PALMDALE — Typically the Quartz Hill and Highland wrestling teams face each other in the final Golden League dual meet of the regular season to determine the league championship.
This has not been a typical wrestling season in the Golden League. Quartz Hill entered the match with one loss, while Highland had two losses.
Quartz Hill dominated the match against Highland, winning the first eight weight classes en route to a 59-22 victory on Tuesday night at Highland High School.
“For not having four of our guys in the lineup, from being starting the dual very, very pessimistic about the outcome and seeing these kids rise up, like they did. That was great,” Quartz Hill coach Ron Coleman said. “I’ve been a part of many, many duals. That’s not one of the ones that will go down in the analogs of history, but for us, it was exciting. That was kids stepping up and filling in where other kids were out and putting it all on their shoulders. It’s what every coach preaches. ‘Next guy up.’ Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?”
The Royals (6-1) won six of the first seven matches on pins.
Quartz Hill junior Evan Sepanlou started the Royals off at 152 points, winning 17-3.
“I feel like I did OK. I could have done better,” Sepanlou said. “Wanted to finish it out with a pin, to get more team points, but ended up with a tech, so can’t be too mad.
“Going into the postseason, I feel like this whole year I kind of wrestled conservative and I kind of want to just let it fly and see how far I can go with it, obviously make it to State and just have fun with the sport, because I feel a lot of the time I get lost in trying to max everything.”
Quartz Hill’s Tyler Townhill followed with a second-period pin at 160 pounds.
Quartz Hill’s Nathan Strean had a second-period pin at 170 pounds, Chris Rinkenberger had a second-period pin at 182 pounds and Franky Rosado had a third-period pin at 195.
Quartz Hill sophomore Jayden Baer gave the Royals a 35-0 lead overall with a first-period pin at 220.
Baer, who is a football player, is in his fourth week of wrestling.
“I feel like I did pretty good. The person I was going against, he’s really good,” Baer said. “A lot of the wrestlers were trying to get me to come out my freshman year when I was playing basketball. I dropped the weight and I’m here now. Pretty cool. Fun. I wish I had done it a lot sooner.
“I’m not trying to be big about it. I’m trying to stay humble about it and just have fun.”
Quartz Hill senior Matthew Caram followed with a second-period pin at 285 pounds.
“I am ecstatic,” Caram said. “I’ve been training really hard this season. My goal is State. CIF. Masters. State. I really want to get there. I train for almost four hours a day now. I attend three different practices, so I’m really trying to there.
“I’m feeling really good. I’m feeling really confident. I feel like I’m the best I’ve been so far in my high school career, but that said, I’m still going to get better. Next week, I’m going to have even more power. I’m going to do even better.”
Quartz Hill’s Evan Lutgen had a forfeit victory at 106 pounds, giving the Royals a 47-0 lead overall.
Highland’s Jared Mendoza got the first win for the Bulldogs, scoring a first-period pin at 113 pounds.
“Just disappointing,” Highland coach Tim DeVestern said. “Every match that we lost by pin, we were actually winning the match. On the mat, we were wrestling better. It just came down to getting on our back and getting stuck. We just can’t get on our back and get stuck. When we are on our feet, we were wrestling better. Points-wise, we were winning the match. When we got on our backs, we lost.
“Ready for individuals now.”
Quartz Hill’s Steven Valencia answered with a first-period pin at 120 pounds.
Highland sophomore Aidan Serrato scored a 14-3 victory at 126 pounds.
Quartz Hill’s Peyton McCanna had a second-period pin at 132 pounds.
Highland senior Uriah Ross had a first-period pin at 138 pounds and Highland’s Jordan Zavala had a forfeit win at 145 pounds, as the Royals conceded the final match of the meet.
Quartz Hill and Highland did not face each other last season, as the Royals dealt with the Coronavirus.
Quartz Hill and Highland both lost to Lancaster during the regular season, while the Bulldogs also lost to Littlerock.
The playoff pairings will be announced on Thursday for the CIF-Southern Section Dual Meet Championships.
The Golden League is in Division 5, which will compete at Western High School on Saturday.
The Golden League Finals are Feb. 4 at Antelope Valley High School, with the top four in each weight class qualifying for the CIF-Southern Section Coastal Division Championship at Westminster High School on Feb. 10 and 11. The top five in each weight class qualifying for the Masters Meet.