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CHS hosting 20-plus team tournament
Tyler Fleming, Luis Camarillo (red singlet) and Ceres High Schools varsity wrestling program will be staging a 22-team tournament this Saturday. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

The 50th Annual Ceres Invitational will be staged at Ceres High School this Saturday.

The varsity wrestling tournament will begin at 9 a.m., with finals slated to get underway at 7 p.m.

"We have one of the longest running tournaments in this area," Bulldogs head coach Steve Festa said. "This is our 50th year. It's a milestone. It's added motivation for us to do well."

The Ceres Invitational will feature 22 schools for the second year in a row, including Ceres High (Western Athletic Conference), Central Valley (WAC), Livingston (WAC), Beyer (Modesto Metro Conference), Johansen (MMC), Central Catholic (Valley Oak League), Sierra (VOL), Lathrop (VOL), Modesto Christian (Trans Valley League), Hilmar (TVL), Hughson (TVL), Turlock (Central California Conference), Pitman (CCC), Buhach Colony (CCC), Delhi (Southern League), Argonaut (Mother Lode League), Linden (MLL), Summerville (MLL), Liberty Ranch (SVC), Deer Valley (Bay Valley League), Jesuit (Delta League) and Foothill (Pioneer Valley League).

Ceres High racked up 118 points while finishing in second place its home tournament a year ago.

Buhach Colony (199) won the team title.

Sierra (109) and Foothill (109) tied for third.

Crosstown-rival Central Valley (99) took fifth.

"We'll be ready to compete at a high level," Festa said. "We took second last year. Our team is strong enough to take the title this year. We're going to have to earn our finish."

Ceres High had seven individual placers at last year's event, including 2015-16 returnees Tyler Fleming (So.), Luis Camarillo (Jr.) and John Alba (Jr.).

Fleming posted a 2-1 record on his way to a runner-up finish at 106 pounds his freshman year.

Camarillo (120s, 3-1) and Alba (160s, 4-1) placed fifth in their respective weight classes.

Central Valley had five individual placers, including Luis Saucedo (Sr.), Andrew Marquez (Sr.), Jose Castillo (Sr.) and Gabriel Martinez (Sr.).

Saucedo (3-1, 113s) took second his junior year.

Marquez (2-2, 160s) finished fourth.

Castillo (145s, 4-1) and Martinez (170s, 3-2) placed fifth and sixth, respectively.

Each bracket will feature 24 wrestlers.

Matches will be staged inside the big gym and multi-purpose room.

The top three teams win trophies.

Individual medals will be awarded to first- through sixth-place finishers.

Coaches will also hand out Most Outstanding Wrestling awards to the tournament's top lower and upper weight grapplers.

"Our last state champion (1998 Ceres High grad Charlie Davis) will be flying into town to attend the event," Festa said. "Our tournament stands alone. It's special."