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Richards places third at Doc Buchanan Invite; Folsom plays host to Del Oro on Wednesday

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It was another impressive weekend for Folsom’s Kyle Richards.

The senior 220-pound wrestler placed third in the Doc Buchanan Invitational at Clovis High School, known as the toughest tournament during the regular season in the state.

Richards entered the tournament with a 22-1 record and yet was only seeded seventh, which shows how tough the tournament is. After opening with a pin of the No. 10 seed, Richards dropped a tough 4-3 decision to second-seeded Eric Osteen from Chaminade, who’s ranked second in the state, and placed fifth in the state tournament a year ago.

Richards then rattled off four straight wins, including a win over the No. 5 seed just to reach the medal rounds. He then pinned his next opponent in the first round, and then beat the No. 6 sixth to reach the consolation semis. There he earned a 38-second pin of Juan Mora of Pitman to reach the match for third place. Against Elk Grove’s Peter Ming, Richards beat him for the third time this season to place third in the tournament.

“This tournament features not just the best of California, but nationally ranked wrestlers from all over the country,” Folsom coach Mike Collier said. “The Doc B is always tough, but this may have been the most difficult one yet. It had six of the top-12 teams in the country, and over 40 nationally ranked competitors.  There are some California State placers who do not get into the medal rounds at this event, which shows just how competitive this event is.”

Evan Taylor (113) and David Lopez (126) also competed in the tournament and both went 1-2.

Two of Folsom’s female wrestlers, Desinee Lopez and Miranda DiBenedetto, competed in the Napa Valley Girls Classic, the toughest girls’ tournament of the season. Lopez placed third in her weight class, winning all but one match, while DiBenedetto won six of eight matches to place fifth.

At the Joe Rios Memorial Tournament in Chico, Folsom had six wrestlers place: Justin Eldridge (third at 132), Caiden Cohen (fourth at 152), Matt Kovalskiy (fourth at 195), Owen Cobleigh (sixth at 138), Caleb Freeland (sixth at 285) and Julio Bautista (seventh at 106).

Folsom celebrates senior night on Wednesday when they host Del Oro in a match that could very well decide the Sierra Foothill League champion. Since joining the league in 2014, the league champion has been either Folsom or Del Oro, who won the league a year ago and is currently ranked 12th in the state.

“Several of our duals have come down to the last match, and are always exciting matches,” Collier said.

The junior varsity match begins at 6 p.m. with the varsity match following.