Viking grapplers take first in Lodi

By: Nick Pecoraro
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The Oakmont wrestling team is looking to pick up where it left off last season. After the first tournament of the season, the Vikings appear to be destined for a deep run into February.

Saturday, Oakmont kicked off 2018 with a bang, winning the Rod Gaines Invitational at Tokay High School in Lodi for the second consecutive year.

The Vikings featured champions at six different weights, including Jake Stone, Danny Myles, Sean Myles, Henry Ganzorig, Ben Murphy and Kyle Obien.

“We’re looking good,” said head coach Will Stone, who has coached the Vikings since 2013. “We’re off to a pretty good start. We have a bunch of young kids that are pretty talented. I think the results from the Tokay tournament this weekend showed that.”

Junior Jake Stone, Will’s son, returns as a CIF Division II Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Champion and State qualifier as a sophomore last season. Wrestling at 106, Stone scored a victory before he could reach the state quarterfinals.

Murphy, Obien and Sean Myles also reached the Masters Tournament a year ago, bringing back a wealth of valuable postseason experience into 2018. Oakmont enters the newly formed Foothill Valley League with Ponderosa, Lincoln, Placer, Nevada Union and Rio Linda.

“I think we have a good chance of winning league if all our guys continue to buy into what were selling,” Coach Stone said.

Coach Stone and assistant David Klingsheim, a four-time CIF State medalist who is also affiliated with Team Alpha Male of MMA lore, plan to have their grapplers supremely conditioned.

“There’s nobody out there that’s going to outwork us,” Stone said. “We run one of the toughest conditioning programs in the area. Other teams maybe more experienced, but no one will outwork us on the mat.”

Next up for the Vikings is the Mark Fuller Invitational this Saturday at Lincoln High School, which will also feature top wrestlers from Placer, Antelope, Roseville, Wheatland, Cosumnes Oaks, Jesuit, Davis, Folsom and more.