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CALIFORNIA STATE CHAMPIONS 1977-78, 1983, 1985, 1988, 1992, 2002 | CALIFORNIA STATE DUAL CHAMPIONS 1975-76, 1991, 1995, 1999, 2002, 2007

2016 Schedule-Results-Roster | Coaches | 2014 Season | 2013 | 2012 | 2011

2016 Season ...

Comets 3rd at Cuesta, 1st among SoCal teams

SAN LUIS OBISPO (10-21-2016)  -- Facing the other top teams in California, Palomar's wrestlers finished third among 23 teams at the prestigious Meathead Movers Invitational hosted by Cuesa College on Saturday.

Defending state champion Sacramento City College won the tournament with 159 points, followed by runner-up Fresno City College (132 points). Palomar, the top Southern California finisher, was third with 128.5 points.

 Mt. SAC (94) and Bakersfield (72.5) rounded out the top five. Santa Ana, Chabot, Cuesta, East Los Angeles and West Hills Lemoore finished sixth through 10th. The Palomar B team finished 15th with 132.5 points.

Undefeated returning state community college champion Seville Hayes (left) led the Comets' performance as he won the heavyweight title, defeating East Los Angeles' Brandon Sotomayor in the finals.

Palomar's other place-winners were Alberto Garcia (second place behind Fresno's Aaron Mora at 133 pounds), Josh Lawson (second to Santa Ana's Andrew Gomez at 141), Bruce Valdez (second behind Bakersfield's Julio Fuentes at 184), Jake Schaeffer (third at 133), Eric Reyes (third at 141), Miguel Flores (fourth at 141), Cameron Cox (fourth at 149) and Alex Gomez (fifth at 197).

The Comets will host Mt. SAC in a Southwest Conference match on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. in The Dome.

Palomar heavyweight Seville Hayes (top photo) and 133-pounder Jake Schaeffer (middle photo) and Alex Gomez (directly above) manhandle their Mt. SAC opponents at Saturday's Southern California Duals Championships in The Dome). Hayes won by technical fall over Guillermo Padilla 20-5. Schaeffer decisioned Roy Galvan, the Tech-Fall California Community College Wrestler of the Week for the first week of October, by an 8-4 score. Gomez decisioned Barnabas Yi 5-1 -- Photos by Charlie Neuman


Comets salvage third place in SoCal Duals

SAN MARCOS (10-15-2016) -- Palomar's wrestling squad fell agonizingly short of advancing to the championship match in the Southern California Community College duals on Saturday at The Dome.

But the Comets regrouped and came back to finish third in the tournament, which qualifies the winning team to advance to the CCCAA State Dual Championship match against the Northern California champion for the state dual match title.

Palomar opened the tournament with a 36-9 victory over Rio Hondo, then lost a tough decision to Mt. SAC 20-17 in the championship semifinals when the Comets' Brandon McCurdy dropped a  heart-breaker in sudden-death overtime by two points when George Torres surprised him with a takedown. If McCurdy would have won, the Comets instead of the Mounties would have moved on to the championship match against Cerritos.

As it was, Mt. SAC advanced, losing to the Falcons 21-15. Cerritos, the only other team to defeat the Comets this season, will face the Northern California Duals winner for the state duals championship.

Palomar came right back to beat West Hills-LeMoore 50-0 in the third-place semifinals, then defeated Santa Ana 39-9 to take home third place.

The Comets' winners on Saturday:

Palomar 36, Rio Hondo 9 -- McCurdy (forfeit win at 125), Jake Schaeffer (17-0 technical fall at 133), Jesse Diaz (8-3 decision at 149), Cameron Cox (9-1 major decision at 157), Bruce Valdez (18-3 technical fall at 184), Seville Hayes (13-1 major decision at heavyweight

Mt. SAC 20, Palomar 17 -- Schaeffer (8-4 decision at 133), Eric Reyes (5-3 decision at 141), Bruce Valdez (5-2 decision at 184), Alex Gomez (6-1 decision at 197), Hayes (20-5 technical fall at heavyweight)

Palomar 50, West Hills Lemoore 0 -- McCurdy (6-0 decision at 125), Schaeffer (6-4 win at 133), Alberto Garcia (15-3 major decision at 141), Diaz (2-0 decision at 149), Cox (4-0 decision at 157), McDannold 3-2 decision at 165), Lee Valdez (13-4 major decision at 174), Bruce Valdez (forfeit at 184), Dion Wilson (5-0 decision at 197), Hayes (forfeit at heavyweight)

Palomar 39, Santa Ana 9 -- McCurdy (11-3 major decision at 125), Schaeffer (pin at 133), Cox (pin at 157), McDannold (pin at 165), Lee Valdez (6-4 decision at 174), Bruce Valdez (21-4 technical fall at 184), Gomez (forfeit at 197), Hayes (7-3 decision at heavyweight)

Schaeffer honored as Athlete of the Week

SAN DIEGO (10-17-2016) -- Palomar wrestler Jake Schaeffer and Comet women's soccer player Grace Busby have been honored as Men's and Women's Athletes of the Week, respectively for the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference for the week that ended Sunday.

