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Trio Of Cougar Champions At Focha JV Tournament
0108 Redding
Escalons Justice Redding gets a grip on his opponent in an early round battle on Saturday. Redding went 3-0 at 138 pounds for first place honors at the Mel Focha Tournament.

With 22 teams invading the Escalon High gymnasiums on Saturday, the annual Mel Focha JV Wrestling Tournament saw 13 competitors from Escalon among those on the mats.

“Nine guys medaled,” said Escalon head coach Derek Scott, who said he was extremely pleased with the effort and results of the tourney.

Wrestlers suiting up for the tournament and getting in some good matches but not medaling were Justin Acevedo, 120 pounds; Jonathan Beaver, 132; Christian Manzo, 160 and Logan Avara, 195 pounds.

Third place finishers for the Cougars in the JV tourney were Daniel Wallace at 160 pounds, Hunter Calton at 170 and Franks Martins at heavyweight, all going 3-1.

“Daniel lost his first match, then came back and won two,” Scott said, adding that Calton wrestled tough as well and Martins has done a good job for the JV at the heavyweight level.

“Chase Tompson took second place at 132, he went 2-0 and that is by far the best he has wrestled,” Scott said.

Michael Yang was 2-1 at 132 for second place honors, as the tournament offered more than one bracket at the various weights. Daniel Rigg put together a solid Saturday at 170 pounds, second place with a 3-1 record.

Champions for the Cougars were Greg Artiaga at 120 pounds, Justice Redding at 138 and Marco Mendoza at 160. All three went 3-0.

“For Greg, they were his first tournament wins ever,” explained Scott. “Justice Redding was completely dominant and Marco also looked good.

“I was very impressed, this is the first time I’ve really seen the JVs wrestle.”

Scott also said the tournament success was due in part to “a ton of parent support” and said those running both the snack bar and taco bar did a great job in those areas as well.

“We had six mats running, we were done by 4:30 p.m.,” he said of the Saturday tournament that kicked off with weigh-ins about 7 a.m.

Former wrestling coach Rick Heflin started the Mel Focha Tournament and Scott said this year’s sponsors for the event included Grossi Fabrication and Pindar Dosanjh, while assistant coach Jason Robbins kept things moving smoothly between the two gyms on the EHS campus.

This weekend, it is the annual Lloyd C. Engel Wrestling Tournament for varsity, with 40 teams anticipated and competition running both Friday, Jan. 10 and Saturday, Jan. 11.

The Cougars, meanwhile, go to Hughson for a dual meet today, Wednesday, Jan. 8.

“It is by far our busiest, toughest week,” said Scott.