Central Valley High School’s boys wrestling program enjoyed team and individual success in front of its home fans earlier this month.
The Hawks placed third overall and had 11 grapplers earn medals at the Ceres Invitational on Dec. 4 at Ceres High School.
“We could have done better if we had kids in four other weight classes,” coach Rob Beckhart said. “But we’re moving in the right direction. We’re still trying to build something.”
Ruben Valenzuela and Juan Melgoza were awarded championship rings after taking first at 195 and 152 pounds, respectively.
Valenzuela also placed first at the Ceres Invitational during his sophomore and freshman years. Ceres High didn’t stage a tournament last school year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“To win it a third time, it’s not that easy to do,” Beckhart said. “The other kids wanted it just as bad as he did. Ruben knows he has a target on his back. He’s currently ranked 10th in the state.”
Valenzuela compiled a 3-0 record. He collected wins against Livingston’s Abram Nisse (pin), Downey’s Tyler Sanchez (pin) and Summerville’s Noah Parnell (pin).
Melgoza enjoyed his best showing to date at the Ceres High tournament.
He also compiled a 3-0 record.
Melgoza collected wins against Central Valley’s Elijah DeLeon (pin), Hilmar’s Marcus Teixeira (pin) and Manteca’s Sean Melan (pin).
“I’m happy for Juan,” Beckhart said. “He met my expectations. He was consistent.”
Elijah DeLeon took home a second-place medal following a strong performance in the 152-pound weight class.
He compiled a 2-1 record.
DeLeon collected wins against Gregori’s Noah Montez (decision) and Summerville’s Tristan Tarter (decision).
Adan Garcia and Roman Vargas placed third at 145 and 285 pounds, respectively.
Garcia compiled a 3-1 record.
He collected wins against Hilmar’s Juan Ponce (pin), Gregori’s Levin Benjamin (decision) and Modesto High’s Vincent DelaRosa (decision).
Vargas compiled a 3-1 record.
He collected wins against Modesto High’s Izael Ruiz Magana (decision, pin) and Grace Davis’ Daniel Valencia (pin).
Cesar Pacheco (132s) and Alex Vargas (138s) both placed fourth.
Pacheco compiled a 3-2 record.
Vargas compiled a 2-1 record.
Nick Genasci (113s), Andrew Torres (182s) and Anthony Malagon (195s) all placed fifth.
Genasci compiled a 3-2 record.
Torres compiled a 2-2 record.
Malagon compiled a 4-2 record.
Moises Camerena (160s) took sixth.
He compiled a 1-3 record.
Host Ceres High totaled 18 points en route to a 16th-place finish in the team standings.
The Bulldogs had just three grapplers compete in front of their home fans.
“We could have had seven,” Ceres High second-year head coach Casey Paulino said. “At this point, we’re rebuilding. A lot of the kids are freshmen and sophomores. We didn’t want to discourage them. It wasn’t worth it. They need to get more experience on the mat. By the time they’re juniors and seniors, they’ll be more dynamic.”
Paulino praised Edmond Lozano, Arturo Estrada and Shawn Janis for their effort at the Ceres High tournament.
“They always give 100 percent every time they’re on the mat,” he said.
Lozano claimed a fourth-place medal while competing in the 170-pound weight class. The freshman compiled a 1-2 record.
Lozano beat Livingston’s Mahury Ramirez (pin).
“It was really good to see him place,” Paulino said. “He’s only been practicing for a month. It means what we’re doing is actually working.”
Estrada and Janis failed to place in their respective divisions.
Estrada, a junior, posted a 2-2 record at 132 pounds.
He beat Waterford’s Ryan Espinoza (pin) and Summerville’s Isaiah Walker (pin).
“He actually did really well,” Paulino said. “He’s still young. He’ll get better with experience.”
Janis, a sophomore, fell twice at 160 pounds.
“He has to have a game plan when he’s on the mat,” Paulino said. “He just needs to get more matches under his belt.”
The members of Central Valley High School’s wrestling program competed at the Bristow Brawl on Dec. 4 at Atwater High.
“I’m happy with how hard they worked,” coach Beckhart said. “They’re progressing. When you first come into the sport, it’s difficult.”
The Atwater tournament had brackets for varsity and junior-varsity girls and JV boys.
The Hawks had two individuals bring home varsity medals.
Julia Roton finished first while wrestling in the 189-pound weight division.
Mia Mendoza took third at 170 pounds.
Central Valley’s JV girls team claimed nine medals.
Brianna Espinoza and Savannah Gomez finished first at 235 and 170 pounds, respectively.
Stephanie Aguilar (131s), Aliyah Badillo (126s), Kylie Maines (111s) and Soriah Corona (101s) all finished second.
Marianna Carranza (131s), Yahaira Torres (111s) and Keilany Torres (106s) finished third.
Central Valley’s JV boys team won eight medals.
Mahkai Smith (285s), Ismael Flores (182s) and Juan Alonzo (170s) all placed first in their respective weight classes.
Samuel DeLeon (285s), Kenneth Orrin (160s), Julian Lugo (145s) and Albert Gonzalez (132s) took second.
Angel Melgoza (152s) finished third.