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FELIX NO PUSHOVER NO MATTER WHO SHE FACES.

Byline: Gerry Gittelson Staff Writer

CALABASAS - Don't underestimate wrestler Laura Felix of Calabasas High even though she's competing almost exclusively against boys. She'll make you pay.

Just ask Dan Colvard of Santa Paula. Felix pinned him in three minutes, 21 seconds to spark host Calabasas (2-2) to a 55-24 Frontier League victory Monday.

Felix, a 103-pound sophomore, is 11-6 with six pins.

``Sometimes, if I beat a guy really bad, I'll feel kinda bad myself,'' Felix said. ``Some of them cry, and usually the rest of his team makes fun of him. Every time he walks by, I hear his teammates saying, `Ohhhh, you lost to a girl!' ''

``But sometimes, if I beat them, they won't shake hands with me or look me in the eye because I'm a girl. In those cases, I don't feel so bad.''

Felix has done well in two all-girl competitions this season. She placed second at the Napa Valley tournament Saturday, and she was third at the recent Thousand Oaks High tournament at Westlake High.

Calabasas, which has 10 days off because students are in final exams, resumes action Feb. 2 against visiting Chaminade. Senior Graham Cole (171 pounds) is 11-3, junior Scott Warren (130) is 8-3, and freshmen Dan Shocket is 6-2.

--Mat men wanted: Newbury Park, traditionally one of the strongest programs in the Marmonte League, is down this season. The Panthers are 0-4 in league entering Thursday's match against visiting Westlake.

They had only six wrestlers - in 14 weight classes - in a loss last week to Moorpark.

``I got to our JV tournament at 6:15 p.m. last week, and it was already over,'' team booster president Rose Bond said. ``It started at 5:30, but we only had three wrestlers.''

However, the team features one of the region's top 171-pounders in Jason Bond, Rose Bond's senior son, who's 26-4 with 12 pins. His spotlight undoubtedly would be brighter if it weren't for fellow 171-pounder Chris Rueckert of Royal, who happens to be in the same league. Rueckert, 24-1, is the Daily News No. 1 wrestler (all weight classes).

--Sanchez shutting them out: Moorpark High hosts a six-way tournament Saturday, and all eyes will be on Joe Sanchez.

Sanchez, a 152-pound senior, entered this week 22-0 after winning the Sam De John individual tournament at San Fernando High on Saturday. He's hoping to make it through the regular season with a perfect record, a rare accomplishment in high school wrestling. Littlerock's Jared Briggs, 23-0, is the region's only other competitor who hasn't lost yet. He wrestles at 119 pounds.

Last year, no regional wrestlers made it through league season undefeated.

``I'm pretty proud,'' said Sanchez, who lost eight matches as a junior and finished third in the Marmonte League. He said the difference this year is better technique and better training.

--Desert duel? Lancaster 125-pounder Jesse Mortensen, 34-6 (22 pins) and ranked fifth in the Daily News, is hoping that Littlerock's Briggs will move up one weight class so the two can battle it out in their Golden League team matchup tonight.

However, Mortensen conceded Briggs is unlikely to risk his unbeaten record. The boys are good friends after attending wrestling camp together over the summer.

``I'm pretty confident I could beat him,'' Mortensen said.

Mortensen, who won 37 matches last season, said he's more aggressive this season. He's hoping to make an impact at the Division IV tournament, the CIF Masters and perhaps the state finals in Stockton.

``This year, I have kind of a take-care-ousiness attitude on the mat,'' Mortensen said. ``I'm more aggressive, and I go out there just concentrating and doing what I know how to do.''

Mortensen grew up in Montana, a big wrestling state. Two older brothers both went to the state finals there.

--On a High(land): On Saturday, Highland left no doubt that it's the area's deepest program.

Junior Chris Culotta (140), who shuffles between varsity and junior varsity, won the Sam De John tournament at San Fernando, and senior Mike Keyers, primarily a JV wrestler, made it to the 130-pound final.

Culotta, who wrestles behind sophomore Nick Petros at Highland, beat Camarillo's Isaac Medina 9-8 in the final on an escape with 10 seconds remaining. Medina entered the tournament 28-5.

``Chris would be wrestling on varsity at a lot of other places, that's for sure,'' Highland coach Mike Young said.

Culotta is 15-1 in varsity competition, and his JV record also is 15-1.

--Add Highland: Highland can all but clinch the Golden League championship by beating Quartz Hill tonight. Highland (30-3) is ranked No. 2 in Southern Section's Division IV, and Quartz Hill (21-1) is seventh. Both are 3-0 in league, and Highland's last match is against last-place Antelope Valley.

To report wrestling information, contact Gerry Gittelson at 818-713-3617. Email gerryg123(at)hotmail.com.

CAPTION(S):

photo

Photo: Lancaster's Jesse Mortensen, left, wrestling Highland's Josh Sanders, is confident he could beat rival Jared Briggs of Littlerock.

Gene Blevins/Special to the Daily News
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Jan 26, 2000
Words:832
Previous Article:A STOP BY THE WOODS; STORY HOUR CAPTIVATES KIDS.
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