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CHS wrestlers shine at Bear Creek Invitational
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Ceres High School's varsity wrestling program had another strong showing at the Bear Creek Invitational.

The Bulldogs finished in third place during the dual-meet portion tournament on Friday, Dec. 9.

Ceres High, which duplicated its performance from a year ago, won titles in 2009 and 2008.

The Bulldogs managed to place in the top 3 this season despite competing shorthanded. Gabriel Solis, Eric Bejaran, Joey Bettencourt and Dustin Palacek were sidelined for various reasons. Ceres High also forfeited all of its matches at 113 pounds.

"It wasn't expected," Ceres High head coach Jon Nowicki said while talking about his team's surprising performance. "We had a great tournament. If it wasn't for the younger guys, we wouldn't have come home with a trophy."

The Bulldogs overcame a 24-0 deficit while defeating East Union 48-30 for third place.

Freshman Daniel Raya's 11-8 win preserved the victory.

Ceres High lost 48-27 to Bear Creek in the semifinals. The Bulldogs swept all three of their pool opponents, including Kimball (45-33), Mira Loma (48-33) and Stagg (60-10).

Gabriel Balderas (120 pounds), Erick Garcia (138s), Armando Morales (275 pounds), Nick Moran (152s) and Ruben Sanchez (220s) claimed medals during the individual portion of the tournament on Dec. 10.

Balderas (2-1 record), Garcia (2-1) and Morales (2-1) placed second in their respective weight classes.

Sanchez (3-1) and Moran (4-1) both took third.

Lucas Silva (275s), Abel Morales (220s), Rudy Gonzalez (195s), Mark Piceno (145s) and David Cisneros (145s) finished just one match away from placing.

Ivan Raya (171s), Moses Gomez (152s), Daniel Soriano (138s), Manuel Hernandez (126s) and Connor Joseph (120s) also contributed.

Ceres High plans to compete at the Bear Creek Invitational during the 2012-13 school year. "The reason we go to it every year is because of the format," Nowicki said. "It gives the younger kids a chance to get matches in. It's good experience."