SportStars Magazine

Knight Sweats: Hot Las Lomas Wrestling Team

Las Lomas wrestling closed off a relentless six-week run with six Top-5 finishers at NCS

  Lost in De La Salle’s tidal wave victory which captured the Spartans their seventh North Coast Section wrestling title of the past eight seasons, was another impressive, blue-collar performance from Las Lomas wrestling team.

  The Walnut Creek school’s wrestling program has been nothing but consistent over the past decade, quietly succeeding in the shadow of bigger programs like De La Salle, James Logan-Union City and Liberty-Brentwood. The 2015-16 Knights finished fourth at the NCS Championships on Feb. 27, having six wrestlers claim Top 5 finishes and qualifying four for the CIF State Championships taking place March 4-5 in Bakersfield.

  That performance closed out a very impressive first two months of 2016 for Las Lomas. On Jan. 30, the Knights finished second to Sac-Joaquin Section-power Vacaville at the 18th Annual Puma Classic at Maria Carrillo High in Santa Rosa. One weekend later, Las Lomas traveled to Fremont and finished first at the highly-respected Mission San Jose Invitational.

Relentless Season

The team began its postseason on Feb. 13 by steamrolling its way to a second straight NCS Dual Team Championship. The Knights outscored their three opponents by a combined score of 208-22 en route to the crown.

  “It’s just been a product of everyone buying into what we’re trying to do,” Las Lomas coach John Welch said in the week leading up to the dual championships. “We just have lots of kids who are really putting the time in (to be successful).”

  The Knights closed out the month with a pair of individual NCS champions. Tony Margiotta seemingly made easy work of the 106-pound bracket, winning all five of his matches by either pin or major decision. The wiry sophomore won the championship match 13-1 over Gus Petruske of College Park-Pleasant Hill. He will enter the state tournament with a 37-4 record on the season.

  “Tony is a just kid who really works hard year-round,” Welch said. “He’s a really tough kid. I’d hate to wrestle him.”

  Las Lomas’ other NCS champion came in the 182-pound bracket as senior Max Bossert defeated James Logan’s Armandeep Kang with a 16-1 technical fall in the final. Bossert won each of his first three matches in the tournament by pin. He begins his state championships weekend as the No. 7-ranked 182-pound wrestler in the state, according to TheCaliforniaWrestler.com.

  Bossert is 42-4 on the season and won a pair of tournament titles. He grabbed the top hardware at the California Coast Classic while wrestling up at 195 pounds. In his regular weight class, he took first at the Mission San Jose Invitational and second at the Tim Brown Memorial.

  “At state, a high placing is not out of the question,” Welch said of Bossert. “He’s an athlete. He’s fast, strong and smart; the whole package. How you beat him? I don’t know. You need to get him to beat himself. If he wrestles to his ability, a high state placing is what I expect.”

CIF State Tournament

  Also going to Bakersfield for the Knights are Connor Aiello, a junior and the NCS runner-up at 195 pounds, and senior Max Amen, who finished third in the 152-pound bracket at NCS.  

  Just missing out on state tournament berths were a pair of Top 5-finishers at NCS. Senior Mario Santi closed out his final season with the Knights with a record of 37-12 after finishing fourth at 160 pounds. Sophomore Nick Bossert, Max’s younger brother, took fifth at 120 pounds and ended his season with a 32-14 record.

  The rest of the starting roster, which all have NCS championship medals thanks to the NCS Dual title, includes Dalton Thebeau (113 pounds), Iaroslav Titov (126), Darion Sales (132), Temuujin Ulzil-Orshikh (140), Mutsu Osoegawa (147), Angelo Westmacott (170), Sean Harrison (195) and Jeremiah Purdy (285).

  Wrestling in the CIF State Tournament will begin at 9 a.m. on March 4. The championship matches are slated for 7 p.m. on March 5.

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