NORWALK, Calif. - For the second season in a row, it will be Fresno City College and Cerritos College battling it out for the CCCAA Team Dual State Championship. The match will take place on Sunday, November 19 at 6:00 p.m. at The Aviary in Norwalk. Last year, the Falcons won the title with a 23-16 decision and handed the Rams their second straight loss in the dual meet state championships. Since the championship was reinstated in 2013, Fresno City will be making their fourth straight appearance, while they won the championship in 2014.
It should be a good matchup of two schools that are very familiar with each other, as they compete in several of the same tournaments each year and are near the top of the standings at the CCCAA State Championships every December.
Fresno City boasts four current #1-ranked wrestlers in the state at the first four weights, along with two that are ranked #2, while Cerritos has a pair that are ranked #1 and two more ranked #2. The night will also pit the top two ranked teams in the state, with Fresno City holding down the top spot right now.
The Rams have had a fairly consistent lineup this season, but that can't be said for Cerritos. Depth and injuries have forced wrestlers to compete at multiple weights, although the results have been positive. The biggest move was dropping defending 197-pound state champion to 285 pounds in the Southern California Regional championship match against Mt. San Antonio, and he came away with a 7-4 win, which clinched the title for the Falcons. Additionally, Cerritos has the top two ranked wrestlers at 157 pounds, which includes Aaron Negrete, the 2015 state champion.
As for Fresno City, they have depth at 165 pounds, with Conrad Lopez and Victor Vargas holding the #2 and #4 rankings, respectively. Should Van Weems need to compete at 285 pounds in the match, Cerritos has the option of using either #4 Ethan Bakker or #5 Stephan Chavez in his place at 197 pounds and face #2-ranked Marcus Macias.
(Courtesy John Van Gaston, Cerritos College Athletics)