Home Local NewsLocal SportsSan Bernardino All-Inland Boys Wrestling: Canyon Springs’ Sonny Kling is the Wrestler of the Year

All-Inland Boys Wrestling: Canyon Springs’ Sonny Kling is the Wrestler of the Year

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This time, there was no unfinished business for Sonny Kling.

After twice reaching the final match in the CIF State Wrestling Tournament only to come up short, Canyon Springs’ Kling finally reached the top of the podium at Mechanics Bank Arena in Bakersfield. Kling’s championship in the 190-pound division completed an undefeated season in which he was rarely challenged.

For the second straight season, Kling has been chosen the IE Varsity Boys Wrestler of the Year.

“Finally able to get the monkey off the back,” Canyon Springs coach Jason Lowe said. “Nothing was going to be considered a success other than winning it all.”

That pressure of trying to make good on the final chance showed only once, in the opening minute of the final against No. 3 seed Brokton Borelli of Los Banos.

“He was really nervous,” Lowe said. “He was kind of stumbling over himself. We were wondering what’s going on. Fortunately, there was some blood time (a stoppage to clean up blood) and he was able to settle down.”

Kling went on to post an 11-2 major decision, the largest winning margin in any weight class in the boys finals. The next highest margin was four points.

In his five matches at the state tournament, Kling recorded two pinfalls and two major decisions. His most competitive match was a 7-3 semifinal victory over No. 4 seed Thomas Sandoval of Vacaville.

Kling was one of five Canyon Springs wrestlers to reach the state tournament. A fundraising effort allowed the team to rent a suite at the arena and get rooms at the hotel next door.

“We had a room, so we didn’t have to go chasing down all our wrestlers in the seats,” Lowe said. “We had kind of a home base, where they could relax, have some food and drinks together. I think it helped.”

Kling had a smooth competitive ride on the way to Bakersfield, although for the second straight season, his competition was limited. As a junior, his matches were limited by the transfer rules after coming to Canyon Springs from Palm Desert. This time, it was injuries that caused Lowe to manage Kling’s mat time.

“He probably had more matches in the post-season than he did in the regular season,” Lowe said.

Kling posted a 32-0 record, including five victories and a championship at the prestigious Doc Buchanan Invitational at Clovis. Kling rolled to victories in the Ivy League, CIF Southern Division and Masters state qualifying tournament. It was his third straight Masters title.

“I think it was better to try to manage his workload,” Lowe said. “He’s been wrestling since he was 6 or 7. He’s had a lot of big matches, always wrestled up in a higher age group when he was younger. He’s very seasoned, so I wasn’t too worried.

“I think it worked out OK.”



Jason Lowe, Canyon Springs

Jason Lowe guided the Canyon Springs boys wrestling program to its most successful campaign during his 20 years at the helm.

The Cougars were a state power during the 1990s and early 2000s, capturing eight CIF Southern Section championships under the leadership of Ray Rodi. Lowe took the reins in 2004, and Canyon Springs remained one of the Inland area’s elite programs.

Canyon Springs ended a 22-year section championship drought this year, as the Cougars won the Division 1 dual-meet title and the Southern Division individual tournament team championship. Canyon Springs also reclaimed the Ivy League championship. The Cougars had five wrestlers win titles at the Southern Division meet, and all five qualified for the CIF State Championships.

Lowe guided the Cougars to a fifth-place finish at the Southern Section’s Masters Meet, and Canyon Springs placed 11th in the team standings at the CIF State meet.


Lower Weights

106: Zachary Samano, Chino, Fr.

113: Max Murillo, Canyon Springs, Fr.

120: Rocco Madrid, Centennial, Sr.

126: Mateo Ochoa, King, Sr.

126: David Fletes, Canyon Springs, Sr.

132: Richard Murillo, Canyon Springs, Sr.

138: Jacob Bell, Etiwanda, Jr.

138: Mathius Garza, Eisenhower, Fr.

144: Noah Vasquez, Roosevelt, Jr.

Upper Weights

150: Tristan Fernandez, Bonita, Jr.

157: Brian Leon, Roosevelt, Sr.

165: Evan Manzo, Etiwanda, Sr.

165: Kameron Phillips, Temecula Valley, Sr.

175: Gabriel Barragan, West Valley, So.

190: Sonny Kling, Canyon Springs, Sr.

215: Coby Merrill, North, So.

215: Noah Bode, Vista Murrieta, Jr.

285: Justice El-Sayad, Temecula Valley, Jr.


Lower Weights

106: Xavier Manzo, Canyon Springs, Jr.

113: Benji Ruiz, Paloma Valley, Sr.

120: Jonathan Madera, Chino, So.

120: Elias Casas, Cajon, Jr.

126: Erik Quintero, Lakeside, Jr.

132: Jason Saenz, Roosevelt, Sr.

138: Jose Jimenez, Paloma Valley, Sr.

138: Bryce Gonzales, Norco, Jr.

144: Marvin Morton, Temecula Valley, Sr.

Upper Weights

150: Gabriel Lemos, Temecula Valley, Jr.

157: Xingyu Chen, Los Osos, Sr.

165: Javon Major, Paloma Valley, Jr.

165: Mason Hernandez, Citrus Valley, Sr.

175: Michael Vassalle, Chino, Sr.

190: Will McHargue, Yucaipa, Jr.

190: Davin Ito, Roosevelt, Sr.

215: Brandon Townsell, Ayala, Sr.

285: Kalui Costa, Elsinore, Sr.


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