Schaeffer, the Comets' sophomore 133-pounder out of Otay Rancho High School, defeated four straight opponents as coach Brady Barrios' squad placed third in the Southern California Duals Tournament at The Dome.

Schaeffer, last year's state community college 125-pound champion as a freshman, won by technical fall 17-0 in the Comets' 36-9 victory over Rio Hondo, won by 8-4 decision in a 20-17 loss to Mt. SAC in the championship semifinals, won by 6-4 decision in a 5-0 win over West Hills Lemoore in the third-place semifinal match, and won by pin in Palomar's 39-9 win over Santa Ana in the third-place match.

Although Palomar wrestles in the Southern California Wrestling Alliance's Southwest Conference, the PCAC is the Comets' home athletic conference.

TOP TWO PHOTOS: Palomar's defending state heavyweight champion and Currently No. 1-ranked Seville Hayes, who pinned No. 2 state-ranked David Zavala from Cerritos in the final match of the night. DIRECTLY ABOVE: Jake Shaeffer (left photo) controls the Falcons' Anthony Vargas in the 133-pound bout. Shaeffer won 2-0. The Comets' Cameron Cox (center photo) dominates Dlylan Moreno in a 7-1 decision victory. Bruce Valdez (right photo)decisions the Falcons' Isaiah Leyva 10-6. -- Photos by Charlie Neuman

Hayes pin winner but Cerritos smacks PC

SAN MARCOS (10-12-2016) -- Cerritos College, ranked No. 1 among California community college wrestling teams, made a statement Wednesday night against state No. 2 Palomar. But, on the flip side, the Comets' defending state heavyweight champion, Seville Hayes, delivered an equally dominating statement of his own.

The Falcons, who came in with an 8-0 dual record and the team title at the West Hills Tournament under their belts, won four matches by fall and a fifth by technical fall to stun the Comets 35-15 in a Southwest Conference opener in The Dome. Palomar entered the match with a 3-0 dual record and the team championship at the Santa Ana Tournament, where Cerritos finished 24 points behind the Comets in third place.

The statement made by Hayes, the state No. 1-ranked heavyweight, was equally stunning. Squaring off against the Falcons' state No. 2-ranked heavyweight David Zavala in the final bout of the night, the Marine veteran, who dominated the heavyweight division in the state last year, shocked Zavala with 2:54 left in the third period.

Hayes slammed him to the mat with a lighning-bolt attack neither Zavala nor anyone else in The Dome ever saw coming, then almost immediately pinned him.

This came out of nowhere after the two had circled around each other and traded slaps for almost the entire period.

Going into the feature match of the night, the Comets had won three other bouts by decision (state No. 2-ranked Jake Shaeffer by a 2-0 score over Cerritos' state No. 3 Anthony Vargas at 133 pounds, unranked Cameron Cox by 7-1 over state No. 5 Dylan Moreno at 157 and Bruce Valdez by 10-6 over Isaiah Leyva at 184).

In Palomar's most stunning setback of the evening, state No. 2-ranked Blake Vasquez pinned the Comets' previously unbeaten (at 8-0) and state No. 2-ranked Braulio Banuelos in the second period. This came shortly after Vasquez, who was trailing, scored a point on an escape. As a surprised Banuelos, with his back to Vasquez, let up let up briefly as the official signaled the escape, Vasquez charged the ex-Poway High School standout and ex-Marine, decking him near the edge of the mat. Banuelos landed awkwardly part-way out of bounds as his knee buckled.

After an injury timeout, Banuelos limped back out to resume the match but suffered his first loss as Vasquez managed to take him down and then pinned him. The injury did not appear to be serious, but Banuelos' avalability for Saturday's Southern California Duals Championships the Comets will host in The Dome beginning at 10 a.m. is not known.

PC wins tournament; Banuelos MVP

SANTA ANA (10-01-2016) -- Led by weight-class winners Braulio Banuelos, the upper weight MVP, and Chance Eskam, Palomar's wrestlers won the 24-team Santa Ana Tournament on Saturday.

