Archbishop Riordan High School senior Elijah Davis made history by just stepping on the mat Saturday at Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield, but he just happened to be facing the wrestler that has become his nemesis.
Davis, in the 138-pound weight class, became the first male wrestler from a San Francisco high school to make his way to a state title match, but fell to Gilroy junior Nikko Villarreal by a 3-1 decision.
Just a week prior, Villarreal took down Davis in the Central Coast Section title match in triple overtime.
Davis, who transferred into Riordan this school year, may have had his high school career end with a disappointment, but he has garnered national recognition and is receiving interest from several Division I colleges.
“It was great seeing him really thrive in the environment at Riordan,” Riordan coach Vittorio Anastasio said. “It has been great to see him grow, but he’s still an ongoing project. He has much more ahead of him at the college level.”
Davis started the tournament with a 5-4 win over Nolan Kistler of Martin Luther King (Riverside), pinned Johnny Callas of Nevada Union (Grass Valley), defeated Sergio Enloe of Poway on points (4-2) in the quarterfinals and took down Michael Sill of Walnut with an 8-4 decision in the semifinals.
Riordan teammate Zac Contreras, wrestling at 145 pounds, also medaled with a fourth-place finish. The senior got knocked out of the championship bracket in the quarterfinals by eventual state champ Christian Pagdilao from Santiago of Corona by a 3-1 decision.
Contreras won three straight West Catholic Athletic League and CCS titles, but a state medal eluded him until Saturday.
“Now that he’s a state medalist, I can say, yes, he’s the most accomplished wrestler in Riordan history,” Anastasio said.
Contreras, like Davis, has received Division I attention, but will likely stay local at successful wrestling programs Menlo College (NAIA) or San Francisco State (Division II).
The two wrestlers alone allowed Riordan to finish 20th in points (42) out of the 276 schools competing during the weekend. Clovis won its third straight state title (10th overall, a state high) with a team score of 179.
The San Francisco public schools didn’t fare as well as their Catholic-school counterpart, but Washington’s Eric Royfman (126 pounds), Balboa’s John Ong (145 pounds) and Lowell’s Derek Yi (195 pounds) all won matches.