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New-look Hawks finish in fifth at 49th annual Ceres Invitational
Five CVHS grapplers finish among top six in respective weight classes
Central Valley 160-pounder Andrew Marquez finished in fourth place at the Ceres Invitational this past Saturday at Ceres High School. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Central Valley High School's new-look varsity wrestling team turned in a surprising performance at the 49th Annual Ceres Invitational on Saturday at Ceres High.

The Hawks posted a team score of 99 while finishing fifth overall in the standings.

Buhach Colony (199) took first, followed by Ceres High (118), Sierra (109) and Foothill (109).

Hit hard by graduation, Central Valley's lineup featured 10 new starters and four veterans.

"I was very surprised we ended up that high," Hawks head coach Rob Beckhart said. "I'm happy with the overall performance. The kids wrestled hard."

Central Valley had five individual placers at the 22-team event, including Luis Saucedo, Andrew Marquez, Jose Castillo, Joaquin Garcia and Gabriel Martinez.

Adrian Badillo, Sev Vazquez, Alex Alvarado, David Lezama, Ryan Hendrix, Will Sprouse, Wilber Arellano and Angel Castaneda participated as well.

Saucedo, a transfer from Modesto High, posted a 3-1 record en route to a runner-up finish in the 113-pound division.

Marquez, a junior, compiled a 2-2 record on his way to a fourth-place showing at 160 pounds.

Andrew missed most of his freshman year with a broken arm. He didn't compete last season.

"He didn't want to get hurt again," Beckhart said. "I was lucky to get him back this year. He doesn't have great technique. He's got a tremendous amount of heart. He's very strong. On paper, he beat some kids he shouldn't have beat. He stepped up. He wrestled tough."

Castillo (145s, 4-1) and Garcia (195s, 4-1) both placed fifth in their respective weight classes.

Martinez (170s, 3-2) placed sixth.

Badillo (195s, 2-2), Vazquez (160s, 2-2), Alvarado (152s, 2-2), Lezama (285s, 1-2), Hendrix (126s, 1-2), Sprouse (132s, 0-2), Arellano (120s, 0-2) and Castaneda (106s, 0-2) did not place.