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CHS wrestlers move into first place in WAC
Ceres High varsity boys grappler Brian Becerra dominated his 140-pound matchup with Livingstons Juan Garcia last week. Becerra won by technical fall (18-2). - photo by Contributed to the Courier

Ceres High's varsity boys wrestling team inched closer to one of its goals this past week.

The Bulldogs took over sole possession of first place in the Western Athletic Conference dual-meet standings with a 47-27 home victory over the previously-unbeaten Wolves of Livingston Wednesday evening at Phil de la Porte Gymnasium.

"The kids made me real proud with how they performed and stepped up," Ceres High head coach Steve Festa said. "They wrestled to their potential tonight. We're not satisfied. We're going to keep getting better."

Ceres High improved to 3-0 in the WAC.

Livingston dropped to 2-1 in the conference standings.

"This team is on the cusp of doing something that hasn't been done since 1995," Festa said. "That was the last undefeated team. And we've had some great teams since then. If we do it, it will be something that will be remembered forever."

The Bulldogs erased a 24-6 deficit on their way to beating the Wolves.

"Our team showed a lot by responding," Festa said. "I never didn't think we'd come back. I have confidence in our guys. We still had matches to wrestle."

John Alba, Ethan Letras, Aiden Moore, Andrew Gibson and Diego Diaz led the way.
Alba won by second-round pin (3:15) over Luis Sanchez during their 154-pound match.

Letras won by first-round pin (1:57) over Juan Ornelas at 162 pounds.

Moore won by second-round pin (3:04) over Gio Gutierrez at 172 pounds.

Gibson won by decision (11-6) over Brayan Negrete at 184 pounds.

Diaz won by second-round pin (2:41) over Felix Lorenzo at 197 pounds.

"John swung the momentum in our favor," Festa said. "We really needed it. Diego sealed the victory for us. Livingston has a tough team, a great lineup. We refused to lose. We were the better team. It wasn't a fluke."

Frankie Mendez, Brian Becerra, Tyler Fleming and Conner Johnson also contributed to Ceres High's point total.

Mendez won by pin (1:32) over Lorenzo Zamora at 108 pounds.

Becerra won by technical fall (18-2) over Juan Garcia at 140 pounds.

Fleming won by decision (7-5) over Cristian Peralta at 134 pounds.

Johnson won by forfeit at 285 pounds.

Ceres High will clinch the WAC regular-season dual-meet title with wins against Pacheco and Central Valley.

The crosstown-rival Hawks reeled of 18 straight conference dual victories from 2014-16.

Ceres High will travel to Los Banos this week to compete against the Panthers.

"We all want the same thing and are striving hard to get it," Festa said. "Our first goal is to be league champs. I'm going to keep pushing and we're going to keep improving."