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Trio Of Cougar Wrestlers Advance To State Meet
Coaches, in back, Jason Robbins, head coach Derek Scott, Ray Scott pose with their three State Meet-bound wrestlers, Johnathon Costa, Tyler Lawrence, Dominic Freeseha. Photo Courtesy Of Wendy Costa

Taking eight Cougars to the Masters Meet in Stockton on Friday and Saturday, wrestling coaches saw three of them qualify to the State Meet.

Bound for Bakersfield are Tyler Lawrence, Johnathon Costa and Dominic Freeseha.

"We felt everybody wrestled to the best of their ability," said head coach Derek Scott of the eight at the Masters. "We outscored every other small school team there by over 20 points."

Finishing 12th overall as a team, Scott noted the 11 in front of them were all large schools and four out of the eight Cougars in the Masters had three years or less experience in wrestling.

A first time state qualifier, junior Dominic Freeseha will represent the Cougars at 220 pounds, going 4-2 over the two days.

"He defies the odds every time out there, he gives up about 20 pounds every match," Scott said of the wrestler, who doesn't tip the scales at the upper end of the weight class. "He made all the coaches proud."

At 132 pounds, junior Tyler Lawrence went 7-1 and took third place.

"He lost a very frustrating match in overtime on the first day," Scott pointed out. "He then went 4-0 on Saturday, beating three ranked wrestlers in the process."

That propelled Lawrence into the state meet and senior Johnathon Costa was equally as impressive, going 6-1 to take third at 170 pounds.

"He had to go to triple overtime for third place," said Scott, and Costa's only loss came to a top-ranked state wrestler.

Of those wrestlers not moving on, Josh Redding who suffered an injury at the divisionals went 1-1 at 145 pounds before the coaches determined it was safer to pull him from the competition and not risk further injury.

"We are real proud of him, he did a great job," Scott said.

At 152 pounds, Austin Martinez battled to an 0-2 mark, losing his first match in the competition on a takedown at the end, falling 3-2.

"He goes out there and just goes as hard as he can," Scott said, noting coaches were extremely pleased with the effort.

A.J. Camarena went 3-2 at 182 pounds, nailing down a top 12 finish.

"He made the second day and this is a kid a month ago that was a JV wrestler," Scott said of the sophomore, who shows plenty of promise for the seasons to come.

Senior Garrett Wade ended his high school career with a 1-2 mark at 160 pounds.

"He had another hard draw and lost to two guys who medaled," Scott explained. "He was a four-year varsity wrestler for us."

Senior Jason Robbins went 2-2 at 138 pounds, losing the heartbreaker of the tournament in overtime, a match that would have sent him to the medal round and likely to the state meet.

He finished top 12 and was a four time Trans-Valley League champion for the Cougars.

Scott added that the team was aided by the coaching of Ray Scott, Jason Robbins and assistance from Jalyn Costa during the two-day Masters Meet.

They will leave Thursday night for Bakersfield, with the State Meet set for Friday and Saturday, March 1 and 2.

"We've got three guys going to state," Scott said, hoping that gives them a good chance of coming home with some hardware.