Empire notes: Local wrestlers triumph in crowded field

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El Molino junior Hannah Ricioli was golden again.

Wrestling at 150 pounds at the massive and deeply competitive Napa Valley Classic girls wrestling meet this month, Ricioli dispatched Chrissy Wallace of Selma High to win.

Casa Grande senior Lilly McCoy was also a big winner, taking the 239-pound weight class with a win over senior Rebeca Camacho from Cerritos High. McCoy was voted Most Outstanding Wrestler in the upper weight classes, as voted by coaches.

Windsor High’s Carmen Perez took second place in her weight division. Perez, a sophomore wrestling at 106 pounds, was denied by Alyssa Valdivia of Frontier High School in the final match.

Also wrestling her way to a second-place finish was Rancho Cotate junior Hollie Espinoza who lost to Sierra High School senior Alexa Garcia in the championship match.

In the same weight class, Ruby Joseph, a sophomore at Cardinal Newman, finished in fifth place. Casa Grande senior Arora Vieira took seventh place in the 143-pound division by beating Vanessa Gutierrez of Lincoln High.

Leilani Frazer, a sophomore out of Vintage wrestling at 137 pounds, finished seventh.

Catch the big names in action Saturday

Speaking of wrestling, the second annual Goddess of the Vine wrestling meet at Windsor High on Saturday is expected to draw about 57 teams with some 300 athletes participating. “For this area, it’s the biggest tournament besides Napa,” said Windsor girls coach Rich Dixon. Action starts at 9 a.m.

Bourdon back at the helm with Analy Tigers

This name ought to sound familiar — Dan Bourdon will return as the head coach of the Analy Tigers football program in the fall. Under head coach James Foster, the Tigers went 1-9 overall last season and finished 0-5 in the NBL-Redwood Division. Bourdon stepped down after the 2016 season, having built an 81-30 overall record and 38-16 run in league play over nine seasons as head coach. Bourdon quarterbacked the Tigers before graduating in 1999. He played at Santa Rosa Junior College and West Virginia Institute of Technology.

Jerod Brown new leader of the Lions

Jerod Brown is the new varsity football coach at El Molino High School. Brown takes over for Randy Parmeter who has led the Lions since 2013. Brown, an El Mo grad, has been an assistant coach for the past five years. He was the junior varsity head coach for two seasons and teaches Spanish and English language development on campus. Brown, who graduated from El Mo in 2009, said he’s “a West County kid through and through.” The Lions finished 5-5 overall and 2-2 in the North Bay League-Redwood Division before advancing to the Division 7 North Coast Section playoffs, where they lost 41-7 in the first round to Willits.

It’s tight at the top

Did we say this race was going to be fun? Analy High knocked off Maria Carrillo Friday in North Bay League-Redwood Division boys soccer, just days after Maria Carrillo upended Piner for the top spot in the division. There is now a pretty tangled mess of good teams knotted near the top of the standings: Piner is 4-1-2; Maria Carrillo is 4-2, Cardinal Newman is 4-2-1 and Analy is 4-3. The second half of the league chase is shaping up to be fierce (and fun).

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