Wrestling: Cerritos captures second straight SoCal Team championship

Falcons capture SoCal Team Duals championship
Falcons capture SoCal Team Duals championship

For the second year in a row, the Cerritos College wrestling team captured the Southern California Team Dual championship. Competing at Palomar College on Saturday, the defending CCCAA Team Dual State Champion Falcons (9-1) earned wins over Moorpark (39-12) and the host Comets (41-11) before defeating Mt. San Antonio College, 20-15 in the championship match. Cerritos will host the CCCAA Team Dual State Championship match in November at a date to be announced.

Cerritos vs. Moorpark: In their first match of the day, the Falcons recorded three wins by pin and also picked up a forfeit win for a 39-12 victory. Posting six-point wins for Cerritos were freshman 133-pound Cameron Calhoun (Canyon HS), sophomore 184-pound Blake Moser (Gig Harbor, WA HS) and freshman 197-pound Ethan Bakker (Los Alamitos HS), while the team earned a forfeit win at 165 pounds. Sophomore Wyatt Gerl (Calvary Chapel HS) earned a convincing 17-1 win at 157 pounds, as did freshman 174-pound Ryan Gutierrez (Brea Olinda HS) with his 18-3 victory.

Cerritos vs. Palomar: Taking on the host Comets, the team won the first eight weight classifications to lock down the win. Helping along the way were the trio of sophomore 165-pound Kennith Kirk (Elsinore HS), freshman 184-pound Angel Verduzco (El Dorado HS) and sophomore 197-pound David Van Weems (Corona Centennial HS), who all posted first period pins. Cerritos earned a forfeit win at 133 pounds and 174 pounds, while sophomore 157-pound Aaron Negrete (Calvary Chapel HS) recorded a 22-7 win, which included a four-point near fall in the first period, helping him to an early 8-2 lead. At 141 pounds, freshman Nick Camacho (Paramount HS) pulled out an 8-6 overtime win, as he earned a takedown in extra time for a victory. Freshman Devin Daugherty (Cypress HS) broke open a scoreless match with a six-point second period that also included a four-point near fall on his way to an 8-3 win.

Cerritos vs. Mt. San Antonio: Taking on the only team that has handed the Falcons a loss this season, the championship came down to the 285-pound match. After Bakker gave Cerritos a 17-15 lead with his 3-0 win at 197 pounds, Van Weems moved up to heavyweight for the first time his year. Taking on the Mounties Gabriel Herrera, the match was tied, 2-2 heading into the final period. Van Weems used his speed and strength to record a takedown, as well as a reversal and came away with a clinching 7-4 win. Cerritos trailed 12-4 after the 149-pound match, but started their comeback when Gerl recorded a 10-0 win at 157 pounds and Blake Vasquez (Fountain Valley HS) followed that with a 10-5 win at 165 pounds. Verduzco got the Falcons to within 15-14 after his 7-3 win at 184 pounds, with Bakker and Van Weems earning wins to capture the championship.