BRYAN — In a District 8-6A wrestling meet that was delayed by a couple of months, it was all worth it for the Conroe girls, the College Park boys and the plenty of individuals who advanced to the Region II-6A meet next week.
The Conroe Lady Tigers won their first district title since 2012 while the College Park Cavaliers now have a three-peat of district titles after winning Wednesday at Bryan High School.
The top three from each weight class advance to the regional tournament in Allen next Friday and Saturday with a shot at the state tournament in two weeks.
“I’m just really proud of the kids with everything that’s gone on this year,” College Park coach Erik Spjut said. “We’ve been training as a team since August with really nothing to train for. I’m really happy that it’s paying off and we are able to see their hard work to pay off.”
The Cavaliers totaled 233.5 points to wipe out the competition. Klein had 146, Klein Cain had 112.5 and The Woodlands finished with 109.
The Conroe girls’ win was much closer as it totaled 116 points to Klein Collins’ 107. College Park was third with 73 while Klein Cain had 68 and Grand Oaks closely followed with 66.
Conroe accomplished the feat despite the fact that five of its top wrestlers decided not to return this season for various reasons.
“We have great senior leaders and they’ve pushed the younger girls,” Conroe coach Jeremy Horan said. ”It’s a team effort. Our kids have gone through a lot of adversity with COVID and all that stuff. They’ve stuck together and kept working. We fought through it and had a great day today.”
COLLEGE PARK DOMINATES
College Park had seven gold medalists and two silver medalists. Ten total advanced to the regional tournament. Last February, College Park, currently ranked No. 3 in the state, finished in fifth place at the state meet.
“There were some tough matches and a couple that didn’t go our way,” Spjut said. “I would have liked to have seen those go the other way. But it’s nice to finish the tournament strong and it gives a lot of those individual kids confidence going into the regional tournament.”
Anthony Marino (113 pounds), Roman De La Cruz (126), Corey Camden (132), Jacob Smith (138), Joseph Hendershot (152), Tanner Christensen (170) and Jonathan Wertz (182) each won gold medals. Jason Patillo (120) and Ethan Stallons (160) took silver and Kolton Oborny (145) won bronze.
“Before I got here, we never won a district team championship for wrestling,” Spjut said. “It’s cool to win three.”
On the girls side, defending state champions Olivia DeGeorgio (95) and Brittyn Corbishley (185) won district gold with ease. Brianna Duncan (102) and Madeline Welch (215) each won bronze.
“She’s going to regional for her first time, so I’m really proud of her,” Spjut said of Duncan. “Our heavyweight Madeline Welch is going as well.”
SANDOVAL LEADS CONROE
Lessly Sandoval was matched up with Corbishley over the years in 185. For her senior year, Sandoval went up to 215 and won her first district title.
“It was good,” Horan said. “We made a choice to wrestle this weight this year. She’s worked hard and she’s a great kid. The first thing I said was ‘congratulations, you’re a district champ’. I’m not going to let her graduate at Conroe without a district championship. We’re proud of her.”
Bryana Stephens also won gold for Conroe at 102.
“She really stepped in and wrestled well,” Horan said. “She’s new to our program and we’re proud of her.”
Taylor Ledet (110) took home silver while Michal Buska (128) and Jessica Ornellas (165) each won bronze.
“We had a good, strong girls season,” Horan said. “We felt coming into this that it would come down to us and Klein Collins. We had some good things happen...our girls stepped up and got the job done.”
For the Conroe boys, Bryson Cole (138) won bronze and Sean Robles (285) won silver.
GRAND OAKS, WILLIS COMPETE IN FIRST 6A TOURNEY
Grand Oaks and Willis moved up to Class 6A and found success in their first district tournament. Both programs qualified six wrestlers for regionals each.
Grand Oaks had three girls — Haven Herrera (second, 95), Aailyah Torres (third, 110) and Caylin McElroy (second, 165) — advance while Matthew Korcuska (third, 106), Ederias Baez (third, 120) and Joshua Wilson (third, 285) qualified.
For the Willis Ladykats, Savannah Rupert (165) won gold and Janice Maldonado (185) won bronze.
The Willis boys advanced Skyler Murillo (second, 145), Pablo Sanchez (third, 152), Cameron Collier (third, 160) and Elijah Hubbard (third, 195).
Zebulan Sanders of Oak Ridge won a gold medal in his 106-pound final while John Podowski of The Woodlands took home gold in the 220-pound final.
The Highlanders also got a silver medal by Joe Huerta (132) and the Lady Highlanders got a bronze by Maggie Barnes (95) and a silver by Izabella Evans (102)
The Oak Ridge girls qualified Madison Alexander (third, 138) and Stephanie Flores (silver, 148) to the regional meet.