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Wrestlers Close Out Campaign In Bakersfield
Though everyone was stopped short of the medal round, Escalon closed out a successful season on the wrestling mats by taking five Cougars to the State Meet in Bakersfield.

Two seniors, two juniors and one sophomore made the trip, and head coach Derek Scott said he was proud to take so many to the prestigious event.

"For our seniors, it was a great way to wrap up their time here at Escalon," said Scott.

Travis James represented Escalon in the 220-pound category and went 0-2 in his state appearance.

"Both matches were real competitive and Travis just came on so strong in his final month," Scott said. "He came in with an injury from football, it took him a while to get on track but he just had a great season and to make it to state was a huge accomplishment."

For Dylan Furtado, it was a 2-2 campaign at 138 pounds and both his losses were close ones as well.

"He lost by a point to a guy who did medal," Scott pointed out.

Furtado didn't have the chance to wrestle at this level last year, and Scott said he performed incredibly well on the big stage.

"We're really sad to see him go, he has brought an incredible amount of leadership to this team," Scott said.

It was a disappointing start to the tournament for sophomore Tyler Lawrence, who missed making weight at 126 pounds and could not compete. Scott said the sophomore was sick on Monday and, with one less day to prepare, was not able to cut enough weight before the Thursday night check in.

"His effort was really good," Scott said of trying to trim his weight down.

As disappointing as it was, Scott said it was a good lesson for both wrestler and coach about the need to prepare early and Scott said the good news is that Lawrence still has two more years of high school wrestling ahead of him, with a return to Bakersfield a very good possibility if he continues to work as hard as he did this season.

At 145 pounds, junior Jason Robbins went 0-2 in his first state appearance.

"He was real close in both matches," Scott said. "Jason wrestled very well."

Junior Johnathon Costa went 2-2 at 152 pounds to break into the top 16.

"He lost 4-2 in the last match of the first day and a win there would have put him into the top 12," Scott said of Costa just missing out on an opportunity to bring home a medal.

"But overall, we're extremely proud and extremely excited about this year's team, everybody bought into what we were trying to teach and do and we have three returning state qualifiers to lead the team next year," Scott explained.

After a rough start, the Cougars did get rolling, tying for the Trans-Valley League title and showing well at the Divisionals and Masters to send five on to state competition.

"Out next step is getting a Masters champion and then bringing home a state medal," Scott said.