All about the CIF state wrestling championships (and the football players who did well there) plus early-season baseball surprises, an early-season softball showdown and even a little snowboarding in the latest edition of the best prep notes column in the state.

•Wrestlers don't dream of last-second heroics the way basketball players do. But the equivalent of the buzzer-beating jumper is the clutch take down with the clock winding down in the third period of a match in which a wrestler goes from being one point behind to one point ahead. That happened three times at last Saturday's CIF state wrestling championships at the Spanos Center in Stockton and two of them had a direct impact on the overall team title. If both had not happened, Poway would have won the team title. But both did happen, so Clovis won the team title, the seventh in school history and now tied with Santa Ana Calvary Chapel for first on the all-time state list.

•In the 215-pound final, Tyler Clutts of the Cougars trailed Chris Campbell of Vista, 4-3, with less than 30 seconds left. But with 20 seconds left, Clutts got the takedown and held on for a 5-4 win. Earlier, Poway's Pat Payne was ahead 4-3 in the waning seconds of the 140-pound final against Clovis West's Chris Martinez. The Golden Eagle then sent fans from his rival school into a frenzy by scoring with just one second left and winning 5-4. That pretty much sealed the deal for Clovis finishing ahead of Poway in the team standings.

•The only pin of the finals was by Joe Williams of Calvary Chapel at 189 pounds over Corning's Dustin Rogers. Williams was a champion last year at 171 and was voted the Champion of Champions award by the rest of the state champions. Also winning for a second straight year were juniors Troy Tirapelle of Clovis and Nathan Morgan of Bakersfield. Tirapelle repeated at 130 pounds. Morgan won at 125 where he moved up from 112 last year. He beat last year's 119-pound champ, Gabe Flores of Clovis, by 4-2 in a much-anticipated final.

•The highlight of the night for Poway was Paul Baird taking the 152-pound crown after winning a 145 a year ago. Baird didn't get a two-point takedown in the closing seconds for a come-from-behind win, but he did score on an escape with one second left to break a tie with Jake Varner of Bakersfield for a 7-6 win.

•This was the last year the CIF will hold its state wrestling championships in Stockton. The event is moving next year to the Centennial Gardens in Bakersfield, which will seat about 4,000 more and has state-of-the-art jumbotrons and scoreboards.

•Football fans should pay almost as much attention to the CIF state wrestling championships as wrestling fans. Oregon State-bound lineman Kyle Devan of Vacaville came through in the heavyweight division for a state title and Devan did it by knocking off defending champion Arturo Basulto of Arroyo Grande, 7-3, in the final. Earlier in the day, Devan clipped Nicola Dragovic of Rancho Buena Vista, 7-6. Dragovic, a UCLA lineman recruit, wound up with a third-place medal.

•Clutts' clutch win in the 215-pound final showed why he might be one of toughest QBs who's ever played the position in the state. The only QB we remember being that good in wrestling was Jason Verduzco of Antioch, but Verduzco wasn't as big as Clutts. Hall of Fame QB Jim Plunkett was an outstanding wrestler when he was at James Lick High of San Jose, but there were no state wrestling meets in the 1960s and its doubtful Plunkett would have won a state title anyway. Clutts quarterbacked the Cougars to a Central Section title last fall, but he'll be going to Fresno State to play linebacker. Maybe he'll wrestle a little, too.

•Early season Baseball surprise: Little Brentwood of Los Angeles romped over Camarillo 11-2 in the first game for both teams. Can Camarillo be that much less of a team with super Delmon Young out with an injury?

•Early Season Top Softball Pitching Matchup: In the first outing of the season for Vanden of Travis AFB's Angelica Selden and Campolindo of Moraga's Becky McCullough on Tuesday, March 4, darkness won. After 13 scoreless innings, the game was called off after the highly-regarded Selden had struck out 13 batters and the equally highly-regarded McCullough had struck out 17. McCullough gave up three hits and Selden three or five, depending on which newspaper one reads. According to Campolindo coach Curt Hamm, this game was set up based on our own Div. III state rankings. Too bad they couldn't get a winner because there are no ties in the rankings.

•Sunny California: First there was Sunny Hills High of Fullerton, then football standout Sunny Byrd at Mira Costa of Manhattan Beach in 1996, and now there's softball pitcher Sunny Hill at Clayton Valley of Concord. She's obviously a standout too, opening with a 13-strikeout, no-hit 10-0 win over Miramonte of Orinda. Somewhere in the valley of Clayton, there's a Sunny Hill.

•Snowy California: Adding to the growing list of the state's high school sports is snowboarding. Last weekend, Mt. Shasta won the California-Nevada interscholastic "State" team championship followed by Nevada Union of Grass Valley. However, there were no Southern California high schools in the competition, including Mammoth High of Mammoth Lakes. Thus, since Mammoth Lakes is the snowboarding capital of the world, we're signifying that Mt. Shasta is the Northern California champion but not state champion. The same situation goes for skiing.

•In addition to having one of the top juniors in the nation in DeMarcus Nelson, the Vallejo boys basketball team also had a promising freshman in the rotation in point guard Jerry Jackson. Jackson scored 22 points in one late-season game and might help the Apaches to a stronger showing next season. Another youngster on the way up in Vallejo is Darius Nelson, brother of DeMarcus. We might start writing about Darius just after DeMarcus departs for the next level.

•The Garces High boys basketball team has put together a rare accomplishment within the Central Section by having four players score more than 1,000 points in their careers. Robert Swift, the 7-0 junior center, leads the way 1,445 points heading into this week. He's followed by seniors Zach Ryan (1,403), Anthony Esparza (1,234) and Kyle Shiloh (1,178). East Bakersfield had three players do it in 1968 (Freddie Boyd, Don Parrish and Carl Meier) and Washington of Easton had three in 1998 (Chris Jefferies, DeShawn Stevenson and Shamell Stalworth).

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