The Escalon Wrestling Club (EWC) hosted one of the area’s larger youth tournaments, a SCWAY Tournament of Champions (TOC) qualifying tournament, on Sunday with nearly 400 wrestlers competing at Escalon High School. The action was spread out over eight mats in three buildings with kids from the ages of 5 to 15 competing. Top placers in the 11-12 and 13-15 age groups, and in grades 6-8 in the Advanced Divisions earned a spot at the prestigious Nor Cal Tournament of Champions to be held on March 12 at Del Oro High School in Loomis. EWC wrestlers Luke Anderson, Garrett Nash and Garrison Gerber all brought home championship plaques. They joined EJ Lewis, who had previously qualified for the TOC and was also a plaque earner on Sunday, on a short list of wrestlers who will be able to represent the Club.
The EWC had 28 placers overall with 14 champions. In addition to the TOC qualifiers, Luke Bates, Griffin Gerber, Alex Gutierrez, Ramon Hinojosa, Sammy Hinojosa, Ryan Lewis, Jamin Miller, Ryan Lewis, Ryker Peters and Taylor Rowe all won plaques of their own. Taking home silver medals were Luca Cerasi, Jacob Garza, Gideon Gerber, Levi Hale, CJ Miller, Josh Miller, Zyler Moore and Christian Rowe. Rounding out the wrestlers with some hardware were Jimmy Auble, Logan Dooley, Alex Gutierrez (two age groups), Matthew Rangel, Frankie Rodriguez and Thomas Rowe.
“Our tournament took place the day after the EHS program hosted the Lloyd C. Engel tournament at the high school as well,” said EWC Head Coach Scott Page. “And it took a tremendous amount of effort on the part of our parents, community volunteers, coaches and both the high school and club wrestlers to pull these tournaments off this smoothly and we’re deeply grateful for everybody’s help year after year.
“The kids wrestled with heart and determination and continue to improve every week.”
The EWC wrestlers will have little time to rest as they look forward to a SCWAY tournament in Linden on Sunday, Jan. 17 and many of the Club grapplers beginning their season this past Monday at El Portal Middle School.