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CHS boys wrestlers claim Sac-Joaquin Division-IV banner
Eight Bulldogs advance for Masters
Ceres High placed first at the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-IV Championships. - photo by Photo courtesy of Juan Alba

Ceres High's varsity boys wrestling program claimed the blue Sac-Joaquin Section Division-IV championship banner on Saturday at Union High School.

The announcement ignited a joyous celebration.

Bulldog grapplers doused their head coach, Steve Festa, with red Gatorade.

"They were on me like a pack of dogs," Festa said. "We were having fun. I loved every minute of it. We'll never forget this. It's a huge accomplishment. We earned it. This is incredible."

The Bulldogs racked up 209.5 points en route to a first-place finish at Divisionals.

Crosstown-rival Central Valley (143) took second.

"We didn't win the tournament," Festa said. "We dominated the tournament. Our guys were on a mission. Everybody stepped up."

Ceres High had 10 individual placers, including John Alba, Aiden Moore, Frankie Mendez, Luis Camarillo, Jaden Cooper, Brian Becerra, Diego Diaz and Conner Johnson, Ethan Letras and Michael Vargas.

Alba, Moore, Mendez, Camarillo, Cooper, Becerra, Diaz and Johnson finished in the top four in their respective weight classes and advanced to the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Championships.

Alba (145s pounds, 4-0 record) and Moore (160s, 4-0) both placed first at Divisionals.

Mendez (103s, 2-1), Camarillo (126s, 3-1), Cooper (138s, 3-1) all placed second.

Becerra (132s, 5-1), Diaz (182s, 5-1) and Johnson (195s, 5-1) placed third.

Letras (152s, 4-2) and Vargas (120s, 3-2) placed fifth and sixth, respectively.

Shanald Lal (113s, 0-2), Andrew Gibson (170s, 0-2), Isai Anguiano (220s, 0-2) and Jesus Salcedo (285s, 0-2) did not place.

The Bulldogs continued their run of excellence.

Ceres High finished first at the WAC Championships the previous week.

The Bulldogs also claimed WAC overall and dual-meet titles this season.

"It's been a really special year," Festa said. "We've worked so hard for so long. You get the results when you're committed."

Festa plans to hang the blue championship banner in Ceres High's wrestling room.

"We accomplished another goal," he said. "We're not done yet. We should finish in the top 10 at Masters."