Gary Bowden, wrestling coach at Anaheim Canyon for the last 19 seasons, has long since given up trying to teach restraint to Matt Padgett.
Bowden simply watches Padgett, a 160-pound senior, go for broke. Saturday, Padgett pushed his career pin total to 109 when he stopped Julius Reyes of Hemet 2:53 into their Masters Meet championship match at Fountain Valley.
Padgett, 47-0 with 40 pins this season, advanced to the CIF State championships Friday at the University of the Pacific in Stockton. The top seven finishers in 13 weight divisions qualified for State berths. Few were as impressive as Padgett, however.
In addition to Padgett, David Cha (at 135 pounds), Dave Gayer (130), Truc Tran (125) and Justin Young (171) will wrestle in Stockton. They led Canyon to the 4-A individual tournament title last Saturday, three days after having their dual meet win streak ended at 87 by Fontana in the Southern Section dual meet tournament.
Jack Artman, an undefeated 145-pound senior from Thousand Oaks, won his championship without having to wrestle in the final when Nick Rios of Arroyo defaulted because of injury. Artman, top-ranked at 145, improved his record to 34-0.
Artman thought about defaulting because of nagging pain in his Achilles' tendon and neck but was relieved when he learned that Rios had defaulted. This is Artman's first trip to the State meet, he was defeated by Rod Ludington of Victor Valley at 152 pounds at last season's Masters Meet. Ludington went on to win the State title.
Scott Chapman of Lake Arrowhead Rim of the World, the State champion at 145 pounds last season, won the 152-pound title, 9-2, over Demetrius Brown of Downey Warren.