Vying for a berth to the CIF State Meet, Ceres High varsity boys wrestler Aiden Moore had to change his game plan after sustaining a left knee injury during his first match at the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Championships on Feb. 24 at Stockton Arena.
"My knee was pretty bad," Moore said. "I tore my meniscus. I didn't put a brace on. We didn't want anyone to target it. I kept wrestling. It changed my aggressiveness a little bit. I was on my feet more than normal. I wasn't able to go back to my normal style."
Diego Diaz, Jaden Cooper, Brian Becerra, Conner Johnson, Luis Camarillo and Frankie Mendez also represented the Bulldogs at Masters.
"The level of competition puts everyone on edge to do their best," said Moore, who also wore a brace the entire season to protect a torn labrum in his right shoulder. "There was definitely added pressure. I tried to advance as far as I could. I had the potential to make it to state. I'm not going to blame the losses on my knee injury. I had to adjust and learn how to deal with it."
Moore posted a 1-2 record while competing in the 160-pound weight class.
He beat Vintage's Robert Moreno (pin, 2:11).
Aiden lost to Oak Ridge's Bobby Mello (decision, 5-3) and Vacaville's Cole Chapman (major decision, 8-0).
Diaz compiled a 2-2 record at 182 pounds.
He beat Mariposa's Ryan Leonard (decision, 9-2) and River City's Michael Warner (pin, 4:20).
Diego lost to Lodi's Justin Medeiros (pin, 0:47) and Woodcreek's Matt Miclat (pin, 2:54).
Cooper (138s) and Becerra (132s) also won two of four matches in their respective brackets.
Jaden beat Enochs' John Anderson (pin, 5:12) and Johansen's Mateo Gordon (decision, 7-5).
He lost to Calaveras' Andrew Garcia (major decision, 11-3) and Vista del Lago's Andrew Vaquero (decision, 2-1).
Becerra beat Gregori's Aiden Villavicencio (pin, 5:27) and Cordova's Derek Burton (pin, 2:38).
He lost to Oak Ridge's Ricky Mello (pin, 2:39) and Pitman's Kendall LaRosa (pin, 2:06).
Johnson (195s), Camarillo (126s) and Mendez (106s) all had identical 1-2 marks.
Conner beat Franklin's Colby Lanz (pin, 1:40).
He lost to Turlock's Breck Jeffus (major decision, 9-1) and Vacaville's Chris Island (decision, 5-2).
Luis beat Bradshaw Christian's Britton Wheatley (default).
He lost to Buhach Colony's Leem Kue (major decision, 12-4) and Lincoln's Cole Jackson (decision, 4-3).
Frankie beat Enochs' Michael Moore (major decision, 13-4).
He lost to Golden Valley's Caydin Wickhard (pin, 5:45) and Beyer's Christian Her (major decision, 15-3).
Moore, a fourth-year grappler, enjoyed a memorable career with the Bulldogs.
"I just wanted to keep improving," he said.
Aiden placed first at the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-IV Championships and claimed his second straight Western Athletic Conference title this winter.
He had a perfect 8-0 record versus WAC competition.
Moore went 1-2 at Masters for the second year in a row.
"I have a lot of great memories," Moore said.
Aiden will continue his athletic career at the next level.
"Wrestling is in my future," said Moore, who plans to compete for a Division-III program in Iowa.