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Ceres High Invitational features 18 teams
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The gym at Central Valley High School will be packed on Saturday. Approximately 18 teams will be participating in the 41st Annual Ceres High Wrestling Invitational.

The tournament will get underway at 9 a.m. with finals set tentatively for 5 p.m.

“The venue is very appealing for a wrestling tournament,” said Chris Mendonca, tournament director. “We're going to put six mats down. It should make for a faster day.”

The Bulldogs had to change sites.

“There was a basketball scheduling conflict and that made it happen,” Mendonca said. “If it goes well, we might make it a permanent thing.”

Expanding the Ceres Invitational to a two-day event could come to fruition in the future.

“We'd really like to do that,” Mendonca said. “It would make it a more prestigious tournament.”

This year's tourney will feature teams from the following schools: Ceres High, Central Valley, Atwater, Bret Harte, Central (Fresno), Deer Valley, Dos Palos, Galt, Hughson, Irvington, McQueen (Nevada), Modesto, Pitman, Riverbank, Scotts Valley, Sunnyside, Sutter Union and Woodcreek.

The top three teams will be awarded trophies.

“We want to do good at our own tournament,” Ceres coach Steve Vieira said. “We'd like to take a team trophy out of there.”

The top six individuals in each weight class medal. “We'll have a full lineup,” Vieira said.

Brian Allen, Mike Tubera, Kyle Curry, Donnie Barker, Jacob Lopez, Marc Dias, Jake Keidel, Tony Chavez, Zack Van Wagoner, Daniel Tubera, Stephen Chavez, Sean Jones, Justin Roman and Nathan Niemeyer will compete at 103, 112, 119, 125, 130, 135, 140, 145, 152, 160, 171, 189, 215 and 275 pounds, respectively, for the Bulldogs.

Vieira has high expectations for Dias, Keidel, Van Wagoner, Mike Tubera, Steven Chavez and Tony Chavez.

“We have three or four kids who can wrestle their way into the finals at least,” he said.

California Classic results

Ceres High finished 14th in a field of 26 at the California Bulldog Classic at Turlock High School on Saturday.

“It was a tough tournament,” Vieira said.

Keidel, Van Wagoner, Mike Tubera and Steven Chavez brought home medals.

“Last year, we only had two guys place here,” Vieira said.

Keidel placed fourth with a 3-2 record in the 140-pound division. Van Wagoner and Tubera both placed fifth with 3-2 records at 152 and 112 pounds, respectively.

“Jake and Zack both wrestled good,” Vieira said. “They made it to the semifinals.”

Tubera just joined the team. He transferred from Central Valley High School.

“He's still a little rusty,” Vieira said.

Chavez placed eighth with a 2-3 record at 171 pounds.

Dawgs win MMC opener

Modesto High proved to be no match for Ceres High Wednesday night in Modesto.

The Bulldogs won 12 of 14 matches, including nine by pin, two by decision and one by forfeit, en route to a 68-12 victory over the Panthers in the Modesto Metro Conference opener for both teams.

“It's a good start for us,” Vieira said. “Winning like that pumps the guys up a little bit.”

Van Wagoner, Keidel, Barker, Niemeyer, Tony Chavez and Mike Tubera all won by pin in the first round.

Curry and Daniel Tubera both won by pin in the second round.

Steven Chavez won by pin in the third round.

Dias and Lopez both won by decision. Allen won by forfeit. - By DALE BUTLER / Staff reporter of the Ceres (Calif.) Courier