PaliHi’s Wrestling Reputation Grows (Video)

Photos by Bart Bartholomew 

Although Palisades High School started its wrestling program in 2011— without mats and no practice space—in December, five Dolphin wrestlers were invited to the Doc Buchanan Invitational held at Clovis High near Fresno on January 5 and 6.

This might be one of the toughest invitational tournaments in the nation. The opening brackets have 64 wrestlers at each weight class, and all have to earn the right to be at this tournament.

The Doc B tournament had 21 teams from out of state, including those from New Jersey, Utah, Nevada, Illinois, Missouri, Colorado, Oregon and Washington.

Hamza Al-Saudi dominates his opponent.

Additionally, 26 California schools that are ranked in the top 50 in the state, including the top five Buchanan, Gilroy, Selma, Oakdale and St. John Bosco, competed.

Bergen won (253.5), Buchanan was second (199.5), Selma third (148), Gilroy fourth (132.5) and Clovis fifth (113). Seven of the 14 weight-class winners were from out of state.

PaliHi Coach Aldo Juliano said they received an invitation from the Clovis coach after the good showing the team had at the 36th Annual Newbury Park Invitational, which featured 252 wrestlers from California and Nevada.

Palisades High School’s Hamzah Al-Saudi (220 pounds) and Jake Carpenter (152 pounds) took first in their weight classes and Al-Saudi received an MVP award. Aaron Galef finished third; Chance Chapman, Joseph Velado and Immanuel Newell (Maho) placed fifth in their respective weight classes.

At Doc B, Galef a junior, wrestled at the 138-weight class. His first opponent was Sonny Santiago (St. John Bosco). Galef lost 5-3, but Santiago went onto the championship match where he took second. “I knew it was going to be a tough tournament, and I’d have to wrestle someone like him,” Galef said.

Jake Carpenter got his opponent in a “spadle” move, resulting in a pin.

Jake Carpenter lost 6-2 to Peter Enos from Francis Howell, Missouri, who took fourth overall. Chapman, at 160 pounds, lost 2-0 to Gustavo Mello of Calvary Chapel (Santa Ana). Velado lost to the third-seeded Connor Bourne from Faith Lutheran, Nevada. Bourne went on to sixth place in the tournament.

Al-Saudi, at 195, made it to the quarterfinals, before losing to the second seeded Antonio Andre of Gilroy.

Dolphins Win League Match

The Dolphins held their first league match on January 10 at home against West Adams, Fremont, Brightstar and Dorsey. They won 84 to 24. Coach Juliano said “We’re heads and tails above the rest of the league, I kind of expected this result.”

He took some of his top wrestlers to the Battle for the Belt in Temecula this last weekend, but only Al-Saudi placed. He took fourth after losing to Nick Villarreal from Gilroy in a 7-5 decision.

Juliano said that they will be tested in regionals on February 10, when they go up against Valley powerhouses Birmingham and San Fernando.

City Championships will be held Feb. 16-17 at the Roybal Learning Center. Girls CIF Championships will be held in Visalia February 23-24 and the Boys CIF Championships will be held in Bakersfield March 2-3.

Lilly Topputo looks for ways to pin her opponent.

Girls’ Results:
130 pounds Lilly Topputo won by a pin.
150 pounds Ashley Osorio was pinned.
170 pounds Savanah Newell pinned her opponent.

PaliHi Boys’ Results:
106 pounds Max Much won by forfeit.
120 pounds Pars Pourmoula 9-3 loss.
126 pounds Kyle Santelices pinned his opponent.
132 pounds Jonathon Querro won by a pin.
138 pounds Aaron Galef pinned his op- ponent.
145 pounds Eric Guerro won by a pin.
<152 pounds Jake Carpenter pinned his opponent.
160 pounds Chance Chapman won by a pin. 
170 pounds Luke Hansen won by a pin. 
182 pounds Joseph Velado pinned his opponent.
195 pounds Emilio Alvir won by a pin. 
220 pounds Hamzah Al-Saudi pinned his opponent.
285 pounds Immanuel Newell won by a pin. 
In a 160-pound exhibition match, Edwin Duarte pinned his opponent.

Chance Chapman works for a pin.

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