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CHS wrestlers entertain home fans
Frankie Mendez helped lead Ceres Highs varsity wrestling team to a third-place finish at its home tournament on Saturday. Mendez captured the 106-pound title. - photo by Contributed to the Courier

Ceres High School's varsity wrestling program claimed nine individual medals on its way to placing third overall in the team standings at the 50th Annual Ceres Invitational this past Saturday.

"I'm happy with the showing," Bulldogs head coach Steve Festa said. "It was impressive. But there's always room for improvement."

Host Ceres High (148 points) finished behind Buhach Colony (237.50) and Pitman (185).

Crosstown-rival Central Valley (84.50) took fifth.

The tournament featured grapplers from 20 different schools.

The Bulldogs had two individual champions: Tyree Williams and Frankie Mendez.

Tyree beat both of his opponents in the 195-pound division.

Williams edged Foothill's Isaac Qiokata by decision (3-2) in the finals.

"He brought a lot of intensity to each match," Festa said. "He was focused."

Frankie compiled a 1-0 record at 106 pounds.

He won by pin (1:10) over Buhach Colony's Luis Carrillo
"Frankie attacked him, scored early and kept the pressure on him until he earned the win," Festa said. "He dominated the match from start to finish."

Mendez suffered a season-ending wrist injury at the 2014 Ceres tournament.

"That could have deterred other guys," Festa said. "It was added motivation to be successful in this year's tournament. It's a big milestone for him."

Brian Becerra and Aiden Moore both finished in third place in their respective weight classes.

Becerra posted a 3-1 record at 132 pounds.

"He was relentless," Festa said. "He's a Bulldog on the mat. His only loss was to the tournament champion."

Moore won three of four matches at 160 pounds.

"The effort Aiden put in was very impressive," Festa said.

Luis Camarillo (126 pounds, 2-2 record) took fourth.

"He had a really tough weight class," Festa said.

John Alba (152s, 3-2), Tyler Fleming (120s, 2-2) and Diego Diaz (182s, 2-2) all placed fifth.

Jaden Cooper (138s, 3-2) finished sixth.

Ceres High's Rafael Ortiz (113s, 1-2), Brandon Ramirez (145s, 0-2), Spencer Nelson (170s, 1-2), Conner Johnson (220s, 1-2), Daniel McElwain (285s, 1-2), Shanald Lau (113s, 0-2), Michael Vargas (120s, 0-2), Derian Cisneros (170s, 0-2), Alejandro Rivera (220s, 0-2) and David Duarte (285s, 0-2) did not place.

Nelson, Johnson, McElwain and Ortiz contributed to the Bulldogs' point total.

"We're going to continue to strive to get better as a team," Festa said.