It’s a “resume” year for the Elk Grove High School wrestling program.
That’s how head coach Pat Coffing is looking at his 13th year at the helm of Thundering Herd wrestling. His young Thundering Herd team along with 23 other wrestling squads opened the 2013-2014 season at the Curt Mettler Invitational Meet on Saturday.
“We have almost no one with post-season wrestling experience,” Coffing said. “Sooner or later if you want to be the man you’ve to beat the man. And, this is the year where sooner or later we’re going to have to do that.”
|Elk Grove 220-pounder Thomas Aquila trying to|
turn Yuba City's Wesley McMahon over.
For the first time in recent memory, Coffing has only one returning State qualifying wrestler, Tristan Scott. Beyond the 112-pounder, the rest of the squad may be a bit of a question mark.
Warrant the opening round of the Mettler, a wrestling event spread throughout just about every available inch of space in the Cartwright Gym.
“We wrestled alright but we got out-wrestled,” Coffing said about Elk Grove’s lackluster start to the tournament. Elk Grove lost nine of its 14 opening round matches.
But, the Mettler Tournament with other outstanding wrestling programs such as Del Oro, De LaSalle, James Logan, Merced and Folsom all with their teams competing, Coffing saw his guys wrestle outside of the confines of the storied Elk Grove wrestling room for the first time this season.
|At 126 pounds Kelani Tonge has command over|
Nick Ortega of Merced
“This is our opener and I saw what we’re good at and what we’re not good at,” he said. “Because in the (wrestling) room it’s like watching your hair grow, eventually against ourselves our tendencies don’t stick out.”
From there his observations got technical, all in wrestling jargon: “We need to create more forward pressure when we’re on top. As usual we need to get ahold of our under-hooks a little bit better. Defensively, our sprawling is good and our overall defense is solid. Getting away – that’s the hardest thing to teach a high school kid. Either you have the talent for it or you don’t. But, we haven’t been particularly bad in that position.”
In layman terms, he’s saying his guys this season have to show they are going to be a typical Elk Grove wrestling team when they take on wrestlers in different tights.
|Just a week removed from a Section football championship|
game, Marcus Worthy is wrestling heavyweight
for Elk Grove
One impressive performance in the daylong event was by 106-pound freshman Jacob Seto. He finished second overall, the best showing by any Herd wrestler on Saturday.
Seto defeated Monterey Trail’s Israel Washington, one of the Mustangs’ top grapplers last season, in the first round. Washington placed second at last year’s Division I meet. He was third on Saturday.
In the team standings, the Herd placed seventh, much worse than a year ago when Elk Grove won the event. Del Oro was first with Oak Ridge second followed by Merced, Folsom, De LaSalle and James Logan.
Individually, Elk Grove was paced by Roger Monroe (7th -113 pounds), Jesse Arroyo (7th, 120 pounds), Kalani Tonge (7th, 126 pounds), Kaleb Vetterli (7th, 145 pounds), Joe Guimont (5th, 195 pounds), Thomas Aguila (4th, 220 pounds), Marcus Worthy (4th, 285 pounds) and Tyler Yates (6th, 285 pounds).
Sheldon had one placer at the meet, Ethan Brewer, who was third at 120 pounds.
Pleasant Grove’s Tanner Smith finished seventh at 182 pounds. E.J. Viacrusas of Monterey Trail was fourth at 160 pounds.
Curt Metter Invitational Wrestling Meet
1.Del Oro 153.50
2.Oak Ridge 130.50
De LaSalle 100.50
6.James Logan 92.50
7.Elk Grove 91.00
8.Casa Roble 89.00
12.Bella Vista 74.00
15.Paso Robles 53.50