ANAHEIM – The Esperanza Holiday Classic turned out being a showcase for the tournament hosts.
Esperanza placed 10 wrestlers among the top five in their respective weight classes, including four who captured first place, and had a pair of wrestlers win lower and upper weight MVP honors.
It all translated to 181.5 points and a first-place finish for the Aztecs, who were hosting the tournament for the third consecutive year.
Camarillo finished second with 135.5 points, Yorba Linda was third with 105 and Santa Ana was fourth with 104.
Villa Park took seventh with 63 points. Sonora scored 53 to finish 12th and Brea Olinda and El Modena were tied for 13th with 51.
“Each year we get a couple of weights stronger,“ Esperanza coach Christian Holiday said. “We started off with one or two very good wrestlers. It’s quickly up to seven, eight and nine now.”
Isaiah Mora, the Aztecs’ 145-pounder and a defending CIF champion and state qualifier, finished with three pins and a technical fall to earn the lower weight MVP award.
Mora was competing for the first time since the summer after being sidelined with a leg injury unrelated to wrestling.
“It felt fine,” Mora said of his leg. “I was really hungry to compete. It’s been a long time and it felt good. I guess I had something to prove to myself.”
Esperanza’s Troy Good (170) was named upper weight MVP, finishing with four pins.
Other first-place finishers for the Aztecs included Ethan Gould at 126 pounds and 182-pounder Perasadk Borys, who recently immigrated from Russia and has little wrestling experience.
“He’s one of the hardest workers on the team,” Holiday said of Borys. “His stamina is what is going to catch a lot of people.”
In the championship match, Borys defeated Santa Ana’s Juan Espinoza, who had pinned all three of his opponents leading up to the final.
Yorba Linda’s Seth Myers (106) and George Millan (220) both finished first and were among six Mustangs to place among the top five in their weight classes.
Santa Ana’s Anthony Reveles defeated Esperanza’s Gannon McDonald 11-9 in the 138-pound final and was one of three Saints to place among the top five.
“Since we took over the program, we wanted to begin to build the reputation of holding a good tournament with some quality teams,” Holiday said. “Year after year, it gets tougher and tougher.”
Esperanza Holiday Classic Results
Team Scores: 1. Esperanza 181.5, 2. Camarillo 135.5, 3. Yorba Linda 105, 4. Santa…