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With state-ranked grapplers heading to the mat to start the 2016 season, the Windsor High wrestling team has set a standard, but the results won’t come easy.

Windsor boasts the 2015 All-Empire co-Wrestlers of the Year — who both start the season ranked in the top three in the state — the Coach of the Year and a North Bay League championship team title. The Jaguars will face growing programs in a brawl for individual and team bragging rights.

“It’s going to be a wild one,” Windsor head coach Rich Carnation said. “It could be a four-way tie for the title because even with four state-ranked guys, there are 14 weight classes, so it’s going to be exciting.”

ALL FOR ONE

The Jaguars are led by seniors Dominic Ducharme and Beau Colombini in the 152- and 160-pound weight classes, respectively. Both wrestlers are North Coast Section champions with an eighth-place finish at the state tournament last year.

DuCharme and Colombini are ranked fourth as the season starts, both looking for that piece of hardware from the state tournament in their final seasons.

Locally, DuCharme has Petaluma senior Eric Machado to tangle with, while Colombini will try to hold off Healdsburg junior Anthony Merlo and Sonoma Valley junior Noah Bartolome.

The Jaguars see another No. 1 seed in the NCS as senior Anthony Spallino — who has moved up the state rankings to eighth place in the preseason — will look to dominate the 195-pound weight class.

“Anthony won the tournament in Reno last weekend,” Carnation said, “so he’s the big man right now.”

Fort Bragg senior Matt Hautula holds the top seed in the NCS rankings for the 170-pounders, facing the likes of senior Christian Ohlin of El Molino and senior Wyatt Jones of Middletown.

Ukiah’s Nicolas Iverson will head the Redwood Empire heavyweights as he enters the season ranked first in the NCS and sixth in the state. Iverson finished his junior season with a fifth place finish at the NCS tournament.

“He has already exceeded all those expectations that the wrestling community has put on him, so he’s working with a clean slate right now,” Ukiah coach Thomas Fragoza said. “Anything he accomplishes now is just an addition.”

With Windsor racking up its fourth NBL title last season and the NCS team title in 2014, the Jaguars are the favorites for another title, but with other programs gaining momentum and increasing their numbers, it won’t be a simple takedown.

The Jaguars have six wrestlers ranked high in the early NCS rankings, while reigning Sonoma County League champion Healdsburg has five. Growing numbers in Petaluma, Analy, and El Molino will make it tight in both leagues, but overall the experience will be the ticket, said Healdsburg coach Scott Weidermier.

“If we can stay healthy, then I feel really good about our chances,” he said. “There’s other teams that have really good kids, but for some their experience and depth might not be enough.”

BRAWN AND BRAINS

In a combative sport like wrestling, athletes use every muscle to grind out points, while also using strategy learned from experience. Seniors like Healdsburg’s Joel Anguiano and El Molino’s Samuel MacDonell have the benefit of experience to help motivate them in their final seasons. Anguiano and MacDonell both finished in fourth place in the NCS in their respective classes.

“The goal might be a little different for someone like Joel,” Weidemier said. “He has reached higher but the goals are still generally the same for everyone.”

The top three in the NCS and a state qualifying spot are still the overall hope for seniors like Cardinal Newman’s Mason Gevinson — who is ranked No. 3 in the NCS and No. 24 in the state in the 132-pound weight class — as well as the underclassmen who have the strength to make big strides as they gain experience of their own. Windsor’s David Perez Perez is not far behind Levinson, sitting four spots behind in the same weight class.

Windsor’s Joe Valdez, Maria Carrillo’s Josh Groesbeck, and Healdsburg’s Ricco Vasquez round out a solid group of seniors out to put their brawn and brains to work.

Windor’s Luke Ae-Yeung and Maria Carrillo’s Kai Addington have both been put to the test, finishing in fourth and sixth place, respectively, in the NCS in 2015 as sophomores. These two wrestlers are now leading their weight classes as juniors.

Kyle Smith (120 pounds) of Cardinal Newman holds a No. 5 seed. Casa Grande’s Jason Goldblatt is the favorite for the 113-pound group.

GIRLS

Sonoma County girl s wrestling twists through two different story lines: with Ukiah and their core group of four who dominate the returning CIF qualifiers, and the battle of the heavyweights between Rancho Cotate’s Vickie Espinoza and Petaluma’s Michelle Larson.

The Ukiah Four

With the loss of NCS champion Harmonie Roberts, Ukiah wasted no time filling its ranks. Led by senior Kenya Henderson, who was the runner-up at the state meet, the Wildcats are on a run to dominate girls wrestling.

Junior Alyssa Roberts, who boasts the title of section champ, is expected to continue her success in her sister’s footsteps. She started the preseason 6-1 and is coming back from a knee injury as she prepares for the start of the league competition.

Junior Lanie Brooke is another state qualifier from Ukiah who will compete in the 126-pound weight class, while sophomore Claire Payne has some exciting potential, said Ukiah girls wrestling coach Shane Roberts.

Last Brawl

Rancho Cotate’s Espinoza is one of the biggest names to watch for. She teams with Larson in the battle of the bigs.

“She is arguably the top in the nation and one of the most decorated wrestlers at Rancho Cotate,” Cougars coach Damien Mason said. “You’ll see some top-notch wrestling.”

Espinoza has climbed the ranks quickly, taking the second-place medal in the state finals . She’ll duel with the Trojans’ Larson, who lost to Espinoza in the NCS championship meet last year and has been to the state meet three years straight.

“She is just really good,” Weidemier said of Larson .

“That girl is going so far with this,” Roberts said. “There’s no stopping her.”