In February, it looked as if there would be no competitive season at all for the Northgate Wrestling team, due to the Covid pandemic. As conditions improved, Bay Area wrestling coaches were able to pull together dual meet competitions, being creative – including outdoor events. Northgate hosted Liberty H.S. on May 22, with the dual meet taking place under the lights on the Northgate football field – a fantastic experience for the team!
Despite no post season tournaments or sanctioned CIF state championships, wrestling leaders in Fresno organized a California State Finals Invitational Championship tournament on June 11-12, including the top wrestlers in the state – by invitation only. Most weight classes included 20 to 25 of the top 40 ranked wrestlers in the state. Two Northgate wrestlers were invited to participate in this prestigious event – senior Captain Nic
LeSieur (197 lbs.) and junior Captain Angelo Esposito (162 lbs.). Nic went 4-2 in the two-day tournament, with three pins, finishing in 7th place by pinning a higher ranked opponent in a wild match to cap off a tremendous high school wrestling career. Nic will be continuing his academic and wrestling pursuits at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in the fall. Angelo went 5-2 in the tournament and placed 5th – beating wrestlers ranked #14, #17 and #23 in the state and finishing ahead of three other wrestlers ranked in the top 15 in CA. Angelo will be back next year with a goal of reaching the podium at the official CIF Championships next March. Congrats guys on a fantastic accomplishment!
By Mike Wenzell, Northgate Wrestling Coach, Resident since 1995