Central Valley varsity boys wrestler David Lezama has climbed to 38th in the state rankings for heavyweight grapplers.
"I'm pretty excited for him," Hawks head coach Rob Beckhart said. "He's really been stepping up this year. He deserves the attention he gets. He's humble. He doesn't like the limelight. He works hard. He doesn't miss practice. He doesn't make excuses. He doesn't quit. He simply goes out there and does his job. We're lucky to have him on the team."
Lezama had a 24-8 overall record with 17 wins coming by pin as of Jan. 24.
David currently ranks seventh in the Sac-Joaquin Section in his weight class.
"He's very calculated in how he does his moves and doesn't make a lot of mistakes," Beckhart said. "He's so athletic. He's super talented. He's a really nice kid off the mat. When he wrestles, he can be a beast."
David placed first for the fourth time this season when he captured the 285-pound championship at the 40th Robert Halter Memorial Tournament on Jan. 21 in Sonora.
He won both of his matches.
Lezama also claimed titles in Ceres, Oakdale and Corona.
David beat four of seven opponents while taking eighth at the Tim Brown Invitational.
"People tend to underestimate him," Beckhart said. "They don't expect a lot of athleticism from him. I think he surprises them."
Lezama compiled a 1-2 record at the Doc Buchanan Invitational (Jan. 6-7).
"It's the toughest tournament in the state," Beckhart said. "He was one match away from placing. It's quite an event."
Del Oro's Pablo Miller knocked Lezama out of the Buchanan tourney.
Miller, who ranks second in the state, posted a 5-3 victory over Lezama.
"David could have won," Beckhart said.
Lezama has improved each season since joining Central Valley's varsity wrestling program three years ago.
"He's a lot more confident now," Beckhart said. "He's more of a leader. He expects to go out there and win."
David collected one win and two losses at the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Tournament during his junior year.
Lezama was runner-up at the Division-IV competition. He didn't place at Divisionals as a sophomore.
He placed first at the 2016 WAC Championships. He was third in 2015.
"I know he wants to make that next step (advancing to state)," Beckhart said. "We have to find a way to make that happen."