Golden Eagles break through for title

By: Journal Sports Staff
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The Del Oro High wrestling team refused to settle for second place again on Saturday at the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II Team Duals in Stockton. After nine runner-up finishes since 1998, the Golden Eagles broke through for their first section championship by beating Bella Vista 43-21 at Lincoln High School. “This is a really young group, but every big match this season they have risen to the occasion,” Del Oro co-coach Dave Sanchez said. “They have just performed. We gave up a few tough decisions and kept it close and that’s what we’ve been doing all season.” Del Oro freshman Ian Gassaway got a pin in the opening match at 120 pounds. After two losses, Brendan Montoya got a pin for the Eagles at 138, but the Broncos won the next two matches. Austin Branum won 18-2 at 160, setting off a run of seven Del Oro wins in eight matches. Dylan Kainrath got a pin at 171. Russell Pierce had a 7-0 shutout at 195 before Tanner Woods’ 7-2 win at 220. Del Oro won the heavyweight match by forfeit to clinch the victory. Isaac Blackburn added a major decision win at 103 and Jason Engbrecht capped the championship with a major decision at 112 for the Eagles. Del Oro got to Saturday’s final with a 54-18 win over Casa Roble. The Golden Eagles will compete in the Sierra Foothill League Championships on Friday at Rocklin before hosting the Division II Championships on Feb. 17-18.