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Travers Dominates Small School Section Meet
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One champion came from Escalon in the Small School Wrestling Sections, with six Cougars total qualifying for the upcoming Section competition. There, they will wrestle for the right to advance to the state meet.

Escalon High School hosted the Small School event on Friday and Saturday, with Mike Travers claiming the championship at 140 pounds.

"We've worked with him on handling adversity, he's had to wrestle with stitches over his eye, this week he got banged up and needed a lot of stitches in his mouth," noted coach Derek Scott of his tough middleweight.

Travers battled Anthony Lucero of Lincoln High in the finals on Saturday, getting past the injury to take down his opponent in a 5-0 decision. For Travers, the small school crown comes on the heels of his win in the Trans-Valley League meet, where he also took first place at 140 and was voted the Most Valuable Middleweight.

"We had 12 that got in to wrestle this week," Scott added of Cougars competing in the Small School Sections. "The top six qualified for the Section meet."

Escalon will have six wrestlers moving on to that event, Friday and Saturday at Folsom in Sacramento.

At 112 pounds, Curtis Schurkamp took second place, going 3-1 over the two days.

"Curtis looked really good in his first three matches," said Scott. "He didn't look as confident against Borges in the finals, he was a little nervous and lost it, 9-3."

Cory Borges of Hughson claimed first place at 112 pounds over Schurkamp in one of the marquee matches. Borges is currently ranked second in the state at that weight, Schurkamp is ranked fifth.

At 119 pounds, Joey Machado closed out his season with a 2-2 mark.

"He did a good job," Scott said, noting that Machado dropped his first match of the day but came back strong to post the respectable record.

Adrian Carrillo went 3-2 and finished fourth at 125 pounds, moving on to the Section meet.

"He's one of those guys right on the bubble," said Scott, explaining that Carrillo has a chance to get to the state meet if he can pull off a strong effort in the sections.

Kevin Machado went 0-2 at 130 pounds, ending his season.

"He lost two close matches and he improved a lot toward the end of the season," Scott said.

At 135 pounds, Myles Bishop went 3-1 and finished in second place, losing a thriller to Kenny White of Ripon, 15-12.

"That was the best match, Myles lost to him but White had beaten him badly two times they had met before," Scott explained.

White is ranked third in the section at the weight, Bishop nearly took him down but settled for second place and the right to keep wrestling on the larger stage this weekend.

Travers was 4-0 at 140 for the Cougars, Ryan Sughrue went 1-2 at 145 pounds to finish his season. Lance Lippincott put together a 2-3 record to finish sixth at 152 pounds.

"He qualified for sections, he's performing well under the pressure," noted Scott.

At 160 pounds, Ryan Lippincott was 2-2 but ended his season. An emergency fill in at the weight for the past few weeks, Scott said Lippincott did an admirable job and can use the experience to his advantage next season.

Andrew Pitassi went 1-2 at 171 pounds.

"It was a nice season for him, he was a solid starter all year," Scott said.

Manuel Schwanker moves on, taking fourth place at 215 pounds with a 4-2 mark, bouncing back after a first round loss. Heavyweight Anthony Oste went 2-2, showing a lot of heart and fighting hard, but closing out his season with the small schools event.

"Teamwise, Bret Harte took first with 179 pounds, Hughson was second with 135 and we were third with 132," explained Scott. "Our guys wrestled pretty hard, we just need to improve on the medal round, in our last round this week we went 1-5, we need to get better."

Friday and Saturday competition in Sacramento kicks off at 10 a.m. each day, with the top five finishers at each weight qualifying for the State Meet. The sixth place finisher has the chance of going as an alternate.

With Escalon serving as host school for the small school event, Scott said he was pleased with the performance of his wrestlers, keeping their focus on the task at hand.

"Once everything got running, it went very smoothly," Scott said of the tournament. "Ninety-nine percent of the work is done by the community, all my parents and coaches, it was a busy week and I want to thank everyone for their help."