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COUGAR DUALS

Weston Ranch host tournament a success

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COUGAR DUALS

Weston ranch's Michael Salsbury gets a pin during one of his five victories during the Cougar Duals tournament at Weston Ranch High.

JAGADA CHAMBERS/The Bulletin


POSTED December 13, 2009 1:53 a.m.
WESTON RANCH – Beating Golden valley High in the Cougar Duals Tournament championship match would have been nice, but the Weston Ranch Cougars will settle for a 4-1 record and the division II tournament title.

Weston Ranch (10-1) was able to outlast a tough Sierra High squad in the second group of four-team clusters broken off from each of the 16-team field’s first three tournament matches. Sierra and Weston Ranch joined Buhach Colony and Argonaut in the second group. Sierra knocked off Argonaut 44-27, while the Cougars handled Buhach Colony 48-30, setting up the Valley Oak League showdown.

Weston Ranch would narrowly come away with the victory, outlasting Sierra 36-30 behind a solid tournament-long performance from Michael Salsbury, Grant Mar and Daniel Guzman, all who finished Saturday’s event undefeated.

“Grant Mar and Michael Salsbury are two really good kids,” Weston Ranch head coach Pat King said. “They’re the first ones in the room and they’re the last two to go. They do what they’re supposed to do and our other kids really feed off of them.

“They’re progression is obvious because they are dominating other kids.”

Sierra got quality leadership from Austin Soto and freshman Alberto Loaiza. Loaiza made an outstanding debut on the 103-pound scene. Reeling off a perfect record and getting Sierra going in the final match with a first round pin against Weston Ranch.

“I felt great out there,” Loaiza said after the tournament. “I really had some tough matches, but I was able to come out on top. The high school level is a lot different; a lot tougher, but I’ve just been pushing through every practice and just trying my hardest.”

Soto was just as impressive, also finishing the day undefeated and providing the Timberwolves with a definite weight class they will be able to depend on. Sierra learned a lot about its program and the Timberwolves will be working hard to get everything in place before the VOL schedule begins.

“We did pretty good, but we have five guys who are coming in late from football,” Sierra head coach Bob Blanco said. “They are not conditioned and they’re sucking air, making a few easy mistakes. But they are easy mistakes that we can correct, so that is not too bad.”

Golden Valley closed out the one-day tournament as the champions, beating Union Mine 42-32 in the final. The Cougars had an opportunity to be in division II of the teams, but a two-point loss to Franklin of Elk Grove pushed the host Cougars into the next level.

“Anytime you wrestle a good team like Franklin you have to give 100-percent,” King said. “Losing by a couple of points on a couple of late pins is the difference in the match. Our kids understand that even though wrestling is an individual sport, they have to get off their back in that situation.

“Unfortunately, a kid wining by five or six points ends up getting pinned and now we’re in the “B”-group.”

Manteca battled through a challenging tournament start, collecting a much-needed win over Johansen 52-24 to land the Buffaloes in division III. Gabriel Rellamas was able to pull out a victory in Manteca’s final match against Stagg, but will have to help lead his team along a tough VOL road ahead.

“I think we did a good job because we all wrestled hard,” Rellamas said. “We are a young team, so it is pretty hard to win against a lot of juniors and seniors, but no one gave up.

“That alone tells me we’ll be pretty good.”
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