It was basically a ‘Who’s Who’ of Cougar wrestling alumni, honored prior to the Senior Night festivities as part of a special event in the old gym on the Escalon High School campus on Jan. 25.
EHS head wrestling coach Derek Scott said the Alumni Night hosted on Wednesday was designed to highlight the contributions of past wrestlers, with each one presented with a special commemorative plaque.
Chosen as the first honorees were Ed Alves, Curtis Schurkamp, Dominic Freeseha and Daniel Gonzalez.
Alves, a member of the EHS Class of 1971, has a long list of honors to his credit. He took third and fifth place medals at the CIF State competition, was a State runner up while wrestling for Modesto Junior College, is in the MJC Hall of Fame and was a Pac 10 champion while at UCLA. He is also a former coach at MJC and EHS,
A member of the Class of 2004, Schurkamp was a four-time State qualifier as a Cougar and a three-time State placer. He captured, third, fifth and sixth place finishes in his trips to the State meet. He went on to attend San Francisco State and was a two-time NCAA Division II All American, taking third and seventh place honors. Schurkamp is a former coach at Lindsey Wilson College and EHS.
Graduating with the Class of 2014, Freeseha was a two-time CIF State qualifier and a Masters finalist. He was also a two-time Junior College All American at Fresno City College, with fourth and fifth place finishes, was a starter and is a graduate of Midlands University and is currently a coach for the Escalon Wrestling Club.
Gonzalez graduated with the Class of 2016 and was All-District in both wrestling and football while competing for the Cougars. He attended Hastings College in Nebraska where he was a four-year starter in football and wrestling. He was an NAIA Regional Champion, an NAIA National Qualifier, is the head wrestling coach for El Portal Middle School and an assistant varsity football coach at EHS.
All four, along with receiving their individual plaques, had their names placed on the perpetual plaque, with names to be added each year as part of the annual EHS Alumni Night program.
Scott said it was a good way to highlight the individual accomplishments of the four former Cougars and Alves said he is hoping that more alumni will start to attend the wrestling events, in a show of support for the Cougar program.
He suggested setting aside an area specifically for the alumni to encourage their attendance.