Granada High football standout Kyle Campiotti might be an even better wrestler.
Campiotti, a first-team all-East Bay Athletic League defensive back in the fall, took first place in the 160-pound division at the 12th annual Mat Classic on Jan. 5 at Granada. He was one of just two local individual champions, along with Dougherty Valley's Emanuel Anaim (191).
Granada's Angel Beltran was second at 145 pounds. The Matadors finished eighth as a team with 101 points.
Granada's first-year coach Greg Hazelhofer doesn't need any more convincing when it comes to Campiotti.
"He's looking unbelievable," Hazelhofer said of Campiotti, a three-sport athlete who also plays varsity baseball. "He works different sports all year round, but definitely came in here just looking amazing. He's looking real slick. He works really hard."
It took Campiotti, a team captain, about 10 days of wrestling practice to reclaim his mojo. His coach says he has "stuff you just can't teach people."
"He's really good on his feet and just unbelievable on top," Hazelhofer said. "I don't know anybody who's held him down for more than 15 seconds all year so far. He's just an unbelievable athlete and he brings a lot to the practice grounds."
Granada athletic director Clark Conover stepped down as the Matadors wrestling coach during the summer after 12 years at the helm.
He left some big shoes to fill.
"Yeah, yeah, tell me about it," Hazelhofer
In other wrestling news, Foothill's Jacob Nelson (145) went 7-0 at the 30th Valley of the Moon wrestling tournament at Sonoma Valley High, leading the Falcons to the team championship. During the two day tournament Nelson had four pins and improved to 18-5 for the season.
WIDE OPEN HOOPS: The East Bay Athletic League boys basketball race could be wild. With De La Salle favored to take first, although Amador Valley showed its mettle in a 45-43 loss to the visiting Spartans on Jan. 4, how the rest of the pack shakes out is anyone's guess. California shocked Monte Vista 45-41 on opening night of league play on Jan. 2, behind Shane Haley's 21 points and 11 rebounds, but the Grizzlies promptly lost to San Ramon Valley 55-50 on Jan. 4, while Mustangs rebounded with a 66-49 victory over improved Livermore.
The Cowboys are suffering from a bad case of the Third-Quarter Blues. They were outscored 19-9 by the Mustangs in the third quarter after being outscored 11-4 over the same stretch against visiting Amador Valley.
BRAINS AND MUSTANGS: Three recent Monte Vista graduates are enjoying success in the Ivy League: Brian Barbour (Columbia basketball), Niveen Rasheed (Princeton basketball), and Shaun Chaudhuri (Harvard tennis). Rasheed was named Ivy League Player of the Week on Jan. 7 for the second time this season, after a 22-point effort against Drexel on Dec. 31. Rasheed went 8-for-9 from the free throw line, had eight rebounds, three steals and two assists.
And there's another ex-Mustang on the way. Stanford backup quarterback Brett Nottingham recently announced he was transferring to Columbia. Nottingham's 502 career completions at Monte Vista ranks fourth all-time in Northern California prep history, and his 7,467 passing yards rank seventh.
NEW FIELDS: The San Jose Earthquakes are putting the new turf fields at Robertson Park in Livermore to good use. The Earthquakes are conducting a regional development program for boys and girls under-5 to under-11 teams. The fields are also home to the Earthquakes under-14 Pre-Academy tryouts.
Both programs are headed by Troy Dayak, a former Livermore High multisport star and Earthquakes Hall of Famer. West Coast Soccer players Dougie Wynne, Mateo Crivello, and Zachary Rittmann participate in the Earthquakes Regional Development School (RDS).