It took two state-tournament placers to end Tyler Diaz’s wrestling season.
The 138-pound East Union junior reached the mecca for California high school wrestlers on Feb. 27-29 — the CIF State Championships at Mechanics Bank Arena in Bakersfield — and lost his first match to Rowland’s Alex Ramirez, the eventual champion.
Diaz then went on to the consolation round where he won two matches before facing Joshua Medina of Servite. Medina defeated Diaz and went on to finish sixth.
“The state tournament was a cool experience,” Diaz said. “It wasn’t quite what I expected. I didn’t think it was going to be that big of a deal until I stepped on the mat for the first time and I kind of felt nervous.
“I liked it a lot. I really want to go back.”
Joe Luna, Diaz’s practice partner, is a senior this year.
“I don’t know who I am going to have to practice with next year,” Diaz said. “I had a great practice partner this year.
“I am going to put in a lot of work this off-season and get ready for next year. I am hoping to win all my matches. It might not happen, but that’s always the goal.
“This was a fun season and I really loved the team.”
Diaz racked up an impressive 30-8 record, with two losses coming at the prestigious Tim Brown Invitational in Sacramento. The other six came in the post-season.
Diaz picked up gold medals at Ceres, Los Banos and in the Valley Oak League tournament before finishing fifth at the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III championships and sixth at the SJS Masters championships.
“Tyler never fails to amaze me,” Lancers coach A.J. Reindel said. “When the going gets tough Tyler gets going. He thrives on the big, important matches, although he may not win them all he always goes out with a bang.
“This young man has been wrestling the best around since he was about 8 years old. There's nothing that scares him. The coaches and I are proud of his accomplishments this year and look forward to next year.”
Boys Wrestler of the Year
Tyler Diaz (138), East Union, Jr.
Joe Luna (145), East Union, Sr.
Dominik Neuharth (195), Manteca, Jr.
Manny Zavala (285), Sierra, So.
Diego Rodriguez (113), Manteca, Sr.
Armon Bayford (182), Manteca, Jr.
Fabian Mendoza (106), Manteca, So.