Kicking off a busy weekend with a Friday trip to the Hughson Duals, the Escalon varsity wrestlers took first place in that competition, going 5-0.
Head coach Derek Scott said the team defeated every other squad they faced, something that made the coaching staff both pleased and proud.
“I felt we would be a good dual match team but you never know until you start wrestling,” Scott explained. “As a team, we wrestled really well and I was especially happy with how well we did against Atwater.”
Escalon’s varsity wrestlers started the day with a 56-18 win against Mariposa, then took down Atwater by a score of 54-18. Against Denair, it was a 57-12 Cougar win, then they defeated Hughson 36-15 and capped off the day with a 51-0 shutout over Linden.
The Cougars had a half dozen wrestlers go undefeated through the five dual matches, with Rhys Panero, Kyle Jimenez, Trenton Busch, Cameron DuBois, Matthew Gallego and A.J. Camarena all going 5-0.
Marco Mendoza and Daniel Wallace each went 3-0, Daniel Gonzalez compiled a 4-1 record and three other wrestlers went 3-2 for the day. Troy Bedell, Mark DeHaven and Livius Seung all went 3-2 against the five varsity teams.
Head coach Scott was assisted in that event by Ray Scott, Jason Robbins and two Cougar wrestling alumni, Austin Martinez and Dominic Freeseha, both now wrestling for Fresno City College.
On Saturday, Dec. 21 it was time for the JV wrestlers to take center stage, traveling to the Hughson Tournament.
First place honors went to Nick DeWeerd, who went 5-0 on the day. Three young Cougars came home with second place medals, Troy Bedell and Tyler Swinford each going 3-1 and David Ryan with a 2-1 record. David Escove was also a medalist, taking third with a 2-1 mark. Head coach Derek Scott, Eric Rowe and Atom Garcia handled the coaching duties on Saturday.
“We were real excited with how the team looks,” Scott said.
The Cougars – who usually head to Reno for the Sierra Nevada Classic between Christmas and New Year – are instead staying close to home for tournament action over the next week. They were scheduled to participate in the Modesto Tournament at Modesto Junior College on Tuesday and will be at the Modesto Duals on Saturday.
After the start of the new year, the JV team will host its annual Mel Focha Tournament, set for Saturday, Jan. 3 starting at 9 a.m. and the following week, Friday and Saturday, Jan. 9 and 10, brings the annual Lloyd C. Engel Tournament for the varsity wrestlers.