East Union’s wrestling team started its season strong despite most of its grapplers competing up a weight class in a double-dual meet held at Dalben Center on Wednesday.
The Lancers first dropped a 39-30 decision to Bear Creek before upending out-manned St. Mary’s, 72-12.
“Once everyone gets established and is down to their weight we’ll be solid,” East Union coach A.J. Reindel said. “It’s still early in the season and there are a lot of little mistakes we’re making, but our young guys got their feet wet and know what they have to work on. We’re looking to have a good year.”
With St. Mary’s forfeiting at nine weight divisions against East Union, 171-pounder Ruben Gallegos was the lone Lancer to post two wins, both via fall, on the mat.
It was a back-and-forth battle with Bear Creek before the Bruins pulled away late. Down 9-0 after the first two matches, the Lancers got consecutive pins from Daniel Huerta (160) and Gallegos. Jaysen Reindel, a Sac-Joaquin Section Masters qualifier as a 220-pound freshman last year, won his match by fall despite moving up in weight for the night.
Ryan Bussberg pinned his opponent in the 113-pound bout, and Jason Betlej (126) prevailed in overtime 13-8 to close East Union in. Damon Cabanas later won the 138-pount contest by decision, 16-11.
“They have some tough kids we couldn’t beat, but I have a handful of first-year guys that gave it their all,” coach Reindel said, noting that Huerta is a first-year senior.
Enrique Mendoza (132) and Apollo Holmes (220) came through with pinfall victories in the St. Mary’s match. East Union had the top junior varsity squad of the night, edging St. Mary’s 48-42 while blowing past Bear Creek, 63-36.
The Lancers will next compete in the McNair Tournament on Saturday.