Davis High wrestling fans are going to know a lot more about the young Blue Devils this weekend when coach Ty Brown takes his matmen to the season-opening Vista del Lago Invitational on Saturday.
“The biggest challenge is that our opponents are well-seasoned, so I think our young guns will make up for a lack of experience with heart and desire,” Brown told The Enterprise.
DHS’ roster sports 29 boys, only four of whom are seniors. Nine grapplers are freshmen, nine are sophomores.
Brown and assistants Rodney Earnest, Brian Gordon and Dennis Spann say they’re ready for the challenge, and believe that by the end of this winter season, the Devils will have a handful of new faces wearing Delta Valley Conference champion’s belts — and making their collective presence felt in postseason tournaments.
Juniors Adrian and Elias LoBuono-Gonzalez and 10th-grader Lucas Nouvet are expected “to make us tough at the lower weights,” Brown says. “Senior Tim Richards (132-pound division) and sophomore Marquis Turner — remember the name — will make it interesting in the mid-weights.
A trio of Blue Devil football players could make DHS the surprise of the region in upper weight classes …
“Senior Bray Harwood and juniors Bailey Murray and Marvin Grant have a chance to make some noise in the big-boy (ranks),” Brown adds.
Throughout the Devil lineup, former DHS athlete Brown sees tons of potential.
Sophomores Connor Spann and Jacob Fields, along with Da Vinci ninth-grader Tanner Carr, “are progressing quickly.”
The coach also points to Emerson ninth-grader Quinn Davies “as a very intriguing prospect. He arrives with experience from wrestling in the Vacaville feeder system.”
Davis’ young cast gets a chance to mature in hurry as the San Marin Varsity Tournament is in store Dec. 8, followed on Dec. 15 by a trip to Modesto Junior College for another early outing.
After a couple of more invitationals, DVC competition opens at Grant on Jan. 2. The Blue Devils’ first home match isn’t until Jan. 2 when Elk Grove comes calling.
Eight DHS boys qualified for the 2012 DVC meet and competed at the North Division CIF tournament. Returning junior Grant, Adrian LoBuono-Gonzalez, Richards and Turner were among those qualifiers.
The Blue Devils will sport a junior varsity team as well.
Speaking of the Vacaville feeder program, Brown has created Davis’ own introductory program for wrestling.
Davis Elite Wrestling Club meets Tuesdays and Thursdays (5:30 to 7 p.m.) in the Davis High Wrestling Room.
“The most important thing in our world right now is (that club),” Brown says. “This is our feeder for our team. Like you have Pop Warner football and AYSO soccer, we have to have a way to restock our shelves.
“DEWC is a great way to get young kids excited about wrestling.”
Apparently, coach has his kid buying in …
Ty Junior, age 3, already has entered two tournaments. There was no report on how he did, but dad says he’s having trouble reversing his little boy during practice.
Brown says wrestling is a no-cut sport and anyone interested in either the high school team or club competition should contact the coach at [email protected].
— Reach Bruce Gallaudet at [email protected] or 530-747-8047.