MORRO BAY — Last Friday, the Atascadero Middle School wrestling team traveled to Morro Bay High School to take on three other teams in a wrestling tournament. The Saints were put up against Mesa Middle School (Arroyo Grande), Laguna Middle School (San Luis Obispo) and Los Osos Middle School.
Morro Bay High School rolled out three mats to accommodate the wrestlers with the event beginning around 2 p.m. The meet was full of male and female wrestlers of all different sizes. In youth wrestling, girls only wrestle other girls and boys wrestle other boys. This year, the Saints only have two girls on their team — Aubrey Andreoli and Kaitlyn Wagner — which forces them to forfeit a lot of points. However, both of the girls that are on the Atascadero team placed in the top three in the tournament with Andreoli finishing third and Wagner finishing in second.
“Aubrey is just starting out,” Atascadero coach James Cendro said. “But she is just your blue collar wrestler. She fights hard and fights intense and wrestled really, really well.”
Atascadero Middle School took fourth in the meet, but if they had a full team, complete with boys and girls, the Saints would have had a great chance at winning.
The Saints team has been led this year by one of their heavyweight wrestlers Vincent Zertuche, who has gone undefeated this season and only just started wrestling in December.
“Vincent Zertuche, who goes to the Fine Arts Academy, continued his undefeated streak,” Coach James Cendro said. “He hasn’t lost a match all season which includes two tournaments and six duals, quite a bit of wrestling to not surrender a loss.”
Along with Zertuche, two other boys on the Atascadero team took first place in the tournament: Damon Rodriguez (80 lbs.) and Maddox Subia (92 lbs.).
Altogether, the Saints placed 14 wrestlers in the top three of their weight class. Kodie Cooks, Andreoli, Anthony Tejada (also won the most outstanding wrestler away for the upper weight classes of AJHS) and Trace Rodriguez all placed third while Dario Ruiz, Alex Ring, Wagner, Brandon Brownell, Isaiah Lucio and Masel Smith all placed second.
The Saints will have their last dual meet of the season today when they travel to Laguna Middle School (San Luis Obispo) to take on the Lancers.