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Dawgs, Hawks advance to Masters wrestling meet
Bulldog junior McCoy Adams
Bulldog junior McCoy Adams placed fourth in the 113-pound weight division at the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-IV Tournament. - photo by Contributed to the Courier

Central Valley’s and Ceres High’s boys wrestling teams had a combined 11 grapplers compete at Divisionals on Saturday.

Hawk standouts Angel Melgoza and Makhai Smith both secured individual berths to Masters after finishing in the top eight in their respective weight classes at the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-III Tournament in Manteca.

Central Valley’s Samuel Deleon, Isaiah Shirley, Caleb Beckhart, Joey Zuniga, Salvador Almazan and Santino Breshears had their seasons and/or prep wrestling careers end last week.

“There were a lot of broken hearts today,” Hawks’ head coach Rob Beckhart said. “There a lot of kids that didn’t make it through. I’m not just talking about our kids.”

Melgoza, a junior, placed fifth in the 177-pound weight bracket.

“Last year, he took ninth,” said Coach Beckhart. “He was one spot away from making it. He took advantage of his opportunities and was able to find a way through this year. It’s not easy to make it through.”

Melgoza posted a 4-2 record.

He beat East Union’s Devon Montalvo (pin, 1:08), Manteca’s Miguel Cocio (decision, 9-2), El Camino’s Noah Marez (decision, 1-0) and West Park’s Liam Forsyth (decision, 1-0).

Smith, a senior, placed sixth at 217 pounds.

“I know it’s a big thing for him,” the coach said. “It’s not a surprise. He puts the time and effort in. He loves the sport. He’s one of the kids you root for.”

Smith posted a 3-3 record.

He beat El Camino’s Jessie Rodriguez (major decision, 13-2), Atwater’s Eduardo Mendivil (pin, 4:26) and Golden Valley’s Raymond Miller (decision, 4-3).

“He wrestled at a level we’ve always known he could do,” Beckhart said. “He was smart and decisive. I’m proud of him for staying focused.”

Deleon, a senior, placed ninth at 192 pounds.

He posted a 2-2 record.

He beat Manteca’s Josiah Sagapolu (forfeit) and Oakmont’s Dylan Ivey (pin, 2:39).

Shirley, a sophomore, placed 10th at 108 pounds.

He posted a 1-3 record.

He beat Placer’s Quinton Daniels (decision, 7-0).

Beckhart, a sophomore, posted a 1-3 record at 128 pounds.

He beat Capital Christian’s Michael Duenas (pin, 1:40).

Zuniga, a senior, posted a 1-3 record at 140 pounds.

He beat Manteca’s Luis Rosas (decision, 8-5).

Almazan, a sophomore, posted a 1-3 record at 287 pounds.

He beat East Union’s Miguel Estrada (pin, 4:29).

Breshears, a freshman, posted an 0-2 record at 146 pounds.

Central Valley finished 16th overall in the team standings.

The Hawks amassed a score of 35.

“All of our kids wrestled well,” said Beckhart. “I have no complaints.”

“The ones I feel bad for are the seniors,” he added. “It’s not easy to make it to Masters. I’m proud of them for the effort. It’s a long year.”

Melgoza and Smith will both compete at Masters this week at Stockton Arena.

The top six finishers in each weight qualify for the CIF State Meet.

“There are no easy matches left,” Coach Beckhart said. “You can’t take a minute off.”

“None of what these kids do surprise me,” he added. “They work hard. They’ll do the best they can.”

Bulldog junior McCoy Adams extended his season by finishing in the top four in his weight class at the Division-IV Tournament in Rancho Cordova.

First-year grappler Jonas Hayes gained valuable experience.

Newcomer Angel Ventura represented Ceres High for the final time.

“Overall, the kids did well,” commented Bulldogs’ head coach Adam Borges. “They competed. They battled. I’m proud of them.”

Adams qualified for the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Championships.

He placed fourth at 113 pounds.

“That’s the best he’s wrestled all year. He had a different mindset. He was more focused.”

Adams compiled a 3-2 record at Divisionals.

He beat Dixon’s Peyton Elliot (pin, 0:34), Linden’s Anthony Sanquinetti (pin, 2:58) and Bear Creek’s Ryan Voth (pin, 2:10).

Hayes, a junior, compiled an 0-2 record at 144 pounds.

“Jonas battled. That’s all we can ask for. He’s a first-year wrestler. To be honest with you, I didn’t expect a lot from him. He worked hard. He improved. He’s more confident now. He looks like a wrestler. He’s going to do our offseason program. That will help him a lot.”

Ventura, a senior, compiled an 0-2 record at 175 pounds.

“Unfortunately, Angel is a senior,” added Borges. “He won’t be back next season. He fell in love with the sport. With him being a new wrestler, I didn’t know what to expect from him. He came to practice. He competed. He grew a lot. He improved every week. That’s a huge accomplishment for him.”

Angel Melgoza and Makhai Smith
Central Valley’s Angel Melgoza and Makhai Smith both secured individual berths to the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Championships after finishing in the top eight at the Division-III Tournament. - photo by Contributed to the Courier