By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Nelson, McElwain bring home wrestling medals
CHS grapplers shine on mat
Ceres Highs Spencer Nelson and Daniel McElwain claimed medals at the Tim Brown Memorial Tournament earlier this month in Sacramento. Pictured (left to right): Nelson, head coach Steve Festa and McElwain. - photo by Contributed to the Courier

Ceres High's varsity boys wrestling program had two individuals medal at the Jan. 12-13 Tim Brown Memorial Tournament in Sacramento.

Spencer Nelson and Daniel McElwain both finished in eighth place in their respective weight brackets.

Nelson and McElwain didn't wrestle last year.

"They've pushed through hard times," Bulldogs' head coach Steve Festa said. "I'm proud to be able to see them grow. It's amazing."

Nelson compiled a 4-3 record at 195 pounds.

"He's been wrestling for me since he was a seventh-grader at Mae Hensley Jr. High," Festa said. "He's a great competitor. He wrestles with a lot of heart. He's reaping the benefits because of his strong mentality."

Spencer beat Ukiah's Frank Pomillia (pin), Modesto's Eligio Arroyo (pin), Franklin's Dylan Meyers (decision) and Lodi's Livious Mamola (decision).

He lost to Folsom's Kyle Richards (17-7), Del Oro's Adam Lowe (pin) and Elk Grove's John Gblah (pin).

Nelson edged Mamola 9-8 in double overtime. Spencer opted to finish the match after being driven into a wall. He secured the victory with a go-behind reversal with one second left on the clock.

"It was a special moment I'll never forget," Festa said. "It's a goose-bump story."

McElwain won three of six matches at 220 pounds.

He beat Casa Robles' Brady Ranking (decision), Escalon's Zac Freesha (pin) and Lincoln's Isaac Davalos (pin).

Daniel lost to Chester's Tony Rogers (pin) and Lower Lake's Peerliss Brooke (decision).

"As great as he is, he's still learning and getting better," Festa said.

Bulldog teammates Brian Ayala, Ethan Letras, Jaden Cooper, Elias Saldana, Ricky Gonzales, David Caravalho, Austin Hanshew, Sonald Lal, Shanald Lal, Edison Jimenez and Andrew Gibson didn't make it past the first day of the tournament.

"We should have had more kids advance," Festa said. "But we faced a lot of adversity."

Brian (back) and Ethan (hand) were both knocked out of the tournament with injuries.

Jaden was supposed to be seeded seventh.

Cooper's name was left off the bracket.

"He lost his seeding," Festa said. "It was a mess."

Ayala won one of two matches at 126 pounds.

Brian beat East Union's Joe Patton (major decision).

He lost to Ukiah's Ashton Stanley (injury default).

Letras won one of two matches at 160 pounds.

Ethan beat Laguna's Silas Washington (pin).

He lost to Castro Valley's Alex Sousa (injury default).

Cooper won two of four matches at 145 pounds.

Slowed by a knee injury, Saldana managed to win one of three matches at 285 pounds.

He beat Escalon's Jonathan Santos (pin)

Elias lost to Anderson's Luis Penick (pin) and Lincon's Lucas Cook (pin).

Gonzales (126s), Caravalho (170s) and Hanshew (182s) posted identical 1-2 records.

Ricky beat Chavez's Phu Pham (decision).

He lost to Wood's Alex Rivera (pin) and Petaluma's Mac Shattuck (pin).

David beat Franklin's Emron Gardizi (pin).

He lost to River Valley's Erick Sandoval (pin) and Oakridge's Guzman (10-0).

Austin beat Yuba City's Chris Divas (pin).

He lost to Rio Linda's Jack Clark (decision) and Vista Del Lago's Liam Leckie (pin).

Gibson (170s), Jimenez (132s), Shanald Lal (113s) and Sonald Lal (106s) all dropped both of their respective matches.

Andrew lost to El Dorado's Rory Patterson (22-8) and Calaveras' William Vernon (pin)

Edison lost to Livermore's Ron Martindill (decision) and Lincoln's Julius Serrano (11-1).

Shanald lost to East Union's Tyler Diaz (pin) and Lodi's Zach Oliviera Taylor (decision).

Sonald lost to Del Oro's Klay Browning (pin) and Elk Grove's Marco Lopez (pin).

"A lot of our guys got wins and scored points," Festa said. "That's what I wanted to see."