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Hawk, Bulldog grapplers advance
Central Valley's Victor Tubera and Ceres High's Curtis Hulstine, Keegan Overbey and Tony Spinella locked up berths to the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Wrestling Championships by virtue of their top-five finishes at the Division IV tournament last Saturday in Rocklin.

Victor won three of his four matches en route to a second-place finish in the 145-pound class at Whitney High School. The senior fell 6-2 to Oakdale sophomore Trent Noon in the finals. Tubera shut out Noon during the last two rounds.

"It's the best match I've wrestled against him so far," Victor said. "I was more aggressive this time. A half a second more and I would have pinned him in the third round. He snaked out of it."

Tubera has compiled an 0-4 record against Noon this year. He lost by third-round pin at the Valley Oak League championships.

"I watched our league finals match three or four times," Victor said. "He's not unbeatable."

Curtis posted a 3-1 record on his way to a second-place finish at 112 pounds. The junior lost 5-0 to Oakdale's Wyatt Casey in the finals.

"I did better this time," said Hulstine, who dropped a 7-2 decision to Casey for the championship at the VOL tournament the previous weekend.

Curtis and Wyatt could meet again this week.

"I definitely think it's a winnable match," Ceres High head coach Jon Nowicki said. "He just needs to be more aggressive."

Keegan took fifth with a 3-2 record at 130 pounds. The junior advanced to the semifinals.

"He has ability, technique and heart," Nowicki said. "We just need to work on his aggressiveness and he'll be a whole another wrestler."

Spinella, a 152-pound junior, managed to place fifth (4-2) despite missing most of the season with a hip injury. He took third at the Division IV and VOL events as a sophomore.

"He's a tough kid," Nowicki said. "He did great last year."

Ceres High's Wesley Schwieger (103 pounds, 3-3 record) and Brian Naylor (119, 3-3) took sixth in their respective weight divisions at the Division IV meet.

Christian Moore (160, 2-2) also advanced to the second day.

Albert Melendez (285), Diego Garcia (189), Christian Rodriguez (140) and Shawn Amirfar (135) saw their seasons come to an end after compiling identical 0-2 records.

Ceres High finished 12th overall in the team standings.

Oakdale, Foothill and Placer placed first, second and third, respectively.

Central Valley junior Vince Lopez finished one win shy of qualifying for Masters.

The first-year wrestler took sixth (140, 2-3). East Union's Matt Neves edged out Lopez for fifth place.

"He (Vince) got better every single match," Hawks assistant coach Joe Stewart said. "It was neat to see. Next year, it will be a different story. My goal for him is to be a state-qualifier."

Beckhart, a sophomore, failed to make it past the first day of competition. The 189-pounder lost by decision and pin.

Tubera, Hulstine, Overbey and Spinella will participate in the Masters Meet this week at the University of the Pacific's Spanos Center.

The competition begins on Thursday and ends on Friday.

The top six placers in each weight class advance to state.

"It's exciting," Tubera said while talking about the possibility of qualifying for the year-end meet. "I remember as a freshman even going to Masters was hard. I never imagined me going this far. Now that I'm here, I got to keep my momentum going. I need to wrestle hard, smart and not let anything distract me. I'm going to wrestle every match like it's my last."

"I'll be physically and mentally prepared for this week," Hulstine added.

"We haven't had a guy go to state since Michael Scott went in 2001-02," Nowicki stated.