The Escalon Wrestling Club (EWC) is having arguably its best season on the mats this year as its youth grapplers continue to work hard in both practice and competition. They competed at Linden High School on Sunday, Jan. 17. The Linden Wrestling Club had its largest State of California Wrestling Alliance for the Youth (SCWAY Zone 2) tournament to date with over 350 kids competing from ages 5 to 15 in both Beginner and Advanced divisions. Thirty-three of those were EWC representatives with a majority of them taking home medals; seven were champions, with many others earning silver or bronze.
Gold medalists in Linden included Luke Bates, Garrison Gerber, Ramon Hinojosa, Sammy Hinojosa, John Konradi, Zyler Moore and Garrett Nash. Runners-up were Luca Cerasi, Noah Dooley, Gideon Gerber, Griffin Gerber, Brad Hagglund, Alex Jones, Jamin Miller, Alex Jones, Gavin Phillips and Christian Rowe. Consolation winners were AJ Cerasi, Logan Dooley, Luke Konradi, Matthew Freeseha and Josh Miller.
Meanwhile, 26 wrestlers and their families made the one-hour trip to the foothills at Summerville High in Tuolumne worth their while this past Sunday as 23 of them placed in the top four with Josh Miller joining teammates EJ Lewis, Garrison Gerber, Luke Anderson and Garrett Nash as Nor Cal Tournament of Champions (TOC) qualifiers with a well-earned silver medal. The TOC, hosted in Loomis at Del Oro High on March 12 for wrestlers enrolled in grades six through eight, will consist of only those placing at or near the top of their Advanced weight classes in designated tournaments throughout northern California during each season depending on the number of participants in each respective bracket.
Among the nine champions were first year wrestlers Jimmy Auble, Noah Dooley and Taylor Rowe with Zyler Moore, Ramon Hinojosa completing the list of Beginner gold statue winners to continue their strong seasons. In the Advanced division, Alex Gutierrez had a dominant performance and remained undefeated on the season in his age group while Garrett Nash won his sixth consecutive tournament and Christian Rowe went 3-0 and dominated a Central Catholic opponent that had narrowly denied him the gold in a previous contest. Sammy Hinojosa had little trouble tearing through his weight class while also competing in a very tough higher age group.
Beginners taking second place were Griffin Gerber, with a gutsy come from behind victory to earn his medal, as well as newcomers Alex Jones, Anthony Jones, and Ronnie Lawrence. Garrison Gerber, first year wrestler Logan Dooley, and the aforementioned Josh Miller rounded out the silver medal winners. Earning the bronze in very competitive Advanced divisions were Jamin Miller and Luca Cerasi. Frankie Rodriguez also got a bronze medal.
Third place finishers in the Beginner division were AJ Cerasi and rookie Zachary Moore. Fourth place medalists, also competing in very tough Advanced weight classes, were Gideon Gerber and Giovanni Ruiz.
The Club looks to complete its Winter SCWAY season on Feb. 14 at a TOC qualifier at Calaveras High in San Andreas while preparing for the Zone 2 Championships at Oakdale High on Feb. 21 where the top Advanced placers in each weight class will move on to the prestigious SCWAY Grade State Championship in Clovis on March 18 and 19.