By Wes Woody
For the third straight year the Kern Valley Broncs wrestlers are High Desert League Champions.
In the last dual of the season the Broncs took on the Bishop Broncos and came away with the 60-12 win to clinch the outright title. In the match Kern Valley received forfeit wins from Kaycee Donaldson, Adam Virto, Josh Wesala, Leah Villa, Dean Hinkey, John Erdei and Sam Bartlett. Ben Hamilton wrestled but lost by pin. Brayden Liberio, Chris Mendoza and Gaige Smoot picked up wins for the Broncs to make the score 60-12 after Kern Valley gave up a forfeit win to Bishop.
There was also a Lifetime Service Award given in recognition of former head coach Denny Knight on his induction into the California Wrestling Hall of Fame. The award will be displayed at the school along with his beloved ‘hat’ that many knew him by.
Head coach Wes Woody said, “It was a great day for us. Our young kids came out strong and picked up pins for us. It is great to have captured the three-peat HDL title at home in front of a nice crowd.”
On Friday, the female Broncs went to the Central Valley Invite and had three competitors.
Donaldson finished the tournament 2-2 with two pins. Leah Vila and Sam Bartlett didn’t pick up a win but gained valuable experience for CIF coming up in a couple of weeks.
Jacob Lightner went to the Gilroy Mid-Cals tournament and placed eighth. He lost to the 5th and 12th in the state and got a lot of good experience against tough competition heading in to CIF.
The other Broncs went to the Highland Invitational. Diego Tapia finished in second place losing by a few points in the finals. Chris Mendoza finished fourth in tournament. Smoot and Hamilton finished fifth on the day.
Woody said, “We are in the home stretch now with the HDL finals next week then onto CIF competition. Thank you everyone for your support at our dual matches this season.”