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Grapplers Making Way Through Preseason Grind
Hosting Enochs on Dec. 8, the Escalon wrestlers battled but lost a one-point decision, 36-35.

Coach Derek Scott said Enochs is a team that his Cougars would normally beat but they were without some wrestlers, battling injuries and the football players on the team were working on just a couple of practices.

"I still felt we wrestled pretty well," Scot said.

At the JV level, it was a 44-27 win for Enochs. Five Escalon wrestlers took wins off the mat, Kenny Ring, Matt Gallego, Josh Redding, Jobany Picazo and Nathan Reichert.

The varsity squad saw wins from Chaz Welborn, 120 pounds; Tyler Lawrence, 132; Dylan Furtado, 145; Austin Martinez, 160; Johnathon Costa, 170; Garrett Wade, 182 and Joey Gutierrez, heavyweight.

"We felt Austin and Garrett had the biggest wins," said Scott. "We also lost some one-point matches and Enochs isn't usually a team that beats us."

Had Escalon been at full strength, Scott said he believes they would have won the match.

Grapplers got back on the mats Saturday, with 16 JV wrestlers going to the Beyer Tournament and several varsity attending the Elk Grove Tournament.

At Beyer, nine of the wrestlers medaled, with first place showings from Austin Jones, 132 and Austin Martinez, 160.

Bringing home second place medals were J.T. Payan, Travis Nascimento, A.J. Camarena and Collin Strasser. Taking third were Brendon Belman, Dominic Freeseha, Clayton Keener and Khyle Delucchi.

In Elk Grove for the varsity, the competition was high level.

"This is probably the toughest tournament we'll have this year and it was a one-day event," Scott explained. "We took 11 guys and brought home four medals."

Earning the hardware were Garrett Wade, fifth place at 170 pounds; Jason Robbins, 145 and Johnathon Costa, 160, taking fourth place medals and Dylan Furtado, at 145, notching third place.

"These were all football guys, still not in wrestling shape and they did very well," Scott said, noting that they faced off with several ranked wrestlers. "As coaches, we were very pleased with the effort."

Trans-Valley League action begins this week, with the Cougars traveling to Ripon for a match on Wednesday, Dec. 14. Varsity wrestlers then take on the Modesto Junior College Western Invitational on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 16 and 17.