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Furtado, Robbins Pin Down Engel Titles
Over 400 wrestlers, 31 teams, two full days of competition and two Cougar champions.

Senior Dylan Furtado and junior Jason Robbins won their weight classes at the annual two-day Lloyd C. Engel Wrestling Tournament hosted at Escalon High.

"Dylan went 6-0 at 138 pounds, took first place in Pool A and was voted the tournament's most outstanding wrestler," explained head coach Derek Scott. "Jason was down 4-3 with about a minute and a half to go in his final match against a kid from Ponderosa and he turned the guy, pinned him. That's what's fun about coaching Jason, he just never gives up."

Robbins went 6-0 for first place honors in Pool A at 145 pounds.

Several Cougars were medal winners in the competition, which also featured several different pools based on experience. Taking second place honors for Escalon were Tyler Lawrence, 133 pounds, 5-1 in Pool A and Garrett Wade, 160 pounds, 5-1 in Pool A.

"Tyler had three section-ranked guys in his pool, did a great job, and Garrett has come on strong, done well the last couple of weeks," Scott said.

In third place were Kenny Ring, 138 pounds, 4-3, Pool D; Johnathon Costa, 152, 6-1, Pool A; Matt Gallego, 152, 4-3, Pool B; Joey Gutierrez, 220 pounds, 4-3, Pool C.

At 133 pounds, Colton Camara was fourth in Pool B with a record of 4-3, while other fourth place finishers were Lestat Velasquez, 138, 4-3, Pool B; Travis James, 220, 5-2, Pool B.

"By far, this was the toughest this tournament has ever been," Scott said of pulling in top level teams like Ponderosa and Elk Grove. "Even the guys that didn't medal wrestled very well, Chaz Welborn wrestled the best he's ever wrestled, he was 4-2 in Pool A at 121 pounds," Scott pointed out.

There was also plenty of action, with six mats in two gyms, getting wrestlers lots of work.

"It was a long tournament, a huge stress on our volunteers but we just had a ton of parent help, even parents who don't have kids at the school anymore turned out to help," Scott said. "The Lions Club did the coach's lunch, we had a ton of community support, high school kids, the superintendents were there both days, even wrestlers that weren't wrestling helped out.

"I just want to thank them all for helping the tournament run smoothly."

This year, the Tom McCoy family, Quality Service Inc., sponsored the tournament, with an additional contribution from Allen and Kathy Baroni.

The week was a busy one, with a crucial dual on the road at Hughson on Wednesday (Jan. 11) starting out the week.

"I considered that as a 'must win' for us if we want to have any chance at the league title and we came out and wrestled as well as we have all season," said Scott. "The JV got a 66-6 win, the highlight wins there were by Trevor Campa (126 pounds), Clayton Keener (135) and Josh Redding (145)."

At the varsity level, Scott said the paperwork showed several matches in the balance.

"I was nervous, there were six or seven matches that I felt could go either way," he noted. "But we got a 55-9 win and even the losses, nobody got pinned, that's the happiest I've been with the team in a dual meet in a couple of years."

Key wins came from Khyle Delucchi in overtime at 106 pounds, Tyler Lawrence, 138, win by pin; Dylan Furtado, 145, win by decision; Jason Robbins, 152, pin; Austin Martinez, 170, decision; Garrett Wade, 182, decision; Joey Gutierrez, heavyweight, pin.

After a much deserved rest from league dual competition this week, the Cougars will be back in action for the weekend, the varsity traveling to the Tim Brown Tournament at Foothill in Sacramento on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 20 and 21 and the JV squad at the Enochs Tournament on Saturday.