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Success on the mat
Ceres High's and Central Valley's varsity wrestling programs will send a combined eight grapplers to the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters tournament.

Nick Moran, Gabe Balderas, Armando Morales, Ruben Sanchez and Nick Santibanez of the Bulldogs, and CV's Anthony Centeno, Rick Brown and Adrian Vizcaino qualified after finishing in the top five at the Division-IV championships this past week at Weston Ranch High School.

"Overall, I'm very happy," Hawks head coach Rob Beckhart said. "They deserve to be where they're at."

Said Bulldogs assistant coach Steve Festa: "I'm definitely happy with the effort. Everyone worked hard. We just got to keep pushing."

Moran, a fourth-year wrestler, defeated Los Banos' Marcus Carrillo 5-1 for the 152-pound title. Moran won all three of his matches. He pinned El Dorado's Rick Reed (3:25) and edged River City's Adam Tyson (6-3). Nick earned a No. 1 seed for Masters.

"He's winning the matches he should," Festa said. "He's not making mistakes. If he wrestles to his strengths, he's going to achieve his goal."

Balderas (113 pounds) compiled a 2-1 record en route to a second-place He lost by major decision, 8-0, in the finals to Oakdale's Juan Garza. Gabe beat Weston Ranch's Luis Ochoa (major decision, 13-5) and Sonora's Dylan Ledbetter (pin, 4:47).

Morales (285s) finished second with a 3-1 mark. He lost by decision, 12-7, in the finals to Los Banos' Bryce Howard. Armando beat River City's Aaron Ringor (pin, 1:04), Weston Ranch's Willie Cervantes (pin (1:41) and Central Catholic's Andrew Betschart (pin, 1:46).

Sanchez (195s) and Santibanez (120s) both placed fifth with identical 4-2 records.

Ruben beat Liberty Ranch's Jarod Guidotti (pin, 3:10), Los Banos Jordan Macias (pin, 3:17), Weston Ranch's Candelario Elizondo (decision, 3-2) and East Union's Anthony Malena (pin, 1:35). Sanchez won in double overtime versus Elizondo. Ruben scored on a reversal in the closing seconds.

Nick beat Liberty Ranch's Angel Moreno (pin, 3:30), Vista Del Lago's Mason Wright (pin, 4:03), Consumnes Oaks' Ryan Nantuna (decision, 4-3) and Sierra's Keano Calderon (decision, 10-8). Santibanez, a first-year wrestler, locked up a Masters berth when he edged Calderon in overtime.

"He keeps impressing us every week," Festa said.

Centeno (160s) and Brown (170s) finished in third place in their respective divisions.

Anthony defeated River City's Robert Perez (decision, 10-5), Lathrop's Omar Guzman (decision, 8-7) and Vista Del Lago's Ian Berklacich (pin, 2:47).

Centeno placed sixth at 145 pounds as a junior.

"He has more energy this year because he doesn't have to cut weight," Beckhart said.

Rick defeated Los Banos' Markus Rico (decision, 8-4), River City's Uriah Clark (major decision, 9-1) and Vista Del Lago's Connor Moore (major decision, 14-2). Brown is just a sophomore.

"I'm excited for him," Beckhart said. "He's finally starting to believe in himself. He has a great work ethic. Nobody is going to beat him at conditioning and he's strong."

Adrian, a 182-pound sophomore, took fourth. He collected wins against Kimball's Matt Cooper (decision, 4-2) and Sonora's Tyler Sommerfeld (decision, 8-2).

"It's a big accomplishment," Beckhart said while talking about Vizcaino's standout performance. "He gives up a lot of weight and still does well."

Central Valley's Michael Manzur (106s), Cristian Garcia (138s), Aaron Page (120s), Louis Gonzales (126s) and Jordan Sales (220s), and Ceres High's David Cisneros (145s), Rudy Gonzalez (220s) and Eric Bejaran (182s) had their seasons cut short.

Manzur won two of three matches last Friday. He was disqualified from the tournament after missing weigh-ins Saturday morning. Michael was in the restroom.

"It's a mistake he'll learn from and it won't happen again," Beckhart said. "I wish I could have seen what we would have done the second day."

Cisneros compiled a 2-2 record. He beat Lathop's Oscar Tapia (decision, 7-3) and Pacheco's Ruben Rocha (decision, 8-6).

Garcia and Gonzalez both had 1-2 records.

Cristian bested Consumnes Rivers' Nick Pruitt (major decision, 13-3) in the opening round. Rudy also won his first match. He topped Vista Del Lago's Alex King (pin, 5:17).

Bejaran, Page, Gonzales and Sales all lost twice.

Ceres High placed sixth in the team standings. The Bulldogs (109 points) finished behind Oakdale (270.5), Western Ranch (132.5), Union Mine (130), Los Banos (125) and Kimball (110). Central Valley was 11th (52).

The Masters competition will be staged this Thursday and Friday at Stockton Arena.