Central Valley High School varsity wrestler Joaquin Garcia missed the second half of the 2013-14 campaign because of academics.
"I had a few hard classes last year I wasn't used to," Joaquin said. "It means a lot to me I made grades. I trained twice as hard for this season. I enjoy being back with the team."
Garcia won by pin while helping the Hawks notch their 11th consecutive Western Athletic Conference dual-meet victory dating back to last season this past week.
Central Valley pulled away for a 64-15 win over Patterson on Senior Night in Ceres on Jan. 27.
"I'm happy for Joaquin," Hawks head coach Rob Beckhart said. "He's the kind of kid you root for."
Central Valley improved to 5-0 in the WAC standings.
"Winning is a plus," Garcia said. "But I like being with all of my coaches and teammates. We work really hard."
The Hawks also secured the WAC's No. 1 seed for the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-IV Team Duals for the second year in a row.
"I'm proud of all these kids," Beckhart said. "We're young. We only have two seniors in our starting lineup."
"It makes me happy I was able to be a part the team that got there again," Garcia said.
Challenged early, Central Valley held a slim 10-9 lead following the conclusion of the evening's first four individual matches.
Jose Castillo won by major decision (10-2) over Patterson's Tony Halcon at 138 pounds.
Severo Vazquez won by pin (4:11) over Keith Gordon at 145 pounds.
Alex Alvarado lost by pin (3:39) to Austin Lewis at 152 pounds.
Andrew Marquez lost by decision (10-7) to Michael Boschi at 160 pounds.
The Hawks outscored the Tigers 54-6 the rest of the night.
Gabriel Martinez won by pin (3:40) over Dylan Christiansen at 170 pounds.
Garcia won by pin (1:15) over Daniel Ortega at 182 pounds.
Joaquin, a third-year grappler, improved his 2014-15 WAC dual-meet record to 5-0.
"It's sad because it's my senior year," Garcia said. "It's my last home dual of the year. All of us wanted to win."
"Joaquin's a vocal leader," Beckhart said. "He works hard. The kids respond to him. He'd come in and train with us when he had time last season. He also did all the summer stuff with us."
Adrian Badillo won by pin (1:29) over Jerry Arredondo at 195 pounds.
Jason Beckhart lost by pin (5:34) to Francisco Plascencia at 220 pounds.
Senior Isaac De La Cruz won by forfeit at 285 pounds.
Ana Gonzalez won by forfeit at 106 pounds.
Wilber Arellano won by pin (3:03) over Johann Salazar at 113 pounds.
Luis Saucedo won by pin (3:48) over Steve Rincon at 120 pounds.
Christian Oliver won by pin (2:42) over Luis Castro at 126 pounds.
Angel Gonzales won by pin (3:14) over Sergio Rodriguez at 132 pounds.
Central Valley turned the dual into a blowout by winning nine of the final 10 matches.
"We won but didn't wrestle very well," coach Beckhart said. "It was a reality check. We'll get back to work tomorrow. We're going to have to refocus a little bit."
Barring a major upset, Central Valley should win all six of its WAC dual matches for the second straight season.
The Hawks advanced to team section duals for the third time in five years.
Central Valley maintained its winning tradition with a lineup consisting of four returnees and 10 newcomers.
"There's always a lot of pressure," Garcia said. "Every team wants to beat us. I knew we were going to have a good team. I always think positive."