By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
State Meet Wraps Up Season For Escalon Wrestling Duo
Neither Escalon wrestler came home with a medal from the weekend's State Wrestling Meet in Bakersfield, but they did gain some valuable experience and have a game plan for greater success next season.

Head coach Derek Scott said both freshman Johnathon Costa and junior Christian Franks had a tough first round draw, based on their seeding out of the Section Meet.

"At 103 pounds, Johnathon Costa went 0-2 but he wrestled the number three ranked guy in the state in his first match," Scott explained. "It was 2-2 with about a minute left, then he got caught and he ended up losing 7-4."

Keeping it close until the end and losing by a slim margin was something to build on, said Scott, giving Costa some momentum heading into round two. But there, he drew the third ranked wrestler in the Section and battled to a tough 5-4 loss.

"It was very encouraging that it was that close," Scott said of the freshman standing tall against upperclassmen with more experience. "Now we need to find a way to win those close matches."

For Christian Franks, wrestling at 119 pounds, his first draw was also a Southern Section wrestler, ranked number three in the state, and he was shut out, 10-0, by his Barstow opponent.

The loss only served to fuel Franks' competitive fire, as he ripped off three straight victories in his next three matches.

"He bounced back, won three in a row to make it to the top 16," Scott said.

He pinned an Oakland wrestler and a North Coast grappler, then defeated a Central Coast opponent 3-0.

In his fifth match of the night, which would have put him through to Day 2 and give him a shot at a medal, Franks lost to a Bella Vista wrestler, ranked third in the Section, by an 8-0 decision to end his season.

Scott said coaches were overall pleased with the efforts and outcome, even though all involved would have liked to have brought home some hardware.

"We got a freshman in and Christian won three matches, the encouraging thing is that they are both underclassmen and we can make adjustments for next year," Scott pointed out. "If we can improve our Section placement, they can get a better draw next year to start."