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CHS enjoys individual, team success at Division-IV meet
Nine Bulldog wrestlers qualify for Masters
Bulldog senior Tyree Williams won two of three matches en route to a runner-up finish in the 184-pound weight class at the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-IV Championships last week in Ceres. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Ceres High School's varsity wrestling program experienced team and individual success while shining at the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-IV Championships this past week in Ceres.

The Bulldogs totaled 209 points on their way to a runner-up finish at the 19-team event.

Approximately 12 of Ceres High's 13 wrestlers placed.

"This is the first time we've taken home a plaque from Divisionals in my 10 years with the team," Bulldogs head coach Festa said. "It's the most athletes we've had qualify for Masters. We're doing things our program has never done before. It's something to be proud of."

Ceres High had nine individuals extend their seasons by advancing to Masters, including Jaden Cooper, John Alba, Aiden Moore, Tyree Williams, Spencer Nelson, Luis Camarillo, Brian Becerra, Diego Diaz and Daniel McElwain.

Cooper (134 pounds, 3-1 record), Alba (147s, 2-1), Moore (154s, 2-1) and Williams (184s, 2-1) all placed second in their respective weight divisions.

Nelson (162s, 4-1) took third.

Camarillo (122s, 3-2), Becerra (128s, 3-2), Diaz (172s, 3-2), McElwain (222s, 4-2) finished fourth.

Conner Johnson (197s, 4-2) was fifth.

Frankie Mendez (108s, 3-3) and Michael Vargas (115s, 3-3) were sixth.

"This is one of the best teams I've coached," Festa said. "We're young and talented. It's encouraging seeing how far we've come. But I know we can improve. I see wrestling in Ceres only getting stronger in the future."

Host/crosstown-rival Central Valley (220.5) won the team title at Divisionals.

Union Mine placed third (118) followed by Los Banos (111), Livingston (102), Cordova (96), Rosemont (88), Foothill (88), Patterson (82), Lincoln (78), Bear River (78), Placer (72), Center (63), El Capitan (57), Pacheco (49), Galt (32), El Dorado (27), Liberty Ranch (14) and Colfax (11).

"We're enjoying what we're accomplishing," Festa said. "It's fun. The kids are committed to working hard. That's when you get results."

The Masters tourney will be staged, Feb. 26-27, at Stockton Arena.

The top six individuals in each weight class qualify for the CIF State Meet.