Well, I posted the Northern Region preview earlier today and I’m back for more punishment. This time I will attempt to bring you some information on the Southern Region. But first some general information.
The Regional Qualifiers determine the 32 wrestlers from each weight-class that will go on to compete at the Southern Section Finals. There are 4 Regional Qualifiers, each tournament will send their top 8 wrestlers in each weight-class to the SS Finals.
All 4 qualifiers will take place on the same date and begin at the same time, February 4th, 2017 at 10:00 A.M.
The CIF-SS will not be giving medals or keeping track of team scores as this is only a qualifier (though coaches, wrestlers and parents strongly disagree with this stance).
The Southern Region
The Southern Regional Qualifier will take place at Tustin High School in Tustin. The region is composed of 19 individual leagues. There are a total of 111 schools in the region, putting it in 3rd place, among the regions, in number of schools that could potentially send athletes to compete. Last year, 52 schools sent wrestlers to the qualifiers, making it 3rd, out of the 4 regions, in number of schools participating.
Out of the 112 wrestlers they sent to the Southern Section Finals, 31 of them placed. And, out of those 10 went on to place at state; helping the Southern Section get a total of 44 State placers for 2016.
The school highlighted in yellow ultimately had placers at the Southern Section Finals last year. The schools highlighted in green had placers in both the SS Finals and the State Championships.
The leagues (in bold) and schools are as follows:
Santa Ana Valley
Calvary Chapel/Santa Ana
Corona del Mar
St. John Bosco
(Crestview & North Hills Leagues)
COAST VIEW CONFERENCE
(Sea View & South Coast Leagues)
San Juan Hills
There are 51 wrestlers in this region that are currently ranked. The following wrestlers are all but guaranteed a spot in the Southern-Section Finals. It is up to the unranked wrestlers to correct these presumptions.
All placings listed for last year took place at the qualifiers unless they are in bold which denotes placings at sectional finals or state championships.
- Makayla Rydbeck (Esperanza) is making waves as a ninth grader and has attended most of the high-visibility tournaments this season. She is ranked 9th in the section
- Liz Mata (Millikan) placed 5th at last year’s regional. She is currently ranked 10th in the section.
- Alaura Couch (Kennedy) took 3rd last year. She is ranked 12th in the section.
- Emily Peraza (Segerstrom) doesn’t have a postseason track record but has been doing enough work this season to get the 16th spot in the section rankings.
- Renise Rodriguez (Ocean View) is another relative unknown that has been putting in time at several tournaments this season garnering her the 18th spot in the rankings
- Katherine Gonzales (Millikan) took second last year at 111 pounds. This season she is making her mark in the 106-pound class and is ranked 5th in the section.
- Onnalaya Aguilera (Santa Ana) is ranked 8th in the section thanks to consistent placings at the tournaments she has competed in.
- Riha Prasad (Santa Monica) took 5th at last year’s qualifier and went on to take 7th at the Section Finals. Ranked 2nd in the section, she should be expected to improve her placing this year.
- Ariel Guzman (Savanna) took 4th last year but did not place at the Section Finals. She is ranked 4th in the section and will look to have a better showing all around.
- Jackie Lopez (Tustin) did not place at the regionals last year but should be able to make her presence felt this time around. She is currently ranked 12th in section.
- Alisa Adanza (Beckman) took 2nd at 101 last year. This year she has moved up a couple of weight-classes and has earth the 15th spot in the section rankings.
- Deysi Chona (Santa Ana) took 1st at 101 last year. She too, like Adanza has made the jump to 111. Her loss to Adanza explains her current standing in the rankings at number 17.
- Gwen McDonald (Esperanza) took 1st at last year’s qualifiers and then followed it up with a 7th place finish at the SS Finals. Her current ranking is 3rd in the section.
- Angie Gonzalez (Paramount) was just behind Mcdonald at the qualifiers last year, coming in 2nd. Her season came to an early end due to an injury preventing her from placing at the Section Finals. She currently ranked 4th in the SS.
- Kimberlin Benegas (Millikan) came in 3rd last year and is ranked 7th in the section.
- Yesenia Bustos (Santa Ana) wrestled at 106 pounds last season. Her season ended at the qualifiers but this year at her new weight she has garnered the 8th spot in the rankings and should be expected to make it to the Section Finals.
- Priscilla Surjopolos (Gahr) took 4th at last year’s qualifier and went on to take 5th at the SS Finals. She currently ranked 10th in the section.
- Sabina Kwimbe (Savanna) earned the 7th spot at the qualifiers last season. She is currently ranked 13th in the section.
- Heavynne Jerez (Los Alamitos) is wrestler to beat at 121 in the Southern Region. She is the only section-ranked wrestler in the weight class (#13)
- Jacqueline Alcantara (Godinez) is ranked 4th in the SS. Last year she took 2nd at the regional qualifier.
- Erica Quiroz (Savanna) took fist at 121 last season and then took 6th at the Section Finals. She will undoubtedly try to prove she is better than her ranking at number 7 implies.
- Sharnyle Gonzales (Millikan) took 2nd last year but has only recently attended a ranking tournament. She currently sits in the 8th spot in the rankings.
- Kairah Cantillo (Segerstrom) came in 3rd last year and is ranked 10th in the section.
