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CV girls wrestling will field a full lineup this year
Veteran grapplers Nayeli Pelayo (pictured left) and Brianna Quiroz will try to lead Central Valleys varsity girls wrestling program to new height this fall. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Central Valley's varsity girls wrestling team will compete with a full lineup for the first time this winter.

"I don't know who the ring leader was," Hawks coach Rob Beckhart said. "I appreciate them a lot. They've done a great job promoting the sport and trying to get more girls to wrestle."

"We advertised it on campus," junior Brianna Quiroz said.

Central Valley's core group of veteran wrestlers includes Quiroz (150 pounds), and seniors Nayeli Pelayo (189s), Emily Mendoza (111s) and Julia Avila (106s).

Brianna, Nayeli, Emily and Julia are third-year grapplers.

Pelayo accomplished a first in program history last winter by earning a second straight berth to the CIF State Championships. She won two of four matches en route to a top-16 finish.

Nayeli amassed a 19-7 overall record.

She placed fourth at Masters, third at Regionals and first at the Western Athletic Conference Championships.

She also captured titles at tournament at Pacheco and Bear Creek.

Nayeli won 25 of 36 matches as a sophomore. She dropped both of her matches at state.

Mendoza and Quiroz posted identical 1-2 records at Masters.

Emily, Brianna and Julia finished first, second and third, respectively, at the WAC finals.

The Hawks' top newcomers are juniors Ellena Markham (131 pounds) and Esther Esceverri (137s), and sophomore Giuliana Gutierrez (143s).

"There are some tough girls on our team," Beckhart said. "They're pretty serious about what they're doing. They want to learn and do well. They're super committed."

Added Quiroz: "We work really hard. We're aggressive. We like to wrestle."

Central Valley's conference dual-meet schedule includes matches against Livingston, Los Banos, Pacheco, Patterson and Ceres High.

The WAC finals will be held on Jan. 27.

The Hawks placed fifth at the league finals.

Pacheco, Livingston, Los Banos, Ceres High and Patterson finished first, second, third, fourth and sixth, respectively.

"The league is always tough," Beckhart said. "This will be our first year we've had a full lineup. We actually have a girls practice now. They'll be able to wrestle against their own gender. I'm excited to see what happens."

Added Quiroz: "We've never had this many girls. We have a lot of potential. We just need to show it."