Kevin Trudgeon, Staff Writer – Redlands Daily Facts – Original here
This is the twelfth in a series of “Year in review” pieces that will look back at the 2008-09 sports season.
Redlands East Valley High School
Record: 7-0 Citrus Belt League (League Champions)
Playoffs: Lost in the early rounds of CIF-SS Duals. Junior Andrew Hudson, 215-pound weight class, finished eighth at the CIF state meet.
Season Summary: An established power in the Citrus Belt League, the Redlands East Valley High School wrestling team showed off their depth and talent in the 2008-09 season.
Coming into the year with high expectations both as a team and on the individual side, the Wildcats battled through a snake-bitten, injury-plagued season to still finish as CBL champions.
By the end of the season REV, which split the league title with A.B. Miller and Carter high schools the year before, was not the same team that began the year, but the Wildcats still managed some impressive showings.
REV kicked off the season at the Carter Invitational, riding impressive performances from sophomore Chris Mecate, 112-pound weight class, Dominic Smothers, 160-pound weight class, and Andrew Hudson, 215-pound weight class, to a seventh-place finish as a team.
Moving into league play, REV routed Yucaipa High School, 61-9 and followed that up with a stomping of Fontana High School, 71-6.
Traveling to compete in the Mann Classic, the Wildcats had hopes of a top five finish, but injuries left REV with only 11 wrestlers for the 14 weight classes.
Mecate again took first place in his 112-pound weight class and Hudson finished fifth at 215 pounds. Sophomore Nick Chavez also showed well, coming in fifth at 119 pounds.
Despite their depleted numbers, REV still finished sixth as a team in the two-day tournament at Cal State Fullerton.
The injuries continued to mount for the Wildcats, who faced their third CBL opponent, Rialto High School, while missing seven of their Varsity-A wrestlers.
Unwilling to give in, REV relied on call-ups from their lower-level squads to defeat Rialto easily, 61-18.
Still relying on backup wrestlers, the Wildcats pulled off their biggest dual win of the season in a 54-21 win over Carter High School.
REV recorded seven pins and won six of the final seven weight classes to pull away with the victory and remain undefeated in league.
Only needing one more win to clinch the league title outright, the Wildcats got it in a road match against A.B. Miller.
Riding an impressive performance from Marcus Davis, 140-pound weight class, in his first Varsity-A match, REV lost only three matches on their way to a 48-13 win.
The Wildcats then stomped crosstown rival Redlands High School, 66-6, and routed Eisenhower High School, 68-0, to finish the regular season.
Following CBL finals and the Masters Meet, the only Wildcat still going was Hudson, who traveled a tricky road to get to the CIF state meet.
Hudson, who finished a disappointing fourth at league finals, mowed through the competition at Masters, winning five straight matches, including a 5-2 decision over No. 1-seeded Michael Maierhofer.
Given the No. 1-overall seed at state, Hudson put up a valiant effort, winning his first match in double overtime.
But losses in his next two matches relegated Hudson to an eighth-place.
Redlands High School
Record: 1-6 Citrus Belt League (7th in league)
Season Summary: The 2008-09 season was a trying year for the Redlands High School wrestling team.
Already dealing with a lack of depth in comparison to other teams in the Citrus Belt League, the Terriers were put at an even bigger disadvantage due to lack of a head coach until right before the season began.
Playing catch-up for most of the year in practice and on the mat, RHS struggled mightily yet still was able to come away with some bright moments in an otherwise dark season.
The Terriers began the season with a poor showing at the Los Osos Tournament and followed that up with a league-opening loss at Fontana High School.
Seeking a spark for his team, first-year head coach Nico Aiello found it in the first home match of the season.
Taking on Eisenhower High School, RHS quickly fell behind 12-0 before responding five straight wins, three by way of forfeit, on their way to a 45-30 victory.
Senior heavyweight Hunter Hollowed got things going for the Terriers with a pin just 45 seconds into the first period, and that seemed to light a fire under his teammates.
Sophomore Ray Peregrina, wrestling in only the second match of his career, pulled off an 8-1 minor decision win at 112 pounds. Junior Mark Isaguirre, 135-pound weight class, junior Chris Aguila, 140-pound weight class, and junior Brandon Wienke, 152-pound weight class, all added pins.
The victory, immediately followed by a strong showing at the Colton Wrestling Tournament in which six Terriers advanced to the second day of competition, proved to be the highlight of the season for RHS.
Losses to A.B. Miller, 48-3, Rialto, 63-14, and crosstown rival Redlands East Valley, 66-6, closed the season for the Terriers, who finished with only one win in league.
Injuries, and the loss of some wrestlers who never returned after Christmas break, dealt big blows to the already depleted numbers of the RHS squad and made it almost impossible to compete for dual wins.
In their second-to-last match of the year, on the road at REV, the Terriers were forced to forfeit five weight classes, putting them in a 30-0 hole before they had even stepped on the mat.
Aguila proved to be the savior for the team, successfully pinning REV’s Marcus Davis to avoid an RHS shutout.
The Terriers finished the year with a loss at Carter High School.
E-mail Staff Writer Kevin Trudgeon at email@example.com