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Wrestlers Earn Medals At Reno, Granada Tournaments
With 94 teams from seven states there, Escalon wrestlers had the chance to see some outstanding competition at the Sierra Nevada Tournament in Reno on Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 29 and 30.

"This tournament is about as hard to place in as the state tournament," head coach Derek Scott said.

Two Cougars came home with medals, placing in the competition.

Christian Franks earned a second place medal at 103 pounds and Thomas Martin placed seventh at 215 pounds.

"Thomas went 7-2 for seventh and Christian was 5-1, he lost 4-2 in the finals but he beat two guys from this Section, so that was encouraging," explained Scott. "If you can win two matches here, you're right in the hunt for a medal."

Mike Gutierrez went 4-2 for Escalon at 189 pounds and Charlie McDonald wrestled to a 3-2 mark at 171.

"He had the worst draw of the tournament," Scott admitted, noting that McDonald may have been in contention for a medal if the draw had been different.

Compiling 2-2 marks were Dylan Furtado at 125 pounds, Tyler Gonzales at 152 and Colin Keener at 160.

Going 1-2 at the Reno tourney were Martin Castillo, 120 pounds; Anthony Munoz, 135; David Gonzales, 140; Joseph Antonacci, 145 and Paul Brown at heavyweight. Jason Gutierrez, at 130, went 0-2.

"Overall we wrestled really well," Scott said of the team's effort.

They followed the Reno trip up with a visit to the Mat Classic at Granada on Saturday, Jan. 3 and got the best showing from David Gonzales.

He took second place at 140 pounds with a 4-1 mark.

"Week in, week out, he does a great job," Scott said of the freshman, who continues to work hard and learn. "He beats wrestlers that are better than he is because he fights for the whole six minutes.

Taking 12 wrestlers to the classic, the Cougars were second overall as a team out of 30 teams and came home with seven individual medals, led by the second place showing of Gonzales.

Taking third place honors were Franks, 5-1 at 112; Tyler Gonzales, 4-1, 153; McDonald, 4-1, 172; Martin, 4-1, 215.

"Christian wrestled up a weight and did really well, and for Tyler, it was the best he's ever wrestled," Scott noted.

Fifth place honors went to freshman Dylan Furtado, 3-2, at 125 pounds and Mike Gutierrez, 3-2, 191.

"It was the first medal this year for each of them," said Scott.

Wrestling but not placing were Jason Gutierrez, 2-2, 130; Anthony Munoz, 1-2, 135; Joseph Antonacci, 0-2, 145; Colin Keener, 2-2, 160 and Paul Brown, 1-1 with an injury default at heavyweight.

"Of those guys, we felt Jason and Colin did well, they are really starting to show some improvement," said Scott.

The Cougars will travel to Waterford for what Scott anticipates will be the toughest dual match of the season on Wednesday, Jan. 7.

They host the Lloyd C. Engel Tournament on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 9 and 10 this week, and then travel to Riverbank for a dual meet on Wednesday, Jan. 14.