Oak Hills’ Marchese advances to national finals

Oak Hills junior wrestler Robert Marchese, competing at the NSCA National Wrestling Championship, Junior Division, in Virginia Beach, Virginia has advanced all the way to the finals.

Marchese, who was seventh at the state meet four weeks ago, had to win five matches in the 171-pound weight class to reach Friday’s final. The medal rounds for the juniors are scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. PDT today.

Marchese won his first two matches of the tournament 12-3 and 11-1, then won by fall. His last two were close: 9-7 and 3-1 to advance to the final where he’ll face California State champion Nikko Reyes of Fresno Clovis West. Marchese and Reyes did not meet in the state tournament.

Oak Hills freshman heavyweight Justin Gillham, competing in the Freshman division of nationals, advanced all the way to the semifinals, before losing 2-1 on Thursday. He’ll be competing in consolation today before wrestling for a medal.

The Senior Division gets underway Friday, including 135-pound state champion Chris Mecate of Redlands East Valley.

Barstow names new football coach

Barstow recently hired its next football coach, as Victor Valley assistant coach John Marquez was named to replace Jose Rubio, who coached the Aztecs the last three seasons.

Rubio, who resigned after this past season to spend time with family, was highly successful during his first two years at Barstow, leading the Aztecs to a 17-8 overall record and two playoff appearances, including a run to the CIF-SS Eastern Division championship game in 2008. But Barstow struggled last year, only going 1-9 with a young team.

San G baseball on Florida vacation

The San Gorgonio baseball team is spending its spring break in sunny, though sometimes rainy, Florida, as the Spartans are competing in the Orlando Invitational. With the Inland Empire Classic tabeled this year, the Spartans raised money through fireworks booths, program sales and even proceeds from the County Clash.

The trip harkens back to trips San G used to make in the past, as the Spartans used to travel to Las Vegas for baseball tournaments before working with the IE Classic.

“I think (San G coach) Bill (Eatinger) has a job as a travel broker when he retires from coaching,” San G athletic director Matt Maeda said. “He’s done such a great job managing money and getting the most out of this trip and the kids are really appreciative of it.”

Along with playing some of the premier high school baseball teams in the United States, the Spartans have gone to Disney World and dealt with chaotic Florida weather, as tornado warnings and thunderstorms have made their Florida vacation an adventure at times.

“It’s been crazy out here with the tornado warnings and power going out,” Maeda said. “We are definitely getting quite an experience from being out here.”