Wrestlers from 21 different schools will compete at the 53rd Ceres Invitational this Saturday at Ceres High School.
“It’s the second-longest running tournament in California,” Bulldogs’ head coach Steve Festa said. “I don’t take the responsibility of continuing it for granted. It’s a tradition.”
The tournament field features teams from Ceres High, Central Valley, Hughson, Central Catholic, Modesto High, Beyer, Enochs, Gregori, Big Valley Christian, Livingston, Hilmar, Buhach Colony, Manteca, East Union, Liberty Ranch, Linden, Mountain House, Sonora, Summerville, Mariposa and Deer Valley.
The event will get underway at 9 a.m.
“The kids enjoy wrestling there because it’s their home tournament.”Central Valley coach Rob Beckhart
“The kids enjoy wrestling there because it’s their home tournament,” Central Valley head coach Rob Beckhart said. “It’s nostalgic for me to take this program there. I competed at the Ceres Invitational when I went to Modesto High.”
The top three teams receive plaques.
The top six individual placers in each weight class will also be rewarded. First-place finishers will take home championship rings.
Plaques will also be doled out to outstanding lower and upper weight grapplers.
“With the holes we have in our lineup, I don’t know if we’re going to score a lot of team points,” Beckhart said. “I expect the guys to fight hard. All of them need to perform to the best of their ability.”
Ryan Palecek (195 pounds), Kyle Hendrix (145s) and Thomas Carrillo (220s) will lead Central Valley.
Carrillo and Hendrix took third and fourth in their respective weight classes last year.
The Bulldogs’ lineup will feature Sonald Lal (106s), Ricky Gonzales (120s), Marcus Martinez (126s), Brian Ayala (132s), Edison Jimenez (138s),Bryan Erenas (145s), Fernando Gonzalez (152s), Mason Foster (160s), Angel Figueroa (170s), Alan Thy (182s), Argel Arroyo (220s) and Elias Saldana (285s).
Lal finished second this past season.
Ceres High placed fourth in the team standings at the 2017 Ceres Invitational.
Central Valley took seventh.
“It’s always a tough tournament,” Beckhart said. “You get the best local teams have to offer.”
“I believe we run the most exciting tournament in the area,” Festa added.