San Marino wrestling rudely baptizes Hoover in first-ever home match
San Marino Titans flex muscles with eight pins en route to 66-6 win over Hoover Tornadoes.
San Marino's Paul Krimmel, left, wrestles with Hoover's Alex Amirian. (Cheryl A. Guerrero/Staff Photographer / January 10, 2013)
Such was the case for the Hoover High wrestling program, which hosted its first-ever dual meet in Rio Hondo League action Thursday afternoon versus league title aspirant San Marino.
While the meet went without a hitch in front of a boisterous and supportive crowd, the Titans proved a rude visitor, smashing their way to a 66-6 win.
“I guess we got their official ‘Welcome to the Rio Hondo League,’” Tornadoes Coach Mark Bitetti said. “Today was a clinic and we’ve got a lot to learn. It was fun to have our first-ever match at home, but San Marino certainly showed us we’ve got a long way to go.”
While Hoover dropped to 1-1 in league a week after pasting St. Paul, 54-21, the Titans (2-0 in league) positioned themselves for a league championship as they’re now the league’s lone unbeaten.
“I was more than satisfied with our result today,” San Marino Co-Coach Joe Gallardo said. “There’s always things to improve on and grow on, but I’m excited with the way they handled themselves today. It’s been a long time since we’ve been in this position.”
San Marino left no doubt Thursday, recording pins in eight of 14 bouts, while scoring the meet’s first 54 points.
After starting with a 9-0 lead through 113 pounds, San Marino quickly opened up the contest.
Titans freshman Evan Wick pinned Hoover’s Armen Arshakyan at 120 pounds in 2:18, which was followed by a Tornadoes forfeiture at 126 pounds, a fall from San Marino’s Zander Wick at 132 pounds over Andres Rosas and another pin from Titans 138-pounder Paul Krimmel over Hoover’s Alex Amirian.
The three pins combined with the forfeit quickly increased San Marino’s advantage to 33-0.
“I think the guys wrestled tough. We’ve been focusing and practicing on staying in good position and we did so,” Titans co-Coach John Azevedo said. “Their kids were strong, but sloppy, but they’re young and they’ll improve.”
After a 7-4 decision from San Marino’s Dominic Magana versus Arthur Ghukasyan at 145 pounds gave the Titans a 36-0 lead, San Marino officially clinched the meet when 152-pounder Adam Padilla held off Davit Nersisyan, 6-1, to give the Titans a 39-0 advantage.
San Marino’s other wins came on pins from Russell Chang (106 pounds), Brian Chang (170), Michael Scott (182), Alex Knott (220) and Jonathan Yao (heavyweight) and on decisions from John Scott (113) and Daniel Walsh (160).
Hoover wasn’t left empty-handed, though, as Hoover sophomore Joshua Lee broke San Marino’s 54-point run when he landed a key reversal on freshman Tino Maese at 3:50, which four seconds later turned into a pin and Hoover’s only six points.
“Honestly, for me, it’s a real honor to get the points for Hoover,” Lee said. “I was tiring at the beginning of the second, but I stuck with what my coaches were telling me and I pulled through.”
The pin brought a large cheer from a crowd that was witnessing history.
“I’m extremely proud that we’ve started this program here. I know my students associate with it. Wrestling is something they know,” Hoover Principal Jennifer Earl said. “I know that these boys are going to learn and grow from this and the only feeling I take away from today is pride.”