By STEVE GALLUZZO | Sports Editor
After weeks of rigorous practice in its newly-renovated training room on campus, the Palisades High wrestling team finally got its first taste of real competition last Saturday.
Kevin Rosen had three pins and a forfeit win at 160 pounds and a pin at 170 pounds to earn the Upper Weights MVP in leading the Dolphins to third place out of 10 teams in the Patriot Duals at Birmingham High in Lake Balboa.
In pool play, Palisades defeated Granada Hills’ A team 66-18, outscored Birmingham’s B team 48-36 (despite wrestling several JVs), lost to San Fernando 42-21 (the match was tied 21-21 after 170 pounds) and dominated Vaughn 66-6. Then, in the third-place match, Palisades scored a decisive 53-13 victory over Santa Paula.
“Overall I saw what we need to work on – getting tougher and more physical,” Pali High head coach Steve Cifonelli said. “This isn’t a sport for the nice guys. You should be a gentleman before and after the match, but mean and nasty during the match – we’re too nice and we got beat up by San Fernando. So we’ll turn it up a notch in practice and hopefully the young guys get tougher.”
Samson Dorff went 4-0 at 132 pounds and Jake Carpenter went 5-0 (including four pins) at 120, being declared individual champions and earning high praise from Cifonelli.
Marcelo Maya went 4-0 with a forfeit competing at two different weights and finished second individually, as did Chance Chapman at 126 pounds, Lance Santelices (138), Joseph Velado (195) and Carlos Velado (220).
The Dolphins will be back on the mats this weekend at the Newbury Park Invitational.
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