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Bulldogs take 3rd at Stagg tourney
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Ceres High's varsity wrestling program brought home a third-place trophy from Stagg's Demolition Day Tournament on Saturday.

"We had five kids in the finals," head coach Jon Nowicki said. "We did pretty good."

The Bulldogs just missed out on second place at the 14-team event. Cesar Chavez won the team title, followed by Stagg.

"We were two points away from second," Nowicki said. "It definitely shows we have a decent lineup. I know the kids are really happy about it."

Ceres High had two individual champions in seniors and twin brothers Tony and Steven Chavez.

Tony won twice by pin en route to a first-place finish in the 152-pound weight division.

Steven posted a 3-0 record at 189 pounds. He earned a 4-1 victory in the finals. Chavez won his first two matches via pin.

Curtis Hulstine, Rigo Guerra and Christian Rodriguez all took second in their respective weight classes.

Curtis amassed a 2-1 record at 112 pounds, winning once by pin and decision. The sophomore's 3-2 semifinal victory came against a Cesar Chavez wrestler that placed eighth at last year's masters meet. Hulstine won on the strength of a takedown in the final 10 seconds. Curtis fell via major decision in the finals.

"He's really starting to wrestle well," Nowicki said.

Rigo won by decision and pin at 130 pounds in his debut with the Bulldogs. The senior moved to Ceres from Wisconsin.

"It was his first time competing for us," Nowicki said. "He wrestled hard."

Christian's lone victory at 145 pounds came via disqualification in the second round. The sophomore lost by pin in the finals.

"It was his first time wrestling varsity," Nowicki said. "He was pretty excited. He has a lot of room to get better over the next couple of years."

Rodriguez was promoted from JV after beating out two teammates during wrestle-offs at the Bulldogs' practice facility.

"It was a little bit of a surprise," Nowicki said. "He's really come a long way since the beginning of the year."

Sophomore Keegan Overbey finished in third place at 125 pounds with a 3-1 mark. He collected one victory via pin and two by technical fall. Overbey lost by four points in the semifinals.

"He looked like a solid wrestler this tournament," Nowicki said.

Senior Dustin Espinoza finished fourth overall at 140 pounds with a 2-2 mark. He lost 8-6 to East Union's Michael Thomas in the semifinals. Thomas, the eventual champion, overcame a 6-3 deficit by throwing Espinoza to his back late in the third period.

"Dustin was 10 seconds away from being in the finals," Nowicki said. "He made a little mental error and it cost him."

Sophomores Brian Naylor (103 pounds) and Tony Spinella (160) posted identical 1-2 records. They won by pin.

"They definitely wrestled tough," Nowicki said.

Senior Jess Gilmore (215) and sophomore Shawn Amirfar (135) both went 0-2.

At the JV level, the Bulldogs finished in eighth place in the team standings.

Andrew Cefre placed second at 130 pounds with a 2-1 record.