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Cougar Grapplers Grab League Title
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Wrapping up the Trans-Valley League championship at both the JV and varsity levels, Escalon wrestlers defeated Livingston and Hilmar this week to close out the league campaign.

They were on the road for both matches, heading first to Livingston for a Tuesday, Jan. 27 meeting.

Coach Derek Scott said the JV team took an impressive 82-0 win off the mats while their varsity counterparts topped the Wolves, 55-12.

"For the varsity, this dual meet was our best match of the year," Scott said. "Livingston had a close dual meet with Ripon, so I thought we could win but it would be tough, but we really handled them."

Atom Garcia lost by pin in the third round at 103 pounds but "fought hard," said Scott. Curtis Schurkamp was a winner by pin at 112 pounds, taking his man down in the second round.

Joey Machado was a 10-1 winner at 119; Ryan Ashlock, won by pin, 125; Kevin Machado, 4-2 win in overtime, 130 pounds.

Also, Myles Bishop won by pin at 135 pounds, Mike Travers earned a technical fall, 15-0, at 140; Ryan Sughrue, 11-0 win, 145; Lance Lippincott, 11-0 win, 152; Brian Lynn, won by pin, 160; Andrew Pitassi, 7-1 win, 171; Jeremiah Knapp, lost by pin, 189; Manuel Schwanker, won by pin, 215 and Anthony Oste, heavyweight, 7-0 win.

"Even the guys who lost wrestled hard," Scott noted. "Our experienced guys were tough and we were really pleased with Joey Machado and Anthony Oste."

Scott said the best match of the night came from Kevin Machado, who avenged a loss to a Livingston wrestler who had beaten him earlier this season in tournament action.

"He won it in overtime, he really wrestled well and to win that match, that was really encouraging for him," Scott said.

The JV squad had plenty of winners, with pins primarily the order of the day. At 152 pounds, Ryan Lippincott took an 11-2 win off the mats, all the rest of the Cougars recorded wins by pin.

Those included Blake Mynear, 112 pounds; Brandon Wood, 119; Sam Goulet, 140; Jon Manzo, 145; Heath Dougherty, 160; Jason DaSilva, 189; Scott Cannon, 215 and heavyweight Josh Merrill.

"We're starting to learn the techniques," Scott said. "Jon Manzo and Ryan Lippincott are close to where they need to be for varsity wrestling and Heath Dougherty is advancing, he's on quite a winning streak right now."

Against Hilmar on Wednesday, Jan. 28, the JV squad took a 60-6 win but only had three wrestlers compete, most of the points coming on forfeits from the Yellowjackets.

Brock Mynear lost by pin at 135 pounds, Heath Dougherty was a winner by pin at 160 and Jeremiah Knapp was a winner by pin at 189 pounds.

The varsity effort at Hilmar was somewhat lackluster, said Scott, but there were just a handful of matches and the Cougars won, 70-15.

"We didn't wrestle that well as a team, it was kind of a letdown (from Livingston)," admitted Scott. "There wasn't a crowd, there wasn't much atmosphere."

Curtis Schurkamp was a technical fall winner, 21-4, at 119 pounds while Myles Bishop also earned a technical fall, 19-4, over his opponent at 135.

Sam Goulet won by pin in the first round at 140, Ryan Sughrue was pinned at 152 pounds; Lance Lippincott suffered an 11-7 loss at 160; Brian Lynn won by pin at 171 pounds; Anthony Oste lost by pin at heavyweight.

Despite the less-than-stellar effort in the regular season finale, the Cougars claimed the TVL championship and will be the number one seed from the league going into the Team Sections at Pitman.

That competition is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 7.

"We need to have a few weeks of practice," Scott said. "Our league is pretty tough, ours and the Mother Lode League should be the toughest ones there.'