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Cougars open VOL with two wins

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Cougars open VOL with two wins

Manteca High's Gabe Rellamos gets in position on his opponent during the Buffaloes' Valley Oak League opener Wednesday.

JAGADA CHAMBERS/The Bulletin


POSTED January 7, 2010 2:25 a.m.
WESTON RANCH – The Valley Oak League wrestling season is off and running and the Weston Ranch Cougars have opened it with high expectations and higher production with a pair of convincing wins over visiting Central Valley and Manteca highs Wednesday.

The Cougars exposed a under-staffed Central Valley squad 51-10, followed by an even more impressive 64-13 win over the Buffaloes.

Manteca opened the double-dual match with a 39-31 win over Central Valley, but proved to be little challenge against a stacked Weston Ranch team.

“It was what we were expecting coming in,” Cougars head coach Pat King said. “We knew that we had a little more experience than the other two schools and it showed. Manteca really wrestled us hard; none of those kids quit and John (Vasquez) is doing a good job putting those kids in position to do good things.”

The Cougars reeled off nine pins in 12 matches, handing the Buffaloes their points on two losses on points and a forfeit. Grant mar, Robert Gonzalez, Travis Bowen, Chris Contreras and Michael Sailsbery all notched pins in the lopsided win.

Manteca’s win over the Hawks did not come easy. The Buffaloes found themselves behind on the scoreboard 27-18 before a Casey Benson win in the 160-pound weight class, followed by a pair of forfeits put Manteca in prime position to grab its first victory.

“Overall, we did pretty darn good,” Manteca head coach John Vasquez said. “These guys have been practicing hard, but haven’t had a lot of mat time against competition.

“We’re knocking off some of the rust, but I’m looking forward to a good year in the VOL.”

The Buffaloes put together a complete team effort. Pulling and coaching for one another and staying intently focused with each match. One of the team’s brightest spots came in the midst of defeat, when Derek Benson refused to give up in his 12-2 119-pound loss, fighting off two last-ditch efforts of his opponent looking for a six-point pin.

“Derek really performed for us,” Vasquez said. “He took on one of their top dogs and for him not to get pinned as a freshman is an excellent feat for Derek.

“We have to credit Derek for the win that we took as a team.”

The Cougars will be back on the mat Friday when they open the Big Valley Tournament in Stockton, while Manteca will make the trip to Watsonville for the Apple Cider Classic. Half of the Cougars squad will travel to Jackson Saturday for the Argonaut Duals.
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