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Wrestling Honors Multiple Champions Emerge From Annual Engel Tournament
A successful week for Escalon wrestlers started with a JV and varsity league win over Hilmar on the road, then the Cougars hosted the annual Lloyd C. Engel Tournament on Friday and Saturday, with several claiming tournament championships.

In Hilmar on Wednesday, Jan. 12, the JV team took a 36-30 win, with wins on the mats from Clayton Keener, 130, win by pin and Frankie Bavaro, 140, win by pin.

Only five matches were wrestled, the remainder were forfeits and the JV Cougars had just enough to get past the host Yellowjackets.

At the varsity level, coach Derek Scott was anticipating a tight battle but found his team had the upper hand, pinning a 45-15 loss on Hilmar.

At 112 pounds, Max Yang took a 5-0 decision, with Tyler Lawrence winning by pin at 130. Also winning by pin were Dylan Furtado, 140; Jason Robbins, 145; Mikey Simoes, 171; and Shane Silveira, 189. Andrew Baroni, 152, took a 5-1 win and Travis James, 215, won his bout by a 4-1 final.

"It was a good dual for us, we lost only three matches and two of them were on points, not even major decisions," said Scott of the solid effort.

In the two-day Engel Tournament, which brought in wrestlers from 29 different teams, Escalon had eight wrestlers take first place honors, four in the top bracket Pool A and four more in Pool B.

"We were able to wrestle a lot of people," Scott said, noting that he tried to get as many of his wrestlers involved as possible.

Four Cougars went undefeated through the two days, Tyler Lawrence going 6-0 at 125 pounds to claim first place in Pool A, Christian Franks 6-0 at 130, first place, Pool A; Dylan Furtado, 6-0, 135, first place Pool A; Jason Robbins, 6-0, 140, first place, Pool A.

Cougar champions, first place in Pool B were Max Yang, 103 pounds, 4-2; Cole McCoy, 112 pounds, 4-2; Kenny Ring, 130, 4-2; Garrett Wade, 152, 5-1.

"In Pool A, we were real pleased with all our champions, Christian and Dylan wrestled extremely well and Christian was voted Most Outstanding Lightweight Wrestler," explained Scott. "It was also the first big tournament win for both Tyler and Jason, a nice reward for hard work."

The Pool B champions also earned kudos from Scott for their efforts, highlighted by the effort of Yang at 103 pounds.

"That's the best he's wrestled in two years," Scott noted. "Cole McCoy also had a good tournament, Kenny Ring wrestled hard all weekend."

At 140 pounds Danny Luna took second place in Pool B with a 3-3 mark, Andrew Baroni was second in Pool B at 152 pounds with a 5-1 record and three Cougars posted fourth place finishes in Pool A, Mikey Simoes, 171 pounds, 4-2; Shane Silveira, 189, 4-2; Travis James, 215, 4-2.

Not placing were Colton Camara at 125 pounds, Brendan Wing at 145, Adrian Cortes at 189 and Joey Gutierrez at heavyweight. Cortes was seeing his first action of the season and wrestled up two eight classes, getting in some good work.

Scott offered thanks to the many volunteers that helped put on the event, with parents and students stepping in to serve as scorers, timers, run the snack bar, handle the paperwork and more. The Escalon Lion's Club hosted the coach luncheon, with Ed Alves and Danny Fox providing some barbecuing expertise, while major tournament sponsors were Big Boy Market and Quality Service.