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1996-1997 BOYS' WRESTLING PREVIEW | SIX TEAMS TO WATCH

Irvine

December 06, 1996

Coach: John Phillips (10th year).

1995-96 8-1 overall, 5-0 in the Sea View League; the Vaqueros won their fourth consecutive league title and finished runner-up to Temecula Valley at the Southern Section Division II finals.

Key returners: Warren Brown, 130, Sr.; Ryan Dickey, Hwt., Sr.; Owen Hemsath, 119, Jr.; Andrew Pena, 130, Sr.; Lloyd Raber, 140, Sr.; C.H. Rush, 135, Jr; Zak Stevens, 160, Sr.; Tim Testerman, 152, Sr.

Outlook: Phillips says he hopes his team will have a good season. But don't be fooled by his modesty. With two state qualifiers back on the mat and a Southern Section qualifier, it's almost certain the Vaqueros will win their seventh league title and be back in the thick of things come section dual and division finals in February. If Pena can stay healthy and motivated, he could have a chance to place at the state finals. Stevens, who is ranked second in the county, surprised a lot of people last season when he advanced to the state championships. But like Pena, motivation is the key. Also keep an eye on Testerman, who just missed the state tournament after being eliminated at the Masters Meet. Upper weights will be questionable, but lower and middle weights are pretty solid.

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