A handful of events for Cougar wrestlers have seen some solid early season performances, according to head coach Derek Scott.
Friday, Nov. 16 the returning Masters qualifiers traveled to nearby Oakdale to battle in a scrimmage format against wrestlers from such tough programs as Clovis, Del Oro and host Oakdale.
Four Cougars made the trip; Alex Jimenez had a tough outing at 138 pounds but the other three got some victories.
At 132 pounds, Aidan Krieger went 3-1 and took second place; at 170 pounds Brad Hagglund also finished with a 3-1 mark, taking second and losing only to a Del Oro opponent. At 220 pounds, Zac Freeseha went 2-1 and finished second.
The following day, several Cougars headed back to Oakdale for a JV tournament.
“We took 18 guys and we had several medalists,” Scott said.
Thirteen of the 18 competitors brought home some hardware, with a half dozen fourth place finishers, two in third, three in second and two first place finishers.
In fourth place were Manuel Diaz, Miguel Granillo, Dylan Dugo, Nathan Miranda, Sebastian Snow and Jacob Redding.
“Jacob looked really good,” Scott said of the top performance among the fourth place medal winners.
Austin Roberts and Casey Vassallo both finished in third place and second place honors went to Luis Garcia at 106 pounds, in his first high school wrestling tournament, with Izaac Sipma getting a medal at 152 pounds and Donnie Smith at 195 pounds.
“We had two champions, Julian Gutierrez was 4-0 at 195 pounds and the surprise of the tournament was Sean Vassallo at heavyweight, he went 4-0,” Scott said.
This past Saturday, Escalon took three girls to Folsom for a tournament.
“Two of them had never wrestled in high school before, Kylie Freeseha and Laura Whiting,” Scott explained.
Each went 0-2 but did some good things and taking part in the tournament was a good learning experience for them, said Scott.
“Going 3-2 and taking fifth place at 137 pounds was Julia Casillas, she was in a very strong bracket,” Scott said.
Casillas was a standout for the Lady Cougars on the mats last season and looks to return to the same form this year.
Action this week will see the JV Cougars and the girls going to Atwater on Saturday, Dec. 1 while the varsity boys will be in Tokay on Saturday.