- Destiny Gonzalez (Kennedy) did not place at last year’s qualifier but she has been putting in some solid performances this season. As a result, she is ranked 14th in the SS.
- Aine Drury (Westminster) is ranked 4th in the section as a result of defeating Moreno Valley’s Genesis Miranda, who took 8th in the Section Finals last year.. Pretty impressive for a newcomer.
- Kelly Santiago (Millikan) took 5th at last year’s qualifier and is currently ranked 8th in the weight-class.
- Alexandria Alers (Buena Park) did not place at last year’s qualifier but her hard work this season has earned her the 15th spot in the rankings.
- Lorena Egea (University) took 5th at 131 pounds last year.She then followed it up with another 5th place at the Southern Section Finals. She currently ranked number 2 in the 137 pound weight-class.
- Madison Camp (Kennedy) has racked up some impressive wins as a ninth grader and as a result has been rewarded with the number 4 spot in the rankings.
- Karamia Guzman (Cypress) took 4th at the qualifier last year and then earned a 5th place finish at the SS Finals. Look for her to attempt to prove she is better than her number 6 ranking would lead you to believe.
- Vanessa Lopez (Katella) is another wrestler that wants to show she is better than her ranking implies (#7). Last year she came in 3rd at the regional and took 7th the at the SS Finals.
- Sarah Gunter (Esperanza) dropped down to 137 this season. Last year she placed 7th at 143. She currently ranked 13th.
- Lizbeth Sugia (Paramount) also dropped down from 143 where she placed 3rd at the qualifier. She is ranked 15th in the section, behind Gunter after losing a head-to-head to her via decision.
- Stephanie Arriaga (Millikan) came in 5th place at 150 pounds at last year’s qualifier. She also took 8th at the Section Finals. She is currently ranked 5th.
- Kayla Czelusniak (Kennedy) wrestled at 137 pounds last season where she took 5th at the regional. Unfortunately, her season came to an early end during the first round of the Section finals by way of injury. She is ranked 7th.
- Skylar Cerny (Gahr) has shown enough promise, in the three ranking tournaments in which she has participated, that the ranking team has deemed her worthy of the 14th spot in the section rankings.
- Sasha Medvidovic (Mira Costa) is the number 2 ranked wrestler in the state at 150 pounds. She earned that distinction by coming in 3rd at the regional, 3rd at the Section Finals and 3rd at the State Championships. She is currently ranked 1st in the section. However, she has yet to compete in any tournaments this season.
- Angie Vu (Ocean View) came in 7th place at the qualifiers last year while competing for Fountain Valley High School. She is currently ranked 11th at 150.
- Samantha Salas (Godinez) came in 4th place at 150 pounds last year. She then went on to take 5th at the Southern Section Finals. She is ranked 4th in the section.
- Sofia Perez (Millikan) took 1st place at the qualifier last season and has had some solid performances this season which has earned her the 5th spot in the rankings.
- Carolina Moreno (San Clemente) took 5th at the qualifier last year. This season she is ranked 17th at 160.
- Layla Donahue (Dana Hills) is a newcomer that has impressed the ranking team enough to garner the number 18 spot in the section rankings.
- Melissa Moreno (Beckman) may be new to the postseason but she is the one to beat. Being ranked at number 7 she is the highest ranked wrestler the region has at this weight.
- Tristyn Bretana (Aliso Niguel) took 7th at the regional qualifier last year. Her head-to-head loss to Moreno relegates her to the 8th spot in the SS rankings. Look for her to attempt to avenge that loss.
- Samantha Escobedo (Villa Park) is a newcomer who has placed high at the 2 ranking tournaments she has participated in. She ranked 9th in the section. Look for her to play spoiler to Moreno and Bretana,
- Sierra Adams-Gregory (Millikan) placed 4th at last season’s qualifier, 5th at the Section Finals and 6th at the State Championships. She currently ranked 2nd in the section.
- Amara Devericks (San Clemente) placed 3rd at the qualifier and 7th at the Section Finals last year. She is ranked 4th in the SS.
- Jurnee Frazier (Long Beach Poly) placed 2nd in the regional qualifier and 3rd at the SS Finals. She ranked 5th in the section. She will undoubtedly attempt to show that her wrestling is superior to that of the two wrestlers ranked higher than her.
- Yadjaira Valencia (Cypress) took 2nd at regional qualifier and 7th at the Section Finals as a freshman. Look for this sophomore to continue to improve and go out to prove she is better than the section ranking she currently has (9th).
- Evelyn Pablo (Magnolia) came in 5th at last year’s qualifier. She is presently ranked 11th in the section.
- Elizabeth Saleapaga (Paramount) this young wrestler may not have a postseason resume but she has been doing quite a bit of competing. Her hard work has garnered her the 15th spot in the section rankings for this weight.
With so many wrestlers being ranked in some of the weights and the looming threat of a dark horse swooping in at any given moment, the possibility of multiple upsets is very tangible. This qualifier promises to be electrifying.
Once again, I want to acknowledge the amazing efforts of Coach Ric Martinez and his team in doing the rankings and providing corroborating evidence along with background information on every single wrestler that makes the rankings list. Without them I could not provide even a tenth of the information I shared in this posting.
If you find any mistakes please contact me and I will correct them, if they are mistakes. Differences of opinion will always be respected and welcome in the comments section.