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Red team prevails
Ceres High School's varsity wrestling program ushered in the new season with the Red&White scrimmage Wednesday night at Phil de la Porte Gymnasium.

"I brought it back last year to get the parents more involved and give the kids a feel of what it's like to wrestle with a referee and time being kept," head coach Jon Nowicki said.

The Red won this season's intra-squad competition, 37-32.

Nowicki and assistant coach Steve Festa placed 11 wrestlers on each team.

Brandon Christeson, Vincent DeAnda, Joey Bettencourt, Rajinder Singh, Shawn Amirfar, Tony Spinella, Jacob Craig, Ruben Sanchez, Kevin Hartley, Curtis Hulstine and Dishon Baez-Moyet suited up fro the Red squad.

Gabe Balderas, Mark Piceno, Jose Vazquez, Nick Moran, Jordan Apodoca, Christian Moore, Erik Eisenbeis, Anthony Cleveland, Lucas Silva, Virginia Montiel and Keegan Overbey made up the White team.

The most-anticipated match of the night pitted Overbey against Hulstine.

The two team leaders and practice partners battled for six minutes. Keegan emerged with a 6-4 victory, fighting off a reversal attempt by Curtis in the waning seconds.

"They wrestle like that in the room everyday," assistant coach Steve Festa said. "Both of them were cautious because they know how explosive each other is. It could have easily went into overtime."

"Everyone always asks us who's better," Overbey said. "I had a feeling it was going to be close."

"Keegan's a tough competitor," Hulstine said. "We always go back and forth at practice. He prevailed this time. I kind of sat more than I should have."

Christeson won by pin the the first round against Montiel, and lost by technical fall (17-2) to Balderas.

DeAnda won by pin the the first round against Piceno.

Hartley won by pin in the second round against Silva.

Sanchez won by pin in the third round against Cleveland.

Spinella won by major decision (13-2) against Moore.

Amirfar won by decision (8-6) against Apodoca.

Baez-Moyet won by forfeit.

Bettencourt lost by pin in the first round to Vazquez.

Singh lost by pin in the third round to Moran.

Craig lost by pin in the first round to Eisenbeis.

Nowicki, Festa and Bruce Scott held a wrestling clinic for parents before the scrimmage.

Scott, former Bulldogs head coach and current high school referee, explained details of scoring and what to expect with assistance from Overbey and Hulstine.

CHS tournament

The 44th edition of the Ceres Wrestling Invitational will be held this Saturday at Ceres High.

Grapplers from 15 difference schools will participate, including CHS, Central Valley, Downey, Johansen, Modesto High, Central Catholic, Hilmar, Galt, Livermore, Deer Valley, George Washington (San Francisco), Golden Sierra, Rocklin, Summerville and Sunnyside.

The top three teams receive trophies.

Individual medals will be awarded to first- through sixth-place finishers.

"We have one of the longest running tournaments in the state," Bulldogs head coach Jon Nowicki said.

Ceres High will be led by seniors Curtis Hulstine and Keegan Overbey.

Hulstine won all three of his matches by one point on his way to capturing the 119-pound championship last year. He'll compete at 130 pounds this weekend.

Overbey placed fourth in the 135-pound division. He'll wrestle in the same bracket on Saturday.

"I'm super excited," Hulstine said. "I'm hoping to make it to finals and win another title. That's my goal."

Curtis will also reunite with brother Billy Murphy, a coach at Central Catholic. Murphy captured the NJCAA title (133 pounds) while competing for Iowa Central Community College in 2008-09. He won back-to-back CIF state crowns (2005, 2006) as a member of Hughson High's wrestling program.

"He's back down here now," Hulstine said.

First-round matches will get underway at 9 a.m. with finals slated to begin between 5 and 6 p.m.

"I have a feeling we're going to have multiple champions this year," assistant coach Steve Festa coach.