The Bakersfield College Wrestling team opens their 2017 campaign with the traditional Bakersfield Duals meet on Saturday, September 9th, at 9am.
BC will host Cerritos College, Moorpark College, Santa Ana College, and West Hills College Saturday in dual tourney action and one of those teams will be full of athletes who've never worn their school's colors before.
That's because Moorpark reinstated it's program this season for the first time since budget cuts forced them to roll up their mats back in 2009.
But the Renegades won't let the novelty of a "new" team distract them; several wrestlers have unfinished business from season's past including Marco Velasquez.
Velasquez too is making a return after an abscence, following a 7th place finish at 125 pounds in 2014, he spent a couple of years focusing on family and studies before returning last season to redshirt and get back in wrestling shape.
"He had a tough cut down to 125s in 2014. This season, he'll start out at 141 and we'll see how things proceed," Coach Marcos Austin said.
He could have his hands full if he decides to drop a weight class and make a run at 133s.
Pedro Corona quietly put together an impressive season in 2016, capping his run off with a remarkable All-American finish at the CCCAA State Championships by grabbing the fourth spot against steep odds.
"He wrestled West Hills' Adrian Marruffo six times last season, and he lost to him five times. But that sixth match, West Hills was fighting for a takedown in the closing seconds of the match, and Petey fought him off! So as time expires, the kid still has Petey's leg, but he's got his arm raised. It was an amazing sight. Just a tough, tough, win," Austin said.
Marrufo and Corona could have their seventh showdown Saturday when BC takes on West Hills.
Sophomore Zavion Roberson also shows potential to make noise at the only tournament that matters in wrestling; the state championships.
"Zavion placed in the top eight in the Southern California Regional last season, and that was the first time he broke into the top ten rankings all season," Austin said, "Then he showed up at state ready to wrestle and was a placer at 8th."
Action begins at 9am in the Gil Bishop Sports Center.