By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Cougar Wrestlers Wrap Up Medals
Placeholder Image
Escalon's first wrestling tournament of the season went much better than anticipated, with most of the wrestlers participating coming home with medals.

The wrestlers traveled to the Amador Novice Tournament on Saturday, Dec. 4 and earned five first place medals, along with four seconds, six third place showings and two fourth place medallists.

"It was by far the best we've done in that tournament in the four years that I've been here," explained coach Derek Scott. "I was highly encouraged, we had so many guys do well."

The novice tournament is designed for those wrestlers that haven't yet earned a medal in varsity competition.

First place finishers for Escalon on the day included Brian Toy at 112 pounds, Ryan Ashlock at 130, Ronnie McCurdy at 145 pounds, Justin Chandley at 160 and Scott Cannon at 189 pounds.

Taking second place at 119 pounds were Lucas Pitassi and Cody Wade Bandini, wrestling in different pools. Also second were Tyler Draper, 160 pounds and Jake Merrill, 171 pounds.

Third place medals went to Travis Bonds, 119; Tony Perez, 120; Jake Greer, 130; Chase Keener, 140; Martin Machado, 152. Taking home fourth place hardware were Cody Cheary at 130 pounds and Paul Crocker at 215 pounds.

"We had four other people that wrestled but did not medal," said Scott.

Those wrestlers were Derek Cole, 140 pounds; Nico Flores, 145; Brock Mynear, 150; Luis Rodrigues, 189 pounds.

"My main goal was to see who's ready to wrestle," Scott said of taking nearly two dozen wrestlers to the event. "I saw guys working hard on what we're doing in practice."

Assistant coaches this season are Ray Scott and Dan Prado, while there are also at least a half dozen volunteers that work with the wrestlers on a regular basis.

"We also have a couple of graduates of Escalon that come back and help," Scott said.

As far as the upcoming season, Scott said he has some holes to fill in the line-up and part of what he was looking for on Saturday was those wrestlers that might be ready to fill in the gaps.

"Brian Toy is our only 103-pounder, he'll have to go varsity, Ryan Ashlock wants to go varsity, McCurdy and Cannon are wanting to challenge for varsity spots and their performances on Saturday give them some confidence," noted Scott. "Justin Chandley hadn't wrestled in a long time and he looked good."

A scheduled Dec. 1 match against Hilmar was canceled so the Cougar grapplers will get on the mats for their first varsity action this week, heading to Patterson for a Wednesday, Dec. 8 match. They will then take part in the Oakdale Tournament on Saturday, Dec. 11.

"We have more experienced guys than we have weights," Scott added. "But we have a whole bunch of guys that look real good."