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Wrestling Cougars Nail Down Team Dual Section Crown
Success - both at their Trans-Valley League match at home and the Section duals - came to Escalon wrestlers this week, defeating Hughson and then taking the blue Section banner at the team duals in Stockton on Saturday.

"This was the first time since 1994 we've won the team dual sections, we won the finals 38-21 over Calaveras," head coach Derek Scott, noting the hard work of wrestlers and the coaching staff helped them prevail.

The Cougars were crowned Division 5 Sac-Joaquin Section wrestling champions; other winners included Oakdale in D4 and Waterford in D6.

Earlier in the week, the Cougars handled Hughson in the regular season TVL finale, and honored its seniors on Senior Night.

The JV team took a 39-18 win against the Huskies with Colton Camara, 130; Kenny Ring, 140; and Nick Payan, 215 pounds, getting wins.

At the varsity level, it was a decisive 62-9 win, with most of the victories coming via pin.

"We were very happy because we won two or three matches we had lost to them earlier," Scott noted.

Avenging losses were Max Yang, winning by pin at 103 pounds and Cole McCoy, 112, taking a 4-2 win in overtime.

Chaz Welborn earned a win by pin at 119 pounds, as did Tyler Lawrence, 125; Christian Franks, 135; Dylan Furtado, 140; Garrett Wade, 160; Adrian Cortes, 171; and Mikey Simoes, 189 pounds.

Andrew Baroni took a 12-2 decision at 152 pounds.

"Max, Cole and Chaz, we were really pleased with their matches, and that was the first time Chaz wrestled varsity for us, he did a real good job," Scott said. "It was also our Senior Night and Adrian Cortes did a great job, his grandmother had passed away the day before so it was emotional for him, but he wanted to be with his team."

Escalon went into the Saturday section duals as the number one seed and got a bye in the first round, then put away Summerville by a 62-6 decision in second round action. Key wins in that match were Brendan Wing, 6-2 at 145 pounds and Furtado taking a win by pin.

In the 38-21 finals victory against Calaveras, McCoy earned a 7-4 win, Lawrence won by pin, Johnathon Costa took a shutout win, 9-0, Franks won 8-0, Furtado had a win by pin, Baroni won 11-4, Simoes won by pin, Travis James won by pin at 215 pounds.

"Mikey Simoes had the clincher, his match was the one that decided it," Scott said of the pin by Simoes at 189 pounds securing the points needed to put the Redskins away.

"It was a good team win, we won most of the close ones and our guys did a good job pushing for more points, working to get the pin and not just the decision," Scott said.

Wrestlers that did take losses also worked hard to avoid the pin, keeping Calaveras from maxing out on points in the bouts they won.

"We got everybody filled in at the right weights, we got the blue banner and it was a real good win for u," Scott added.

This week, the TVL finals will be hosted at Ripon on Saturday, Feb. 12. Both the JV and varsity squads will attend, with matches starting at 9 a.m.