Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Banks Finishes Fifth At State Wrestling

Joey Banks’ hopes for an undefeated wrestling season and a California state championship ended abruptly Saturday when he lost a pair of matches and ended up placing fifth.

The Franklin High School senior  moved through the early rounds of the CIF State Wrestling Championships in Bakersfield  on Friday with one sided victories at 195 pounds. He earned a major decision over Justin Parker of Clovis East, 17-8, in the opening round. Next, came another major decision, a 15-5 win over Connor Cole of Chester. That was followed by a 16-6 victory over Willie Amen of Las Lomas. He capped off Friday with a 3-2 decision over Josh Bailey of Frontier.
Franklin 195-pounder Joey Banks finished fifth
at the State Wrestling Championships Saturday
(photo by David Clarke)

That win placed him into the quarterfinals early Saturday, but that was where Banks’ string of victories came to a halt. The Division I-A and Sac-Joaquin Section Masters champion lost to the eventual state champion, Ian Baker of La Costa Canyon, 4-2.

In his first consolation match, Banks dropped a 3-1 decision to Chandler Ramirez from Archbishop Mitty. That placed him into the fifth-place match and Banks defeated Matt Weiss of Clovis, 7-3.

That finish is the second-highest place of any Franklin wrestler. In 2010, Peter Anguiano was third at 285 pounds.

With his high school athletic career pretty much over, Banks will concentrate on preparing to play football for Sacramento State this fall.

Banks’ Franklin teammate, Josh Villaflor, was out early on the first day of the state championships. Also losing twice in the opening rounds were all three Elk Grove High School state qualifiers – Jacob Seto at 106 pounds, Kelani Tonge at 126 pounds and Sai Ta’amu at 220 pounds.

Ta’amu did win a pair of consolation matches after dropping a decision in the opening round Friday, but lost in his final match of the day to be eliminated from further competition.

There were four state champions from Sac-Jaoquin Section schools. They were brothers Israel and Emilio Saavedra of Modesto High School, Nick Fiegener of Folsom High School and Jeramy Sweany of Vacaville.

Israel won the title at 120 pounds while Emilio was the 138-pound champion. Fiegener took first place at 182 pounds. Sweany, who defeated Elk Grove’s Scott Votino to win at 195 pounds last year, took his second state championship wrestling this year at 220 pounds.

In the team standings, the state championship went to Clovis High School. Vacaville on the strength of Sweany’s championship and a second place by Gionn Peralta at 120 pounds, was fifth in the team standings.

Folsom was 11th overall. The Bulldogs won the Section’s team dual championship this year to go with the school’s basketball team’s Division II title and the football team’s D-II championship.

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