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Grapplers extend their seasons
Hawks, Dawgs to send 18 athletes to Masters tourney
Ceres Highs and Central Valleys varsity wrestling programs qualified a combined 18 wrestlers for the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Championships. Bulldog Brian Becerra took fourth while competing in the 128-pound weight class at the Division-IV tournament this past week in Ceres. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Central Valley's and Ceres High's varsity wrestling programs will be sending a combined 18 grapplers to the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Wrestling Championships later this week in Stockton.

"They're making their families and community proud," Bulldogs head coach Steve Festa said. "It makes me proud to be from Ceres. We're very competitive when it comes to wrestling."

"It's nice seeing Ceres High being successful as well," Hawks head coach Rob Beckhart said. "They got a great program."

The Bulldogs and Hawks both had nine individuals extend their seasons after finishing in the top four at the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-IV Championships this past week in Ceres.

Luis Saucedo (115 pounds), Christian Oliver (134s), Severo Vazquez (147s), Adrian Badillo (184s), Jose Castillo (140s), Andrew Marquez (162s), Jason Beckhart (222s,) David Lezama (287s), and Gabriel Martinez (172s) will represent Central Valley.

Saucedo, Oliver, Vazquez and Badillo claimed titles at Divisionals.

"The only expectation I have for them is to wrestle hard," Rob Beckhart said. "If they win, they win. If they lose, they lose. Wrestling is a humbling sport. I know they'll give their best effort."

John Alba (147s), Tyree Williams (184s), Aiden Moore (154s), Jaden Cooper (134s), Spencer Nelson (162s), Luis Camarillo (122s), Brian Becerra (128s), Diego Diaz (172s) and Daniel McElwain (222s) will represent Ceres High.
Cooper, Alba, Moore and Williams advanced to the finals at Divisionals.

"The competition is going to get a lot stronger," Festa said. "We're working hard at practice to get better. We're sharpening up our technique and skills. We're not content with just getting there."

The Masters tourney will be staged, Feb. 26-27, at Stockton Arena.

The top six individuals in each weight class qualify for the March 4-5 CIF State Meet.

"We strive for consistency year in and year out," Festa said. "We expect to do well. We have an opportunity right now to seize the moment, and take that next step, which is going to State in Bakersfield. We have big goals."

"Our kids have been to all the tough tournaments," coach Beckhart said. "They've seen all the best wrestlers. "They'll be prepared."