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Area wrestlers gear up for postseason
Sierra grappler Jose Cortez will be one of several Valley Oak League wrestlers looking to finish off VOL competition with a league title this weekend during the VOL Tournament Saturday.
Earning points for the sake of the team is a thing of the past for the wrestlers in the Valley Oak Trans Valley Leagues. For the next match, each man is wrestling for himself, wrestling in hopes of extend their season for another week.

The VOL will get its tournament underway at the Dalben Center at East Union High. The Oakdale Mustangs will be on the scene a week away from capturing the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV Team Duals title with an impressive run.

Oakdale destroyed a solid Los Banos team 53-10 after beating Central Valley handily behind 10 team pins. East Union, Sierra, Lathrop all have wrestlers who will push for league titles and Weston Ranch will be hungry after falling in its postseason debut last weekend in SJS team duals.

Ripon will host the TVL Tournament, which will feature SJS Division V Team Duals champion Escalon High. The Cougars rolled in last weekend’s team dual tournament, barreling over Summerville and outlasting Summerville 38-18 for the title. The Cougars will undoubtedly have quality wrestlers in every weight class, but there are several league titles up for the taking.

The Cougars will boast nine No. 1 seeds in the tournament, by far more than any other program. Ripon will have a couple of quality contenders in No. 1 seed Travis Smith in the 217-pound weight class. Smith is one of the top wrestlers in the state and should have no problem extending his season.

Ripon’s Nick Solario is the No. 2 seed in the 114-pound weight class and will have to go through Hughson’s Daniel Williams for the league title. Trevor Smith, Travis’ younger brother, will also open as a No. 2 seed in the 173-pound weight class.

Sierra’s Alex Nuanez will make a push for the 189-pound championship, as will East Union’s heavyweight champion Devon Woodall. Donnell Simms from Weston Ranch also will definitely be in the shakeup of the 189-pound title. Jose Cortez will likely be in the mix in the 171-pound weight clas.

The top four placers in each weight class will earn a spot in the Sac-Joaquin Section Divisionals, beginning Feb. 18 at Summerville High for the TVL advancers and at Union Mine High for the VOL.