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Spartans take down another 2nd-year program

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Dennis Johnson leads Cosumnes Oaks 215-pounder Oscar Flores to the mat during Lathrop High's first-ever varsity dual match at home Thursday. Johnson went on to score a pin in 2 minutes, 49 seconds.


POSTED December 18, 2009 2:52 a.m.

LATHROP — Mark Maynard admitted that he felt the pressure of having to set the table for Lathrop High’s first-ever varsity dual match against Cosumnes Oaks of Elk Grove Thursday night.

Being one of just two juniors, the rest being sophomores, in the lineup, Maynard performed like a veteran. His 47-second pin of Ken Ayers in the 171-pound match set the tone in the Spartans’ 60-24 victory.

“I just went in there trying to win and go all out,” said Maynard, who weighed in at 152 but moved up two divisions to fill a spot. “I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, so I felt a little weight on my shoulders.”

Valley Oak League rival Sierra also made an appearance and defeated Cosumnes Oaks, 54-18.

Like Lathrop, Cosumnes Oaks is in its second year of existence, so the Wolf Pack provided head coach Dimos Birakos a good gauge of where his team is at in its development.

After Lathrop pieced together two successful tournament showings at the junior varsity level, Birakos said he didn’t know what to expect Thursday.

“I was a little nervous at the beginning, some of our guys set the tone and the rest fed off them,” Birakos said. “The kids are working hard and showing up to practice.

“They could always do better but I appreciate the effort. It’s just inexperience right now; it’s not going to happen overnight.”

Lathrop was spotted 24 points thanks to four forfeitures but did the job on the mat, winning six of the 10 live matches by pinfall.

At 215s, sophomore Dennis Johnson gave Lathrop an 18-0 lead with his 2:49 pin of Oscar Flores. The back-and-forth battle started with Johnson taking a 3-0 lead, but he was down 9-5 early in the second period before stringing together a reverse and the pin.

Cosumnes Oaks took the next three matches all by fall to tie it at 18 before the Spartans took complete control.

Andrew Aquino (119) won by pinfall in 1:39 and was followed by Luis Oregel stoppage in 2:25. Christian Pena (135) stuck Joseph Baylis in 42 seconds for the fastest pin of the match, all but securing Lathrop’s victory with four bouts to go and two already settled by forfeitures.

Carlos Fernandez capped off the historic win by stopping Ken Ayers in 1:20.

 Lathrop has one last tune-up before its VOL-opening double-dual in Sonora Jan. 6 with this weekend’s Wingo Tournament in Waterford.

“I’m excited to see what we can do in the VOL,” Birakos said.

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