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Panther Grapplers Place Second In Big Boy Tournament
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Members of the El Portal wrestling team put their Panther pride on the line recently, stepping onto the mats for the local Big Boy Tournament.

"There were 13 teams there, I had close to 30 kids wrestling and just about all of them took a medal," said coach Jim Sughrue.

Turlock placed first as a team in the event, with 56 points. Host Escalon was second with 53 points, followed by Dutcher of Turlock in third.

"It was a round robin tournament, four-man brackets," explained Sughrue. "We had four mats going, over 350 kids wrestling that day."

First place finishers in the competition for El Portal included Kevin Crawford, 80 pounds; Landon Gonzales, 100; Jason Wright, 105; Colin Keener, 110; Tyler Gonzales, 110; Mike McGwire, 110; J.D. Visser, 120; Chase Keener, 125; Chad Keyser, 125; Martin Machado, 155; and Josh May, 160 pounds.

Second place medals were taken by Brian Bentley at 75 pounds, along with fifth grader Christian Franks, 75 pounds. Also, Brian Toy, 100; Thomas Martin, 110; Kyle Kirkpatrick, 115; Israel Ruiz, 130 pounds.

Finishing in third place in their weight classes were fifth grader David Gonzales, 80 pounds; Greg Haarberg, 85; Adam Jefferson, 100; Jake Greer, 110; Mike Flores, 145; Nathan Vieira, 150; Paul Brown, 189 and Jimmy Zepeda, 215 pounds.

"The tournament was sponsored by Big Boy Market, they were a big help to us," noted Sughrue. "We made a little bit of money on the event and the total number of matches we ran was over 500."

The Panthers have a few more matches before they end their competitive season. They will be at home for a 4 p.m. contest with Dutcher of Turlock on Thursday, April 1.