-4.

But the night belonged to the Chargers, who move on to the CIF Duals at Ventura on Saturday. They’re the No. 2 seed behind Righetti.

“In dual meets and in tournaments, the guys have been battling all the way to the end, “ Mollkoy said. “It’s really gratifying because they’ve worked so hard as a team and have come together. These guys love each other, they love being around each other. It’s really fun. It’s been super rewarding.

“I’m super proud of these guys. They put in the time and they deserve this.”

Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

DP Wrestlers Finish Unbeaten Regular Season from Barry Punzal on Vimeo.

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