YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections


Dolphins Face Weighty Situation

February 06, 2001|ERIK HAMILTON

The South Coast League wrestling finals start today at San Clemente High, but Dana Hills, the defending co-champion, will be without its coach, Reza Abedi.

Abedi is suspended from the tournament as a result of a weigh-in infraction last year.

Last January, while serving as meet manager for the South Coast League finals, Abedi allowed Dana Hills wrestlers to be weighed before the agreed-upon time of 7 a.m., without the knowledge or approval of the other league coaches.

Dana Hills had to weigh in again and nine of the 14 wrestlers did not make weight.

The Dolphins had to shuffle their lineup, bumping wrestlers up in weight classes. But they still managed to score enough points to be co-champions with San Clemente.

In a letter dated April 12, 2000, Abedi was told by South Coast League representatives Ray A. Gatfield and James T. Walshe that the league would take action regarding the infraction.

The letter stated: "You have been banned as wrestling meet manager for a period of three years. As a result, you may not assume the role as meet manager until after the 2003 wrestling season. You are not eligible to coach in any capacity at the next wrestling league tournament, which will be hosted during the 2000-2001 school year."

Gatfield, principal at Trabuco Hills, and Walshe, principal of Dana Hills, were not available for comment, but Dana Hills Athletic Director Margie Page confirmed the letter.

"Yes, we have seen the letter, and we're following the letter's sanctions," Page said.

Abedi, the head coach since 1995, also won league titles in 1997 and '98.

"I don't know why this is an issue now," Abedi said. "The team will be fine without me. I have complete trust in my assistant Brian [Fortenbaugh]."

San Clemente Coach Mark Calentino said he sympathizes with Abedi. However, he said Abedi is lucky the league handled the situation instead of the Southern Section.

"It was a very uncomfortable situation," Calentino said. "We all get along very well, so when this happened, it was hard. But I think he got a break when the league took care of this. The rules are plain and I don't think [the section] would have been so easy."

Abedi will coach in the Southern Section finals, Masters and state finals if any Dana Hills wrestlers get that far.

Competition starts at 3:30 today at San Clemente.


After top-ranked Calvary Chapel put away No. 2 Santa Ana, 45-15, in a nonleague dual meet Thursday, Eagle Coach John Azevedo said now is the time for the big push.

"We've got Olympic League finals [this week]," Azevedo said, "and then the race is on with division finals, Masters and state."

Azevedo was encouraged by his team's performance against Santa Ana, especially that of Anthony Rodriquez at 112 pounds. Rodriquez, who was coming off an elbow injury, beat Luis Cuellar by technical fall.

Steve Esparza, still hurting from a hip injury, also looked good, winning by fall against Harold Rubio at 135 pounds. Conan Williams was especially impressive in defeating Santa Ana's Wyatt Howard, who is ranked second in the county at 189 pounds, for the third time this season.

The Olympic League finals start at 3 p.m. Wednesday at Orange Lutheran.


University defended its Pacific Coast League title, winning seven of the 14 weight classes Saturday. League champion Alberto Gamboa, following in the steps of older brother Francisco, pinned Ryan Green of Corona del Mar to win the 160-pound title. Last year, Francisco just missed placing at the state finals at 189 pounds. "They are both great athletes," University Coach Ryan Dahlem said. "But where Francisco relied more on his strength, Alberto is quicker and more of a technician." This season, Alberto Gamboa won titles at the El Cajon, Laguna Hills and Andrew Pena Memorial tournaments. "If he can stay healthy, I think he has the potential of going far," Dahlem said. . . . Laguna Hills won its second consecutive Sea View League title Saturday.


Other league finals this week: Today, 5 p.m.--Empire League at El Dorado; Wednesday, 3 p.m.--Century League at Villa Park, Freeway League at Sonora; Thursday, 3 p.m.--Golden West League at Santa Ana, Orange League at Magnolia. . . . The Southern Section duals start Saturday at 10 a.m. Teams and locations will be announced by the Southern Section on Friday.

If you have an item or idea for the wrestling report, you can fax us at (714)966-5663 or e-mail



Orange County Coaches' Poll


Pos. School (League) 1. Calvary Chapel (Olympic) 2. Santa Ana (Golden West) 3. El Dorado (Empire) 4. Villa Park (Century) 5. Laguna Hills (Sea View) 6. El Modena (Century) 7. Irvine (Sea View) 8. Loara (Empire) 9. San Clemente (South Coast) 10T. Dana Hills (South Coast) 10T. Trabuco Hills (South Coast) 10T. Los Alamitos (Sunset)


Individual Rankings

Los Angeles Times Articles