After a close home match on Senior night versus Archbishop Riordan, the Serra Padres rallied from a 24-6 deficit to win 38-30 on January 28, 2016, to remain unbeaten in WCAL dual matches. The Padres then had a little over a week to prepare for their next match on Wednesday. The #5 CCS Ranked Serra Padre Varsity Wrestling team traveled to San Jose to take on the #2 CCS Ranked Bellarmine Bells. Both teams were 5-0 in WCAL matches and the winner would come away WCAL Champions.
The night did not start well for Serra as Nico Cappabianca (S) was pinned in the 1stround by Ziante Faraj-Washington (B) at 106 pounds. In a close match at 113, Sepher Pazoki (S) ranked #16 in CCS lost to #7 ranked Alex Rodriguez (B) 1-0. At 120, Alexander Henderson (B) pinned Kyle Shum (S) in the 2nd round to extend the Bellarmine lead to 15-0. The Padres finally got on the scoreboard as Kyle Wilson (S) pinned Jack Thomas (B) in 1:09 of the 1st round of the 126 pound match. Momentum swung back in favor of the Bells as #1 CCS Ranked Isaiah Palamino (B) pinned #20 Marco Hernandez (S) in the 2nd round at 132. # 10 Evan Jones (S) wrestled to a 6-2 victory over #7 John Hickman (B) to decrease the Bellarmine lead to 21-9 at 138. #17 Spencer Hall (B) had a second round pin over Mike Pechina (S) at 145. #1 David San Miguel scored a 1st round pin over Eric Gai (S) at 152 in the last Bellarmine victory of the night where Bellarmine had a comfortable 33-9 lead. At 160, #11 Ben Khoury (S) started the Serra winning rally with a 4-3 victory over #2 Andreas Guerrero (B). Khoury was losing 3-1 and was in the bottom position with under 30 seconds in the 3rd round when he scored an escape and controversial takedown as both wrestlers went out of bounds with 2 seconds left to win 4-3. At 170, Evan Behrendt (S) won a Technical Fall (win by 15 points) over Nathan Frojelin (B) with a 17-1 victory to make the team score 33-17 in favor of Bellarmine. #3 Jaylyn Membreno (S) wrestled to a major decision (won by more than 8) over #16 Mike Belloni (B) to make it 33-21 B after the 182 pound match. In another upset by Serra, #8 Kenny Meitz scored a defensive pin over #4 Victor Jaques (B) at 195 pounds in the first round. At 220, #2 Dominick Christmas (S) won by forfeit to tie the score 33-33. This meant the last match of the night would determine the championship. #4 Ryan Peralta (S) competed against Jacob Smith (B). The first round ended 0-0 and Peralta chose the bottom position going into the 2ndround. Peralta was able to score a 2 point reversal and put Smith on his back for 3 point near fall almost ending in a pin but Smith worked off his back and scored his own 2 point reversal. Peralta escaped to take a 6-2 lead into the 3rd and final round. Smith choose bottom and got an escape. Again, Peralta scored a takedown and 3 point nearfall as the Padre bench erupted. Peralta was able to hold Smith down for the next 20 seconds and won the major decision as the Serra Padres came back to win 37-33 and earn the 2015-16 WCAL dual meet championships.
The WCAL Finals will be held this Saturday February 13th at Archbishop Riordan High School in San Francisco at 9am. The top 5 at this tournament will compete next Friday and Saturday at the CCS Wrestling Championships.