Coach Brody Barrios' Comets placed all 10 wrestlers and finished the tournament with 124 points, winning by 19 points over runner-up Mt. SAC which edged third-place Cerritos 105 to 102.

Sacramento City College (80 points), Bakersfield (69), Fresno City College (65.5), Santa Ana (55), East Los Angeles (38), Rio Hondo (34) and West Hills (34) rounded out the top 10 teams. Palomar's B team took 11th place.

Banuelos, a freshman from Poway High School, won the 174-pound title, decisioning Armon Fayazzi from Santa Ana 4-1 in the finals. Banuelos recorded 2 falls and 2 decisions for the day and is now 8-0 on the season.

Eskam, a transfer from Arizona State, won the heavyweight gold medal. He won by default over Palomar teammate Seville Hayes, the defending state community college heavyweight champion. By one of the two Comets defaulting, they did not have to face each other in the championship bout.

The other Palomar top-four place winners were Jake Shaeffer (second at 133 pounds), Sean McDannold (second at 157), Bruce Valdez (second at 184), Brandon McCjurdy (third at 125) and Alberto Garcia (fourth at 141).

 PC rolls unbeaten through Mt. SAC Duals

WALNUT (9-17-2016) -- Coach Brody Barrios' Palomar wrestling team, looking to improve on its fourth-place finish in last year's CCCAA State Tournament, opened the 2016 season in imposing fashion on Saturday.

The Comets outscored three opposing teams 137-10 in going 3-0 on the day. Palomar defeated Sierra 54-0, Bakersfield 48-0 and Santa Ana 35-10.

Including an exhibition against opponents from the other teams in the tournament in which no team scoring was kept, four Palomar wrestlers swept to four victories on the day.

Defending state heavyweight champion Seville Hayes (above left) from Mar Vista High and the U.S. Marine Corps, freshman 174-pounder Braulio Banuelos from Poway High, sophomore 133-pounder Jake Schaeffer (above right) from Otay Ranch High and freshman 125-pounder Brandon McCurdy (125). All four finished the day 4-0, with Banuelos pinning all his opponents.

2015 Season ...

Palomar 184-pounder Alex Graves (left) and Comet heavyweight Seville Hayes (right) get their hands raised in victory after their first-place finishes in the CCCAA State Championships on Saturday night in Fresno. -- Courtesy photos by John Sachs

Graves (20-5 tech fall), Hayes both win state

FRESNO (12-12-2015) -- Palomar's Alex Graves became Palomar's first California community college state wrestling champion in eight years on Saturday night, manhandling Santa Rosa's Jhaylyn Hall in the 184-pound title match at the CCCAA State Championships via technical fall 20-5.

Graves was joined two bouts later by Palomar freshman heavyweight Seville Hayes, who decisioned Cerritos' Jesse Gomez 3-2 to win the Comets' second gold medal of the night. Their performances led Palomar to fourth in team scoring out of 20 colleges in the tournament hosted by Fresno City College.

The state titles are the first for the Comets, which dominated the community college level in California in the 1980s, since Lewis Gonzales captured the 165-pound championship in 2007. The last time Palomar won two weight-class championships was in 2003.

Graves, a sophomore out of San Marcos High School, had the most dominant first period in the two-day tournament, registering six takedowns and a pair of near-falls en route to an 18-5 lead after three minutes. He ended the match just 14 seconds in the second period with a takedown for the technical fall.

Hayes, a freshman out of Mar Vista High School via the U.S. Marine Corps, denied Cerritos' Gomez a state title in Gomez's second straight state championship-match appearance. Gomez also placed second in the heavyweight class last season, to Cerritos teammate Robert Chism.

Graves, who finished third at 184 in last year's state tournament, advanced to the title match by pinning Sacramento City College's Nick Rorer in 1:02 in the semifinals earlier in the day.

Hayes decisioned D'Juan Ewing-Smalls from Sacramento City College 3-2 in his semifinal match.

The Comets' Chris Kimball was decisioned by Cerritos' Anthony Vargas 3-2 in the 133-pound semis.

Two Palomar wrestlers took home third places in the state in Saturday morning's session. Jake Schaefer turned back Chabot's Darren Nguyen by major decision 10-2 at 133 pounds. Alex Gallo decisioned Skyline's Stephen Martin 6-5 at 174.

Also for the Comets, Kimball and 165-pouder Louie De La Torre both took sixth places. Kimball dropped a 5-4 decision to Sacramento's Isaac Pilgrim in the 133-pound fifth-place match, while De La Torre was decisioned by Rio Hondo's Roger Arce 4-1 for fifth place at 165.

