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First Wrestling Tournament Equals Success For Cougars
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The first action of the season for Cougar wrestlers came on Saturday at the Hughson JV Tournament. Several grapplers made the relatively short trip to Hughson, facing off on the mats for the first time this season.

"It was real good to see some of the young guys get out there," said Escalon head wrestling coach Derek Scott. "We sent 16 kids."

Half of them came home with hardware, with four second-place finishes and four first-place finishes among the competition. There were different brackets, based on experience, with Escalon taking first place at two 140-pound divisions, Colton Camara and Lestat Velasquez earning the top spots. A.J. Camarena, a freshman, also took down first place honors at 160 pounds and Nancy Humphrey was first at 160 pounds in the girls division.

"It just made sense," Scott said of tournaments offering the division for girls, as more have taken up wrestling. "Nancy has gotten to the point where she can beat most girls."

Nine times out of ten, going against the guys, it would be a different story, Scott said, so having the girls division allows the female wrestlers a chance to battle it out on a more even playing field.

Taking second place in the tournament were Austin Jones at 135, Clayton Keener at 140, Austin Martinez at 160 pounds and Jobany Picazo at 220 pounds.

"Colton and Lestat are returning guys and we wanted to see that they were ready to move up to varsity, which they are, and A.J., it was our first time to see him in competition, we are real excited about what he did," Scott noted.

The coaches were also pleased with the performances of Keener and Picazo, much improved, and Martinez also impressed. The only loss for Jones was to an Oakdale wrestler that will make the move to varsity for the regular season.

Scott returns as head coach for the Cougars and others on the coaching staff are Danny Prado, Ray Scott and Ryan Esteves, with volunteer assistance from a number of people, primarily Pinder Dosanjh and Carlos Furtado.

The wrestlers - those not still busy with football practice - will head to a dual meet today, Nov. 30, in Lathrop.