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Matmen Finish Season With One State Medal
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Closing out their seasons on the mats of the state wrestling meet in Bakersfield, one Cougar came home with a medal, one finished just out of the medal round.

Curtis Schurkamp earned a medal for his fifth place showing at 112 pounds, while teammate Mike Travers finished just out of the medals at 140 pounds.

"Both guys we thought could medal, with Mike, he lost the match to place for a medal, and during the weekend he lost to the number one rated guy and the guy who finished fifth," noted coach Derek Scott.

Travers' strong effort in the section meet the previous week may have actually worked to his disadvantage, Scott added, noting that he drew some of the top-rated wrestlers in the state in his early rounds. Travers went 2-1 in Friday action and went to the consolation bracket for Saturday, going 1-1 that day and finishing with a 3-2 mark at the state meet.

"He wrestled really well, he just had a bad draw," Scott said. "But we feel he wrestled to his ability."

Schurkamp, who also went 2-1 in the opening round on Friday, went to the consolation bracket and hung tough on Saturday to come away with a fifth place medal.

"Curtis became the first time ever three-time state placer for Escalon," Scott noted of the effort.

Schurkamp was on the mats four times on Saturday, going 3-1 that day to earn a medal and finish the meet with a 5-2 mark.

"Curtis has not really been healthy all year, he's actually been wrestling at about 70 to 80 percent," Scott admitted. "He needs knee surgery, he's had a lot of health problems, especially with tonsillitis, and he wrestled as good this weekend as he had all year."

Scott added that coaches and the wrestler kept quiet about the health and injury problems he was suffering from this season, not wanting other wrestlers to take advantage of any weaknesses. And Scott said Schurkamp persevered, making the best of every situation.

"He never missed a tournament all year and he never was really healthy, still he was able to muster up the energy to place fifth at the state," the coach pointed out.

In the quarterfinals, Schurkamp drew his toughest opponent of the meet and lost to the eventual state champion, Brian Moreno of Foothill. Moreno defeated Hughson's Cory Borges in the finals.

"He had to wrestle an extra two matches to get a medal," Scott added of his senior 112-pounder. "I really feel like he wrestled to his ability."