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Wrestlers Preparing For Late Season Push At TVL Tournament
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It was Senior Night for the Cougar wrestling program on Wednesday, Jan. 25 in the old gym on the EHS campus. Four seniors, accompanied by family members, were introduced and their accomplishments highlighted. Seniors shown, from left, are JW Mills, Victor Romero, Christian Rowe (in back) and Jessica Freitas. Marg Jackson/The Times

Four seniors were recognized for their contributions to the Escalon wrestling program on Wednesday night, honored prior to the double dual with visiting Hilmar and Riverbank.

Jessica Freitas, JW Mills, Victor Romero and Christian Rowe were escorted by their family members in the old gym, presented with framed photos as their various accomplishments were outlined.

The evening also included the first ever Alumni Awards, with Cougar alum Ed Alves, Curtis Schurkamp, Dominic Freeseha and Daniel Gonzalez presented with special plaques.

Then it was down to business, with the Cougars taking on both the Yellowjackets and the Bruins.

“We had 10 separate matches, we took on Hilmar first and we had five matches, we won that dual 63-12,” said Escalon head coach Derek Scott.

Taking victories off the mats in the matches that were wrested were Christian T. Cruz, winning by a 9-4 decision; Talan Reider winning by fall at 152; and John Konradi taking a win by fall at 170 pounds.

Against Riverbank, there were five matches as well, with the Cougars getting wins in each of the contested weights, shutting out the Bruins, 78-0.

At 145, Logan Wentzell got a quick first round pin.

“He has done a really good job this year,” Scott said of the freshman.

At 160 pounds, Logan Dooley took a win by fall; and, in what Scott called “by far the best match,” Christian Rodriguez battled to take a win by fall at 182 pounds. Rounding out the wins, each getting a pin, were Anthony Jones at 195 and David Ingels at 220 pounds.

“That gave us a 6-0 record and first place in the TVL duals so we had the number one seed at the team duals,” Scott said.

The team duals were hosted on Saturday, Jan. 28 at Lincoln High School in Stockton.

“They changed it up a bit, Linden and Calaveras are no longer there but they brought in a very good newcomer, Sutter,” said Scott.

Escalon had a first round bye as a result of the top seed and in the second round, they faced off with familiar TVL foe Hughson.

Th Cougars took a 43-33 win, with the highlight wins coming from Luca Cerasi at 108 pounds, Preston Sizuela at 126 and Ingels at 220.

“In the second match against Sutter, we knew we were the underdog,” admitted Scott. “We lost 50-15; we won three matches and in four of the matches we lost, we were ahead in the third round.”

A little more experience and a little more toughness may have made the difference, the coach said, but he noted that the Cougars didn’t quite bring the right mentality to the Team Duals.

“Once we got tired, we didn’t fight very hard,” he explained.

Leading the way, though, was Ingels who beat an opponent who is ranked in the Section.

“The improvement he has shown has just been tremendous to watch, he works really hard, and it shows in his effort,” Scott said.

Wentzell was another bright spot, winning by decision at 145; Cerasi took a forfeit win.

“The loss to Sutter made us Section runners up,” added Scott.

This week will feature the TVL Tournament in Ripon, scheduled at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 4.

The Cougars will look to claim the TVL team – and individual – titles outright at the event. The top four varsity boys in each weight will qualify for the divisional meet, while the girls will use the league tourney to help determine seedings for division competition.

The JV boys will conclude their season at the TVL tournament.

For the varsity girls, the divisionals are set at Central Valley High School in Ceres on Feb. 10 and 11; the boys will go to divisions on Feb. 17 and 18 in Hughson.

Putting the hurt on his Riverbank opponent, Cougar Logan Wentzell got a first round pin during action in the 145-pound bracket at the Jan. 25 double dual with Hilmar and Riverbank, hosted at Escalon. Marg Jackson/The Times