A runner-up at the 2019 Central California Conference Varsity Boys Wrestling Championships, Central Valley sophomore Ruben Valenzuela earned a measure of redemption at the league finals this past week.
Valenzuela won both of his matches en route to claiming the 182-pound CCC title.
Valenzuela and Hawk teammates Natanael Lezama, Julian Padilla, Thomas Carrillo, Juan Lezama, Kyle Hendrix, Roman Ramirez and Davian Lemus all secured individual berths to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-III Tournament.
“I’m excited,” Valenzuela said. “That was one of my big goals. It gets my name on the wall in the wrestling room. But I still have more to do. I need to focus on the next thing.”
Valenzuela placed first with a 2-0 record in the 182-pound weight bracket.
He beat Golden Valley’s Ezekiel Trevino (pin, 1:06) and Atwater’s Nick Valenzuela (pin, 0:17).
Valenzuela improved his overall record to 29-3.
“I’ve been working harder this year,” he said.
Natanael Lezama placed second at 222 pounds.
He won one of his two matches.
Lezama beat Patterson’s Aaron Botkin (pin, 1:26).
He lost to Atwater’s Gilberto Solorio (pin, 1:00).
Padilla (285s, 2-1), Thomas Carrillo (195s, 2-1), Juan Lezama (172s, 2-1) and Hendrix (154s, 3-1) all placed third.
Padilla beat Merced’s Jesus Moua (pin, 0:19) and El Capitan’s Rigoberto Sanchez (pin, 1:42).
He lost to Atwater’s Jared Mooneyham (pin, 1:38).
Carrillo beat Atwater’s Christian Macias (decision, 4-0) and El Capitan’s Andrew Flores (pin, 2:45).
He lost to Golden Valley’s Josh Hickman (decision, 8-5).
Juan Lezama beat Merced’s Ryan Lee (pin, 2:30) and Buhach Colony’s Josh Morales (pin, 0:31).
He lost to El Capitan’s Jose Bernabe (decision, 8-2).
Hendrix beat Buhach Colony’s Arturo Elizalde (decision, 5-1), El Capitan’s Victor Alvarez (major decision, 14-1) and Patterson’s Anthony Barrera (pin, 1:35).
He lost to Merced’s Marcus Almanza (decision, 8-3).
Ramirez (162s, 1-3) and Lemus (120s, 1-2) advanced to Divisonals as alternates.
Ramirez and Lemus both placed fifth.
Ramirez beat Atwater’s Indy Russell (pin, 4:25).
He lost to Golden Valley’s Jaret Mello (decision, 12-5), El Capitan’s Eduardo Perez (decision, 4-2) and Merced’s Kurtis Axsom (major decision, 11-2).
Central Valley’s Phillip Martinez (147s, 1-3), Juan Melgoza (140s, 0-3) and Enrique Gonzales (134s, 0-2) had their seasons cut short at the CCC Tournament.
Martinez and Melgoza both finished sixth.
Gonzales took seventh.
The Hawks will compete at Divisionals this Friday and Saturday at Oakdale High School.