Layton at Gilroy

Weight Layton Gilroy Winner Team Points
106Mike KowalskiGavin PongsaiPongsaiGilroy 3
113Aiden BastianMateo SanchezBastianLayton 3
120Lander BoshDominic BozanicBozanicGilroy 3
126Geronimo RiveraMoses MendozaMendozaGilroy 3
132Cole FenwickIsaiah CortezCortezGilroy 6
138Jace LemonsElijah CortezCortezGilroy 6
144Noah BullMoses MirabalMirabalGilroy 3
150Seth ApodacaDaniel ZepedaZepedaGilroy 5
157Logan MammottKaleo GarciaGarciaGilroy 6
165Jonathon InagakiTravis GraceGraceGilroy 3
175Kaden BennieBrian HaranBennieLayton 3
190Elijah HawesJC PugaHawesLayton 3
215David ClingerCody MerrillMerrillGilroy 6
285Takoa ByrdJose GuerreroByrdLayton 6


As one of the top teams in California, and one of the contenders for a team state title, the host Gilroy Mustangs are definitely the favorite to win the 2024 Garlic City Rumble. Now, there are years where this has been more of an “event” as far as multiple opponents (maybe in a round robin against each other). But last year it was Gilory vs Bixby and this year it’s Gilroy vs Layton. So, Gilory should come out on top in this one, but we’ll look at the projected line ups – knowing that duals almost never go according to the paper – and see how it should go. There’s also almost always an upset or two, or a bonus point win that on paper looked like a decision going in.


One of the benefits to this one from a preview perspective is that both teams were at Reno TOC with essentially their starting lineups, where Gilroy finished 2nd and Layton came in 4th. The big, huge, notable absence there was Cody Merrill. He hasn’t competed since Who’s #1 and may not be competing here either. Might not be at Doc B either. He’s one of the most aloof competitors across the country. He’s also one of the best, in my opinion the best. So we shall see. I’ll proceed as if he is in the line up.


Being that Layton is a decent underdog here, I’ll be looking for ways that they can maximize points. Keep in mind that I don’t know what weight anyone actually weighs in at, so for example, I might recommend Byrd at 215 for Layton but if he weighs in at 265 or something obviously that can’t happen.


106 Mike Kowalski vs Gavin Pongsai

Both were in the Reno 106 bracket. Pongsai went 5-3 and finished 8th. Kowalski went 0-2. There were no common opponents between them. Based on this, you would give the edge to Pongsai. Being in his home gym, you might give him even more of one. I don’t know enough about either frankly to tell you how they match up, which we all know styles make fights. I’ll just say, Pongsai by decision.


113 Aiden Bastian vs Mateo Sanchez

Here we have a reversal of fortune. Bastian placed 8th at Reno while Sanchez did not place at all. Bastian finished 6-3. Sanchez went 2-2. There were no common opponents, nor did they wrestle each other. Just like 106, I’m calling this for Layton by decision. 


120 Lander Bosh vs Dominic Bozanic

Neither Bosh nor Bozanic placed at Reno in the 120 bracket. Bosh went 5-2 and made the bloodround. Bozanic went 3-2 and also reach the bloodround. Bosh had the unfortunate draw of CA state champion Ronnie Ramirez and then the runner up to Ramirez, Antonio Rodriguez. He held his own against Ramirez so you might think that could translate here. Bozanic is a possible state medalist this season so you may favor him, but I have to say it’s slight. Gilroy decision.


126 Geronimo Rivera vs Moses Mendoza

Not only were these two in the 126 Reno bracket, they wrestled each other. Mendoza won that 7-5. It’s the sort of match up that 1) you get in a dual like this and 2) could go the other way this time. So we have Mendoza ranked at 120 and think he ends up there, which would then bring Isaiah Cortez down here. That’s a more solid Gilroy advantage but Rivera could pull that out as well. I think this is what we ultimately get and will be the highlight of the evening. Mendoza ranked in the top 20, Rivera in that top 25 to top 25 range. Gilroy decision.


