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Varsity Cougar Wrestlers Travel To Hughson Duals

It was a very young wrestling team that traveled from Escalon to Hughson for a dual meet on Dec. 16, the final day of school before the long holiday break.

“The very young Cougars had their first dual meets of the year starting exactly zero seniors,” said head coach Derek Scott.

Also taking the mats for the team at Hughson were one junior, seven sophomores and three freshmen.

“Being so young we had many up and down swings,” Scott said, adding that the wrestlers did work very hard at the meet. “It was a distracting long day; students had finals and the home Focha meet the next day to either work or wrestle. We went 2-3 overall, taking fourth place. The only match we were not in was probably Linden … where we are good they were also good canceling out many of what would be wins.”

Host school Hughson and Golden Valley were the other losses on the day for Escalon.

“Golden Valley is highly ranked. We won five matches and were in three others,” Scott said. “Hughson, we lost a match we should have won and that was the difference. We have to get better at not getting pinned.”

Escalon also gave up points by having three forfeits to none for Hughson.

“The first match we won was Summerville and we closed out the day on a positive note with a close win over Amador to get fourth place,” explained Scott. “We saw some guys really step up as the day went on.”

Among those helping make a difference for Escalon was Ben Gonzales, who Scott said looks to be “one of the guys we are going to count on.”

The team was also excited for the return of Matthew Rangel.

“Matthew wrestled very hard. Matthew always listens and gives you his absolute best. He is a wonderful young man the kids should look to as a leader,” said Scott. “John Konradi again impressed the coaches, Victor Romero again looked ready to be an everyday guy. David Ingles is securing himself a permanent varsity spot now going 10-2 for the year at varsity … David is doing great.”

The surprise of the meet, going 4-1 and coming from behind pinning opponents in three of his four wins was Christian Rodriguez.

“Wrestling varsity for the time with very little experience, I’m super happy for Christian. He’s just flat out tough if he can get out of the first round still in the match he will wear down and out tough his opponents,” Scott said.

Most impressive for the meet and the season as a freshman, going 12-0 with 12 falls on the season was Luca Cerasi.

“I’m so happy for Luca. He has been scored on twice this year and both times he has instantly picked up the intensity and thumped his guy. He has grown up so much physically and in maturity in the last year. A year ago, he was 90 pounds and would let things that go on in matches rattle him. He’s a competitor who hates to lose and he has learned to use that to his advantage instead of making him too nervous,” Scott said. “As the season progresses he’s going to be one of the guys we count on for wins every match.”

Helping Scott coach the long weekend with the Hughson Duals and the Focha Tournament at Escalon on Dec. 17 were Ray Krieger, Travis James, Ray Scott and Brent Noon Sr.