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Cougar Grapplers Pin Down League Wins
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Saturday's trip to Livermore capped a successful week for Escalon wrestlers, winning two dual meets and taking second at the Granada Tournament.

The JV and varsity squads both defeated Hilmar in league action Tuesday, Jan. 4 and topped Central Catholic on Wednesday, with the varsity continuing on to wrestle at Livermore High School in the Saturday tournament.

"We took second out of 19 teams, this was a good tournament for us," said coach Derek Scott. "We faced schools of our own size and we had two of our normal starters out so we did very well, 10 out of 12 wrestlers we took medaled."

First place honors went to Myles Bishop, going undefeated at 4-0 in the tournament at 135 pounds.

"He was named Most Valuable Wrestler at the tournament," noted Scott.

Earning second place medals for Escalon were Atom Garcia, 3-1, 112 pounds; Kevin Machado, 4-1, 130; Ryan Sughrue, 4-1, 152 and Ryan Lippincott, 3-1, 171 pounds. Justin Chandley earned a third place medal at 160 pounds, going 4-1. Finishing in fourth place were Jon Manzo, 3-2, 145 pounds and Anthony Oste, 3-2, at heavyweight. Ryan Ashlock took fifth at 125 pounds, going 3-2, and rounding out the medal winners was Lucas Pitassi, 119, 4-1, taking a seventh place medal.

Brian Toy, wrestling for the Cougars at 103 pounds, went 1-1 before having to pull out of the tournament on an injury default. Daryl Craig took the mats at 140 pounds and went 0-2.

Host Granada took first place as a team, with the Cougars finishing second overall.

"We wrestled to our ability," said Scott. "We had five guys in the finals and it's a big compliment to them, they are buying into the system and it's working."

Hosting Hilmar on Tuesday, Jan. 4, the Cougar varsity earned a 60-10 win, with match winners including Toy at 103, Garcia 112, Pitassi 119, Blake Mynear 125, Kevin Machado 130, Joey Machado 135, Bishop 140, Brett Mynear 145, Sughrue 152, Lippincott 171, Isaac Cherry 215 and Oste at heavyweight.

The JV Cougars were 64-10 winners over Hilmar and taking their bouts were Cody Bandini, 119; Mike McGuire, 125; Jake Greer, 130; Daryl Craig, 135; Chase Keener, 140; Tyler Draper, 145; Heath Dougherty, 152; Luis Rodriguez, 189; Scott Cannon, 215; Chris Silveira, heavyweight.

"We're very encouraged by the progress," said Scott, noting that the JV wrestlers have performed well when given the opportunity to get on the mats.

Wednesday's dual with Central Catholic was perhaps the best of the season so far for the varsity, which worked out a 35-32 victory.

"They (Central) have five section and state ranked wrestlers so this was a big dual," Scott said. "The keys were Justin Chandley winning 3-1 with a takedown at the very end and Isaac Cherry, who came back with a pin in a match he was behind in. All our guys fought hard, only two of our guys got pinned in their matches."

Cherry's pin provided the point swing necessary to take the win and put the Cougars in prime position to claim the TVL title, as long as they keep up the standard they have set in previous matches.

Along with Chandley and Cherry, winners in the Central Catholic match up were Toy, Garcia, Bishop, Joey Machado and Lippincott.

JV wrestlers earned a 63-12 win over Central, matches were won by Martin Machado at 145, Dougherty at 152, Brock Mynear, 160; and Tyrell Swass, 215.

After traveling to Mariposa for a Wednesday match, Jan. 12, the Cougars will host the annual Lloyd C. Engel Tournament on Friday, Jan. 14 and Saturday, Jan. 15. Competition begins each day at 9 a.m. and several schools are slated to attend.

"We're hoping to get a lot of people to come watch," Scott said.