Palm Desert pinch hits at CIF team wrestling

Despite finishing second in the Desert Valley League, the Palm Desert High School wrestling squad will represent the DVL at the Division II CIF Southern Section Dual Meet Wrestling Championships Saturday.

La Quinta edged Palm Desert during the regular season finale to win the league, but chose to stay at home for the postseason-team event because of injuries, La Quinta Athletic Director Dan Armstrong said.

“We had so many guys banged up and dinged up that we didn’t feel we’d be a good representative,” Armstrong said. “We’d be taking five or six guys and a lot of JV guys, and that isn’t fair.”

Instead Palm Desert (7-1) will battle Thousand Oaks (10-4), which received an at-large bid out of the Marmonte League, in the first round at 11 a.m. at South Hills High School in West Covina.

“It’ll be some tough wrestling, it’s a tough division,” Palm Desert head coach Tom Lee said. “We went last year and got beat by Servite in the first round.”

The tournament features 16 teams and is of the single-elimination variety.

Two desert schools’ wrestling teams will be representing the De Anza League in Division VI to be held at Redondo Union High School, also Saturday at 11 a.m.

Desert Mirage (7-2), winner of the De Anza, will face San Marino (6-2), winner of the Rio Hondo League, in the first round.

Shadow Hills (5-2) will also represent the De Anza League as an at-large team and face Sierra Vista (Baldwin Park) (12-5), the top team out of the Montview League, in the first round.

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