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Eight Cougars Take Championships At Wrestling Tourney
Heading out for their first competition of the season, the JV Cougar wrestlers came away with several medals from the Amador Novice Tournament on Saturday, Dec. 6.

"We took 20 kids, 15 of them got medals and eight were champions," said head coach Derek Scott.

First place finishers for the Cougars at the tournament were Keenon Tavares, 119, 5-0; Dylan Furtado, 125, 3-0; David Gonzales, 145, 3-0; Adrian Cortes, 152, 3-0; Mike Simoes, 160, 5-0; Andrew Baroni, 171, 5-0; Brandon Williams, 189, 3-0; and Anthony Munoz, 145, 4-0.

"It was exciting to see the young guys do so well," Scott said. "Williams and Munoz wrestled well, we got to see Furtado and Gonzales for the first time."

Returning wrestlers Simoes and Baroni didn't disappoint, either.

"The surprises of the tournament were Cortes and Tavares," Scott said, noting he didn't think they would necessarily come home as champions.

Jason Gutierrez, at 130 pounds, went 3-2 for a second place finish, Victor Carrillo at 171 was 4-1 for second place.

In third place were Max Yang, 10-3, 3-2; Shane Silveira, 171, 3-1 and Scott Nunes took fourth place honors with a 2-2 mark at 125 pounds.

Those wrestlers going but not placing included Robbie McLaughlin, 103; Joey Camara, 152; and Chris Bruno, James Ristrim and Travis James, all at 215 pounds.

"We were very pleased with the team," Scott said.

The JV squad will travel to nearby Modesto for the Beyer Tournament this coming Saturday, Dec. 13. The varsity will be in Elk Grove for their inaugural competition of the season on Saturday as well.

Top varsity returners include Christian Franks, Charlie McDonald and Thomas Martin.

Franks, at 103 pounds, was first in the TVL last year and second in the small school sections as a freshman. McDonald, at 171, was second in TVL and fourth in the small school sections.

Martin comes in with a second place TVL showing and third in the small school sections at 215.

"Charlie has a huge upside for potential to improve," Scott said. "Thomas is truly ready to take the next step and be a state competitor."

Other key varsity returners are Martin Castillo at 119 pounds, Joseph Antonacci at 145, Tyler Gonzales and Colin Keener at 152, and Mike Gutierrez at 189 pounds, along with Paul Brown at heavyweight.

Several JV members will also do some competing at the varsity level this season.

"The team has two to three guys who should have a realistic chance to go to state," Scott said. "We have some guys who are ready to take the next step. We have some really good looking newcomers and if they develop and we can get our team spread out, we have a real shot at matching last year's team success of first in TVL and second in the section duals."