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Eleven Wrestlers Moving On To Small School Sections
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Several varsity wrestlers will be moving on to the Small School Sections in Lindhurst on Saturday, finishing in the top four places at their weight classes in the Trans-Valley League Tournament.

The Feb. 12 event was in Ripon and with a first place team showing there, Escalon wrapped up the TVL title outright, topping second place Central Catholic by a large margin.

"We were tied with Central going in, we beat them by at least 20, 25 points," said coach Derek Scott.

Three Cougars earned TVL champion status with first place showings, Andrew Schuler at 112 pounds, Myles Bishop at 135 and Anthony Oste at heavyweight.

"With Andrew, we're really encouraged with him, we're looking for him to go far," said Scott.

Bishop continued his strong season by taking first at 135 and Oste was one of the pleasant surprises in the competition.

"Anthony beat a kid in the finals, 1-0, the kid has been ranked in the section," noted Scott. "That was our biggest win, Anthony and assistant coach Ray Scott have been working hard over the past few weeks."

The top four wrestlers in each weight class automatically qualify for the small school event, the fifth place wrestler is an alternate. Out of 14 weight classes, Escalon has wrestlers moving on in 11, with one other alternate.

Brian Toy finished third at 103 pounds to start the parade of Cougar qualifiers.

"He did an excellent job, he pinned a kid he had lost to earlier in the year in the third/fourth place match," Scott said.

At 119 pounds, Atom Garcia was fourth, with Ryan Ashlock taking third at 125 pounds. Kevin Machado was third at 130, Joey Machado third at 140, Jon Manzo fourth at 145 and Ryan Sughrue third at 152 pounds. Brett Mynear finished third at 160 pounds and Ryan Lippincott was fifth at 171. He will be a reserve for the section event.

"By far, he had the toughest weight class of the tournament," Scott said of Lippincott's bouts. "There were at least three section-ranked guys at that weight."

Jesse Jimenez did not make weight at 189 pounds, Tyrell Swass did not place at 215.

"We went 10-2 in the medal rounds so we were very pleased with that, every kid, I felt, wrestled to their ability," explained Scott. "I can't think of a kid that didn't wrestle well."

Scott also earned Coach of the Year honors but said the award is really one that needs to be shared.

"I take that as a reflection on the whole staff," Scott said. "I have a lot of assistants, I have at least six to eight guys that come in and work with the kids."

At the JV level on Saturday, the young Cougar grapplers closed out their season by going undefeated. There were several first place finishers for the squad, including a number of bouts where the Cougars wrestled each other in certain weight classes to determine the champion.

"There are not a lot of wrestlers at the JV level so we had some kids wrestling each other in the finals," Scott pointed out. "We were undefeated for the season."

At 119 pounds, Lucas Pitassi took second place, Travis Bonds was fourth. Blake Mynear topped teammate Cody Cheary in the 125-pound class for first place, Mynear earning the championship, Cheary settling for second. At 130 pounds, Jake Greer was second, Nick Hansen was fourth.

The Cougars had the top three finishers at 140 pounds, Chase Keener was first, Tyler Draper second and Daryl Craig finished third. Martin Machado was first at 145 pounds, Derek Coyle was fourth. At 152 pounds, Heath Dougherty took first, Vince Rocha took fourth. At 160 pounds, Justin Chandley earned first place honors, topping second place teammate Brock Mynear. Chris Silveira was first in the heavyweight division.

"They capped off a season with undefeated dual meets," said Scott.

While the JV wrestlers are done, the varsity grapplers continue on, with those qualifying suiting up for competition at Lindurst on Friday, Feb. 18 and Saturday, Feb. 19.

"The top six in each weight class there will qualify for the Sections the next weekend," Scott said.