Crafting an 84-0 win over Mountain House, the varsity Cougar wrestlers won their Trans-Valley League match with the Mustangs by the largest possible margin on Wednesday, Jan. 24.
Hosting the Mustangs, there were nine varsity matches – all of which went to the Cougars – and a handful of wins via forfeit for the home team.
“Jake Lawrence’s match was the only one that went to the second round,” head coach Derek Scott said, with the Cougars easily handling their TVL opponents, getting all the wins by pin in the contested matches. “Mikayla (Vega) and Jake had the toughest matches, the ones we felt could have gone either way.”
But the Escalon grapplers left no doubt who the better wrestlers were that night.
In the varsity competition, Braiden Vega got the rout started, pinning his opponent in 12 seconds at 106 pounds. Older sister Mikayla Vega followed up with a first round pin at 113. At 120 pounds, Aidan Krieger won by pin, as did Miguel Souza at 126 pounds, Alex Jimenez at 132 and Livius Seung at 138 pounds.
Also taking down their opponents with first round pins were David Ryan at 160 pounds and Luke Anderson at 182. Jake Lawrence got his pin in the third round at 195 pounds.
Taking wins by forfeit were Rhys Panero at 145 pounds; Ethan Krieger at 152; Alfredo Zarate at 170; Stephen Mendez at 220 and Johnathan Santos at heavyweight.
“The JV team won 39-12,” Scott added of the younger Cougars also taking down Mountain House.
Key wins came from Adela Ley-Han at 113 pounds, Julia Casillas at 120, Manuel Diaz at 145 pounds and Izaac Sipma at 160 pounds.
Over the weekend, the JV team and the Escalon girls headed to the Elk Grove Tournament, with Atom Garcia and Bryan Toy handling the coaching duties.
“It was a tough tournament, we wrestled a lot better than we did the weekend before,” explained Scott.
Toughest break of the tournament came for Cole Murray, who was knocked out of the competition with a dislocated shoulder, ending his season.
Coming home with medals were Dylan Dugo, going 2-2 for fifth place honors at heavyweight, Jonathan Santos took second place at heavyweight with a 3-1 mark and David Camacho went 3-1 for third place honors at 220 pounds.
For the girls, Ley-Han went 3-1 for third place at 106 pounds, Casillas also took third place, with a 3-1 showing at 116 pounds.
“The best match of the day was Mikayla Vega, beating the number three ranked girl in the state in the finals,” Scott said.
Vega took home the championship honors at 111 pounds, going 3-0 and defeating her opponent in the finals by a 4-2 decision.
Escalon will play host to Modesto Christian for Senior Night festivities on Wednesday, Jan. 31. Wrestling will start about 6:30 p.m. and the night will feature recognition for the team’s seniors and their families. Honored seniors will be Hugo Alcala, Jake Lawrence, Stephen Mendez, Rhys Panero, David Ryan, Livius Seung and Alfredo Zarate along with girls Adela Ley-Han and Ashley Mullen.