132 Cole Fenwick vs Isaiah Cortez

Layton has a state runner up, Logan Crowther who hasn’t wrestled yet but could be anywhere from 132 to 150, I have no idea. Fenwick himself finished 5th last year in Utah’s 6A division. I know CA fans will roll their eyes at states with more than one division. Either way, this should be one of the first big wins for the host Mustangs. Gilroy by fall.


138 Jace Lemons vs Elijah Cortez

Lemons went 6-3 at Reno finishing 8th. Unfortunately for him, he kept running into kids from Los Gatos. They accounted for 2 of his 3 losses. The even bigger obstacle here is that Cortez is levels above them. I expect back to back falls for the Cornell committed twins. Gilroy by fall.


144 Noah Bull vs Moses Mirabal

Like 126, we got to see this exact match at Reno. And like 126, it went to the Gilroy wrestler. But that couldn’t be much closer, it was 6-5 early in the event. Mirabal would go on to win the bracket, picking up a ranked win in the process. Bull would finish 4th with a forfeit. I think this is a coin flip, but we always give the nod to the home crowd and energy. Gilroy by decision.


150 Seth Apodaca vs Daniel Zepeda

The biggest story out of Reno was Zepeda losing to Parco. I have to imagine that Zepeda will be fired up for this one. I believe it will be Apodaca, but it could be anyone, Zepeda should have his way. Mabe it’s an early fall, but I think more along the lines of a tech.


157 Logan Mammott vs Kaleo Garcia

Mammott went 0-2 at Reno in the 157 bracket while Garcia finished 4th at 165. I don’t even know if it’s Garcia here. Perhaps he’s at 165. That would push Grace to 175. Whatever the case may be, I think this goes Gilroy’s way. Garcia could get bonus. Gilroy by major.


165 Jon Inagaki vs Travis Grace

Inagaki went 2-2 at Reno and didn’t place at 165. Grace is coming off a hiatus where he could be getting his sea legs, or conditioning back, he could be fresh as ever. Either way, you have to favor him at home, making the season debut. Maybe even big. Gilroy major.


175 Kaden Bennie vs Brian Haran

Bennie is the Lancers best wrestler after Rivera and comes in at a weight that he should win. Maybe he’s their biggest favorite. We did get this match up early in the Reno 175 bracket, where Bennie won by 5-1 decision and finished 4th. Haran went 4-2 in the tournament but did not place. Layton major decision.


190 Elijah Hawes vs JC Puga

Very similar to 175. Hawes and Puga wrestled to a 6-1 final in favor of Hawes. That took place in the blood round which meant Hawes would finish on the podium and Puga would fall just short. This could definitely be flipped here, but we’re leaning to the Lancers where it makes sense, and this one makes sense. Lancers by decision.


215 David Clinger vs Cody Merrill

If this is the match up, it’ll be easy work for Merrill. But I could see a scenario where Gilroy moves Merrill up to heavyweight and takes their chances with someone else at 215. I don’t even know that Clinger is who Layton goes with here, but I believe he’s the best option left from 175 to 215.


285 Takoa Byrd vs Jose Guerrero

Byrd placed at Reno and is another one of Layton’s favorites in these match ups. If I’m Gilroy, I might send Guerrero out for 215 and Cody up here. Then 215 is more of a toss up and 285 becomes a big Gilory win. If I’m Layton, and Gilroy has to send out 215 first, I wait to see. If it’s not Merrill, I send Byrd at 215. This assumes that he weighs in to qualify for 215. As it stands here, I say Layton by fall.


Ultimately, I have the match count 10-4 in favor of Gilroy. Add in a few bonus wins and it starts to feel like a bit of a daunting task ahead of the visitors. But that doesn’t mean what I predict happens will happen. It also doesn’t mean we won’t get some great individual matchups along the way. 

Gilroy is built with a murderers row through the middle weights from Mendoza to Grace. They’ll be heavy favorites in 3 of the 7. Likely favorites in 4 of the 7. And occasional favorites up to all 7. Then you throw in the top wrestler in the country pound for pound up at 215 and there’s just very little opening for teams to take advantage. 


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