By Douglas W. Motley
The Beresford Invitational Wrestling Tournament, held at Rim of the World High School on Dec. 7, attracted over 200 competitors from 24 high school teams throughout Southern California.
Garnering first-place honors in this year’s tournament was Aliso Niguel High School from south Orange County, with Ventura High School capturing the second-place trophy, followed by Beverly Hills High School, which came in at third place.
Retired Rim Wrestling Coach John Beresford takes in last
Saturday’s tournament, which was named in his honor.
(Photos by Douglas W. Motley)
The Beresford tournament is named in honor of Coach John Beresford, who, during his 28-year reign at Rim High, founded the school’s wrestling team in 1964 and went on to produce 16 league championship teams and two CIF division championship teams. Beresford’s star wrestlers include three-time state champion and 1993 national champion Scott Chapman, as well as 2008 Olympic silver medalist Marcie Van Dusen.
Carrying on the Chapman family tradition at Rim High School are brother and sister wrestlers Brock and Hailey Chapman. Rim High Athletic Director Ryan Reisbold has high hopes for Brock, a senior, and Hailey, a sophomore, both of whom have the potential to achieve league and statewide championship status.
Brock Chapman, who captured first place in the 145-pound weight category, told The Alpine Mountaineer that wrestling has helped him grow as a person “I’m feeling pretty good, and getting into the groove,” he said prior to his victory last Saturday.
Brock’s sister, Hailey, who garnered first-place honors in last year’s tournament, was excluded from participating in this year’s event, as were all other Rim female wrestlers, due to a CIF rule that limits the total number of tournaments in which they can compete to five each season.
Chapman’s teammate Noah Sosa took third place in the 152-pound division. His brother, Angel, a sophomore in the 126-pound class, is proud of his family’s tradition of all five brothers wrestling for Rim High. His father, who is called “Papa Sosa” by the team, wrestled for Rim from 1992-96, under Coach Beresford.
Last Saturday’s nearly six-hour-long tournament was a hub-bub of constant activity, with matches taking place on five different mats scattered throughout the floor of the gymnasium. While excited parents and teammates cheered from the sidelines, referees and judges kept score and coaches shouted instructions to each competitor.
According to Pete Ferrera, Rim’s head wrestling coach, Rim High School’s annual Beresford tournament attracts many repeat participants, year after year. “They like the way it’s run,” he said adding that Rim’s 35-member wrestling team is financially self-supporting. “We have a very bright and young team this year.”
Viewing the event from the sidelines was retired Rim High wrestling coach John Beresford, now 90. In an exclusive interview with The Alpine Mountaineer, Beresford said that, prior to starting the school’s wrestling program in 1964, he distinguished himself as a championship-winning baseball, football and wrestling coach at Penn State University.
“In 1949, I tried out for the Phillies (Philadelphia Phillies), and they signed me to their minor league club. I played there for two years, until I got a letter from Uncle Sam saying I was drafted into the Korean War,” Coach Beresford said.