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Tournament, League Matches Keep Cougar Grapplers On The Go
Escalon’s John Konradi had a solid showing for the Cougar at the recent Lloyd C. Engel Tournament, shown here at 172 pounds in a match against a Turlock opponent. He finished fourth in the very competitive Pool A at the two-day tournament. Marg Jackson/The Times
Taking the mats for the Cougars at heavyweight, Frank Rodriguez does battle here against a Tokay opponent at the recent Lloyd C. Engel Tournament hosted at Escalon. He took an 8-5 loss in this match but finished second overall in Pool B. Marg Jackson/The Times

With a recent Trans-Valley League match against Livingston and the two-day Lloyd C. Engel Tournament hosted at Escalon High School, the Cougar wrestlers have kept up a hectic pace.

“We were worried about Livingston; we lost all three levels the year before,” noted head coach Derek Scott. “Plus, we are really young this year but they are catching on really quick.”

The JV team improved to 2-0 in league with a decisive 48-9 victory over the Wolves.

“We had good wins from Victor Romero and Guadalupe Calderon and, in his first match in quite a while, Joseph Dutra looked good and won by fall,” explained Scott.

The varsity girls struggled against Livingston and lost by a 48-6 final, winning just one of the six matches wrestled.

“Isabella Alcala was our lone winner, she started the season slow but is really coming around,” Scott said of the 106-pounder.

For the varsity boys, it was a solid showing, losing just one of the matches wrestled. Final score was Escalon 63, Livingston 10.

“The one match we lost we didn’t get pinned,” Scott pointed out. “The upper weights, we rolled, we won every match, the last six or seven matches, we won all of them.”

Winning at the lower weights were Luca Cerasi at 106 pounds and Christian T. Cruz at 120 pounds.

At the two-day Lloyd C. Engel Tournament, Jan. 6 and 7 in Escalon, the school welcomed in 43 teams.

“It was bigger than it has ever been before and I feel it went pretty smoothly, Seth Davis has been running the tournament the past couple of years,” said Scott. “It’s a huge event that shuts the school down and I want to thank my family, all the coaches that stepped in.”

Many students also assist in keeping score and serving as timers of the matches.

Escalon had many wrestlers make it through the first day and advance into day two with the possibility of winning a medal.

Those medal winners included, in Pool C, Logan Dooley, who was third overall with a 4-3 record at 160 pounds and Guadalupe ‘Lupe’ Calderon, who went 4-2 and nailed down first place honors at 195 pounds.

In Pool B, second place went to Frank Rodriguez, who had a 5-2 record at heavyweight.

“He’s giving up about 50 pounds at heavyweight, he has stepped in and done a great job,” Scott explained.

In Pool A, the toughest division, Escalon’s John Konradi had an impressive showing, going 5-2 for fourth place honors at 170 pounds.

“We had one champion, at106 pounds Luca Cerasi went 6-0, and took first place in Pool A,” said Scott. “He beat a kid from Elk Grove who is ranked fifth in the section, 20th in the state and Luca, as a freshman, has done a great job this year.”

The first day, with so many teams, competition ran until about 8 p.m.

“The second day, we got out of there between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m.,” Scott said. “Seth has done a great job being the director the last couple of years and the community and the school administration have been very supportive.”