Windsor High School wrestler Dominic DuCharme won four matches Friday to reach the semifinals of his weight class at the CIF state championships in Bakersfield, but his Jaguars teammate Anthony Spallino and Ukiah’s Nic Iversen were knocked into the consolation bracket by a pair of brothers from a wrestling-royalty family in the grappling-rich Central Valley town of Clovis.
A total of eight Redwood Empire wrestlers qualified for for this weekend’s tournament. Three of them, including two from Windsor, remain in the hunt for a third-place medal.
DuCharme, who placed eighth at 152 pounds as last year’s CIF tournament, opened the 170-pound competition with a technical-fall victory against sophomore Jose Reyes of San Fernando, took a forfeit win against Fai Limu of San Francisco International, then won decisions against Ryan Reyes (10-4) of Clovis West and Jed Smith (5-2) of Mater Dei.
In what figures to be a tough semifinal Saturday, DuCharme will face Jeremy Thomas of Calvary Chapel (Santa Ana). Thomas, third at the state meet last year wrestling for Santiago High of Corona at 145 pounds, is ranked No. 2 in the state by CalGrappler.com; DuCharme is ranked No. 3 statewide.
Spallino and Iversen, meanwhile, won their first three matches before running into a wall in the quarterfinals against brothers A.J. and Seth Nevills of Clovis, a school that has produced 25 state champions.
Spallino decisioned Parker Saltzman of Servite (Anaheim) 4-2, then scored a major decision (13-4) against Austin Fifer of Victor Valley before decisioning Kyle Richards (3-1) of Ponderosa (Shingle Springs). That sent him into a quarterfinal match with A.J. Nevills, a senior and the only one of four Nevills brothers without a state title.
Ranked No. 1 by CalGrappler.com, A.J. Nevills is looking to join older brothers Zach (one state title) and Nick (three titles, and a stunning 200-5 high school record) and younger brother Seth (one state title). Against Spallino (No. 13 statewide by CalGrappler.com), A.J. appeared to be on a mission, scoring a 12-1 major decision to reach the semifinal round.
Iversen was impressive in his first two matches at 285 pounds, scoring quick falls against Zachary Brazell (0:39) of El Dorado and Austin Moreno (0:45) of South Hills. He gutted out a 1-0 decision against Blake Irysh of Paso Robles before running into the unbeaten sophomore Seth Nevills.
Nevills, who won the 220-pound division at the CIF meet in 2015, posted a 4-1 victory against Iversen, whose 45-3 season mark now includes two tough losses to Nevills.
Another Windsor wrestler seeking a medal is Beau Colombini (160), who placed eighth at state last year and won four of five matches Friday.
Colombini won by tech fall against Ivan Sevilla of Coalinga, then by fall (1:39) against Daniel Hampton of Vista Murrieta. After a 2-1 loss to Hampton Boyd (2-1) of Poway, he decisioned Charles Hubbard (7-0) of Casa Roble and scored a major decision (12-3) against Jordan Stanley of Central.
Windsor’s Perez Perez (145) was eliminated after four matches, winning and losing once each in the championship and consolation rounds.
Three other Empire wrestlers — Cameron Casey (170) of Maria Carrillo, Joe Valdes (182) of Windsor and Gunnar Hayman (285) of Cardinal Newman — each lost two matches.