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Matmen Successful At JV, Varsity Tournaments
Four JV wrestlers brought home top honors from the Enochs Tournament on Saturday, while two medals were earned by varsity grapplers in the Tim Brown Tournament, running Friday and Saturday.

"There were 90 teams at the Foothill (Tim Brown) tourney and we took 11 varsity guys," explained head coach Derek Scott. "We wrestled as well as we ever have at that tournament, we got six guys to the second day."

Turning in efforts of 2-2 were Garrett Wade at 160 pounds and Travis James at 220, wrestling their best individual matches of the season, said Scott.

Four Cougars made it to the top 12 to get into the medal hunt.

"Jason Robbins went 4-2 at 145 pounds and Johnathon Costa went 4-2 at 152 pounds, both their losses to get knocked out of the medal round were by one point," explained Costa.

For the two Cougars that did medal, Dylan Furtado earned a third place at 138 pounds, going 6-1 over the two days.

"He beat the number two through five ranked guys in the section," Scott said of the good run by Furtado through the field.

But the big story of the weekend for Escalon was the emergence of Tyler Lawrence as the Cougars' first ever finalist at the prestigious tournament.

"He went 5-1 and took second place, he lost 4-3 in the finals to one of the top ranked guy in the state," Scott noted.

Lawrence took the mats at 126 pounds and his effort at the Foothill bodes well for eventual placement at the section meet.

"This is the best, by far, we've wrestled at a tournament in the last few years," Scott said, adding that the JV grapplers also did a good job on Saturday, making for a very successful weekend.

Frankie Bavaro took a fourth place medal at 145 pounds at the JV event at Enochs, with Austin Jones, 132; Kenny Ring, 138; Jorge Cortez, 160 and Danny Felix, heavyweight, all pinning down third place medals.

In second place were Clayton Keener, 138 and Josh Redding, 145, while the Cougars brought home four first place medals, including a sweep of the pools at 152 pounds.

Lestat Velasquez earned first place honors at 138 pounds and three 152-pounders for Escalon, A.J. Camarena, Matt Gallego and Austin Martinez, brought home first place in their respective pools.

"The coaches there were very happy, felt we wrestled really well," Scott said, with 11 medals among the 17 JV wrestlers making the trip.

This week, the Cougars host Orestimba in a 6 p.m. meet on Wednesday, Jan. 25 and some wrestlers that haven't gotten in too many matches this season so far will travel to the Rumble at Pitman on Saturday, Jan. 28.