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Hawks place fourth at CHS wrestling tourney
Central Valleys Severo Vazquez (left) and David Lezama placed first in their respective weight classes at the Ceres Invitational on Saturday. - photo by Contributed to the Courier

Central Valley wrestling head coach Rob Beckhart refused to lower expectations for his team despite its lack of experience.

Competing with a revamped lineup as the Hawks returned just three key grapplers from a year, Central Valley didn't disappoint while participating in the 51st Ceres Invitational this past weekend.

The Hawks racked up 131 points on their way to finishing fourth overall at the 16-team tournament.

Pitman (206), Buhach Colony (186.50) and crosstown-rival Ceres High (158) took first, second and third, respectively.

"When you have kids that are new to the program, they need to learn how to win," Beckhart said. "There's going to be some growing pains. We'll keep working. We'll get better."

Central Valley had nine individuals place at the Ceres High tourney.

Heavyweight David Lezama and 152-pounder Severo Vazquez were presented championship rings after taking first in their respective weight classes.

"I'm happy for both of them," Beckhart said. "They work hard. They don't give excuses. They're great kids."

"The ring is pretty cool," Vazquez said. "I'm going to put it in a glass case. I'm not going to wear it."

Lezama, the sixth-ranked 285-pound wrestler in the Sac-Joaquin Section, was seeded third at the tournament.

David compiled a perfect 3-0 record.

Lezama topped Deer Valley's Austin Foster (pin), Buhach Colony's Steven Inocenio (pin) and Pitman's Julian Barrera (decision).

"I was a little disappointed he got seeded pretty low," Beckhart said. "He proved them wrong. His athleticism is what sets him apart from other wrestlers."

Vazquez, whose name appears on the state's and section's honorable-mention lists for rankings, won all four of his matches as the top seed.

Severo topped Pitman's Justin Yniquez (decision), Mariposa's Josh Barnett (pin), Lodi's Nick Jasperson (major decision) and Livingston's Jonathan Cisneros (decision).

"Last year, I didn't place," Vazquez said. "I doubted myself. My mindset was different this year. I was very motivated. I was attacking and shooting more. I was being more aggressive instead of defensive."

Christian Oliver (3-1, 138 pounds) and freshman Kyle Hendrix (3-1, 113s) both placed third.

Oliver topped Central Catholic's Adam Nicholson (major decision) and Nathaniel Patino (pin), and Mountain House's Jacob Bowers (pin).

Hendrix topped Linden's Jesse Rushing (major decision), Hughson's Richard Locke (decision) and Summerville's Austin White (pin).

Junior Marcos Murillo (4-2, 285s) placed fourth.

Murillo topped Summerville's Denzall Miller (pin), Liberty Ranch's Gabe Becerra (forfeit), Deer Valley's Austin Foster (pin) and Livingston's Macario Castro (pin).

Juniors James Murphy (3-2, 170s) and Will Sprouse (3-2, 132s) both placed fifth.

Murphy topped Liberty Ranch's Paul Siegalkoff (pin), Linden's Clinton Sizuela (pin) and Central Catholic's Joshua Galvez (pin).

Sprouse topped Mountain House's Kyle Davis (pin), Ceres High's Tyler Fleming (decision) and Buhach Colony's Andrew Correia (forfeit).

Angel Rico (2-3, 220s) and sophomore Michael Duran (2-3, 126s) both placed sixth.

Duran topped Hawk teammate Antonio Castillo (pin) and Big Valley Christian's Daniel Jones (decision).

Castillo (0-2), junior Thomas Delgado (1-2, 195s), junior Tyler Beckhart (1-2, 220s), junior Nate Curry (1-2, 170s), freshman Josiah Johnson (1-2, 145s), sophomore Ryan Palecek (0-2, 160 pounds) and freshman Anthony Voss (0-2, 1-6s) did not place but gained valuable mat experience.

Delgado topped Summerville's Jacob Bick (pin).

Beckhart topped Central Catholic's Sergio Bravo (pin).

Curry topped Liberty Ranch's Paul Siegalkoff (pin).
Johnson topped Hughson's Aiden Castro (pin).

Ryan Hendrix (1-1, 132s) had to injury default.

The top three teams at the tournament received plaques.

"We didn't have a 182-pounder or 120-pounder," coach Beckhart said. "It would have been interesting to see what the team scoring would have been if we fielded wrestlers in those two weight classes."

"I had high expectations for us," Vazquez said. "It's the beginning of the year. We'll get better."

Central Valley will compete at the James Riddle Classic in Oakdale this Saturday.