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Wrestlers Pin Down Riverbank, Host JV Tournament
Wednesday's match with Riverbank was virtually a slam dunk for the Cougar wrestlers, winning all but one of the matches they wrestled. Some of the wrestlers they faced were from Denair as well, with both Riverbank and Denair not fielding full squads, they combined to set up matches with Escalon at virtually every weight class.

The JV Cougars were 42-0 winners with four matches actually being wrestled, with the varsity taking a 73-6 win off the mats.

For the JV team, Scott Nunes won by pin at 125 pounds, Cordeiro Bryand won by pin at 135. Mike Simoes was also a winner by pin at 160 pounds and Travis James won by pin in the closing seconds of his match in the 215-pound bracket.

Eleven varsity wrestlers won their matches by pin as well, making the trip to Riverbank a success.

Pinning their opponents at the varsity level were Max Yeng, 103 pounds; Christian Franks, 112; Martin Castillo, 125; Dylan Furtado, 130; Jason Gutierrez, 135; Joseph Antonacci, 140; David Gonzales, 145; Charlie McDonald, 171; Brandon Williams, 189; Mike Gutierrez, 215 and Thomas Martin, heavyweight.

Andrew Baroni took a 12-4 win off the mats at 160 pounds and Kenneth Ring lost his match at 119 pounds by pin, the only win of the competition for Riverbank. Head coach Derek Scott knew his team would be too much for Riverbank to handle, with the Bruins still looking to increase their numbers and technical skills on the mats.

This weekend, the Cougars were busy once again, hosting the Mel Focha JV Tournament on Saturday, Jan. 17.

"We had 22 teams there," said Scott, noting that there were several Escalon wrestlers taking part.

Getting in some solid work but not placing at the event were Max Yeng, 103; Kenneth Ring, 119; Scott Nunes, 125; Joey Camara, 140; Travis James, Chris Bruno and James Ristrim, all taking the mats at 215.

Third place finishers were Cordeiro Bryand at 130 pounds, Brandon Wing at 135, Victor Carrillo at 160 and Jack Dalton at 171 pounds.

"Going 3-1 and taking second place were Adrian Cortez at 140 pounds and Mikey Simoes at 160 pounds," said Scott.

Escalon did crown one champion at the tournament as well, with Shane Silveira winning the 171-pound bracket with a 4-0 showing on the day.

"Overall, as a team, we didn't wrestle as well as I'd hoped," Scott admitted. "Simoes and Cortez both wrestled well, they each lost close, winnable matches at the end and we were very happy for Shane, he wrestled extremely well."

The JV tournament wrapped up a busy few weeks for the squad, with the two-day Engel tourney earlier this month and the Focha tourney following.

"I just want to thank my family for running the head table, the team parents for running the snack bar," Scott said of the Saturday tournament. "Also a special thanks to he parents who ran the scales, the entry doors, running the mic and the mats ... there are just too many people to name individual names, I just want to thank everyone."

That also includes the 'mat maids' who assist with timing and scoring, he said, and the varsity wrestlers for assistance during the JV tournament and more.

"We've had so much help for the tournaments over the last two weeks, so a personal thank you to all," Scott said.

Admitting that he's glad the back-to-back tournaments at home are over, Scott said his team will face off with a tough Hughson squad in Escalon tonight, Wednesday, Jan. 21 at 6:30 p.m. and the varsity heads off to what he expects will be the toughest tournament of the season, Foothill, on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 23 and 24.