Palomar's Raul Briseno pinned Rio Hondo's Josh Escobedo in 3:43 for seventh place at 197 pounds. Erik Collin settled for eighth place at 165 when he was pinned by Shasta's Jamal Halvorson in 4:15 in the seventh-place match.

Sacramento City College took home the state team championship with 158 points, followed by Fresno City College (137 points) in second, 2014 state team champion Cerritos (116 points) in third, the Comets (106.5 points) in fourth place and this year's state duals champion Mt. SAC (85.5 points) fifth in the 20-team field.

The top five teams were followed in order by Santa Ana (61.5) in sixth place, Modesto (50.5) in seventh, Santa Rosa (43.5) in eighth, Bakersfield (41.5) in ninth, West Hills-Lemoore (36.5) in 10th, Rio Hondo (36) in 11th, Sierra (27) in 12th, Cuesta (25) in 13th, Skyline (24) in 14th, Shasta (22.5) in 15th, Chabot (19.6) in 15th, East Los Angeles (17) in 17th, Lasen (5) in 18th, and San Joaquin Delta and Victor Valley both with 0 points.


2016 Schedule and Results

Date Match Site Time / Result
Sat Sep 17 Mt. SAC Duals Mt. San Antonio College, Walnut -----
  Sierra   WON 54-0
  Bakersfield   WON 48-0
  Santa Ana   WON 35-10
Sat Oct 1 Santa Ana Tournament Santa Ana College 1ST OF 24 TEAMS
Wed Oct 12 Cerritos The Dome Lost 15-35
Sat Oct 15 CCCAA Southern California Duals The Dome 3RD OF 10 TEAMS
  Rio Hondo   WON 39-9
  Mt. SAC   Lost 17-20
  West Hills LeMoore   WON 50-0
  Santa Ana   WON 39-9
Sat Oct 22 Meathead Movers Tournament Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo 3RD OF 23 TEAMS
Wed Oct 26 Mt. SAC-+ The Dome 7:30 p.m.
Wed Nov 2 Santa Ana-+ Santa Ana College 7:30 p.m.
Wed Nov 9  Rio Hondo Rio Hondo College, Whittier 7 p.m. 
Sat Nov 19 East Los Angeles Tournament East L.A. College, Monterey Park 9 a.m.
Sat Dec 3 Southern California  Regionals Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo 9 a.m.
CCCAA State Championships Victor Valley College, Victorville 4th place (of 20 teams)

Home Matches in Bold

x-Southern California Wrestling Association Southwest Conference Match

2016 Roster

Name Wt Yr High School / Other College or Military
Braulio Banuelos 174 Fr Poway (Poway, CA) / U.S. Marine Corps
Cameron Cox 157 Fr Dos Pueblos (Goleta, CA)
Jesse Diaz 149 Fr Holtville (Holtville, CA)
Chance Eskam Hwt Fr Carlsbad (Carlsbad, CA) / Arizona State University
Miguel Flores 141 So San Ysidro (San Ysidro, CA)
Robert Flores  ---- Fr Oceanside (Oceanside, CA)
Chris Franklin ----- Fr Fallbrook (Fallbrook, CA)
Mark Galisbo  ----- Fr Imperial (Imperial, CA)
Alberto Garcia ----- So Orange Glen (Escondido, CA)
Robert Garcia  ----- Fr Palo Verde (Blythe, CA)
Alex Gomez 197 So Ramona (Ramona, CA)
Seville Hayes Hwt So Mar Vista (Imperial Beach, CA) / U.S. Marine Corps
Lucas Howes ---- Fr Army-Navy Academy (Carlsbad, CA)
Chris Kimball 149 So San Marcos (San Marcos, CA)
Josh Lawson  141 So Vista (Vista, CA)
Brandon McCurdy  125 Fr Otay Ranch (Chula Vista, CA)
Sean McDannold  165 Fr Rancho Buena Vista (Vista, CA)
Zack Moistner 125 Fr Fallbrook (Fallbrook, CA)
Kameron Morones 157 Fr Paso Robles (Paso Robles, CA)
Eric Reyes 141 Fr Beaumont (Beaumont, CA)
Jake Schaeffer 133 So Otay Ranch (Chula Vista, CA)
Trevor Torres   Fr Paso Robles (Paso Robles, CA)
Bruce Valdez 184 Fr Beaumont (Beaumont, CA)
Lee Valdez 165 Fr Beaumont (Beaumont, CA)
Dion Wilson 197 Fr Palo Verde (Blythe, CA)


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