Hawk grapplers capture first NSL title
Courtesy of Jay Pumarejo The Liberty Hawks wrestling team celebrates its first North Sequoia League championship in school history on Jan. 30 at Yosemite High School. The team sent seven wrestlers in the 14 finals with five NSL individual champions.
For the first time since 2006, the Liberty Hawks wrestling team captured the league champinoship after a dominating performance at the North Sequoia League championship tournament.
The Hawks, who previously won in the Northwest Sierra League, outpointed Washington Union-Easton 223-164 to capture the program’s first NSL championship on Jan. 30 at Yosemite High School.
“Much of the credit goes to assistant coach Joe Rico and the Liberty High School administration,” head coach Jay Pumarejo.
The team dominated the dual meet season, going 5-0, and outpinted its opponents by a combined 302-87 (60.4-17.4 average) and continued the trend in the NSL tournament.
Seven wrestlers, out of 14 weight classes, advanced to the championships with Angel Lugo, at 220 pounds, and Francisco Rojas, heavyweight, capturing their second straight NSL titles.
Cole Diebert (113 pounds), Zack Santoro (126 pounds) and Jarred Dotson (138 pounds) also won NSL championships.
All 14 wrestlers placed third or better for the Hawks. Conner Hiatt (145 pounds) and Chris Imirian (170 pounds) advanced to the finals, but lost.
Anthony Rocha (108 pounds), Anthony Salas (132), Gio Burgess (152), Diego Rojas (160), Sam Rauschenberg (182) and David Portnoff (195) each won consolation championships (third place).
In addition, Brad Wallace won a junior varsity championship while Mitchel Sano and Nolan Sewell placed second and Dylan Cardoza was third.
The Hawks wrestle this weekend in the Div. IV championship at Sierra Pacific High School in Hanford.
Madera and Madera South wrestlers battle in the Div. I championship at Clovis High School this weekend.