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Villanueva selected as top wrestler for toiurneys heavyweights
TOP photo MON
East Unions Damon Cabanas, left, battles to get loose from Caden Shafer of Golden Valley in the 126-pound finals before Shafer got the pin Saturday at the Demolition Day Wrestling Tournament at Stagg High School in Stockton. - photo by DAVE CAMPBELL/The Bulletin

STOCKTON – The battle for second place Saturday at Stagg High School’s Demolition Day Wrestling Tournament came down to the 285-pound bout between East Union’s Michael Villanueva and Sierra’s David Saenz. Villanueva got the pin to get the Lancers second place by a point and he was awarded the outstanding heavyweight wrestler award.

 “We had seven wrestlers at the varsity level who could score and six were in the finals,” East Union coach A.J. Riendel said. “This was very pleasing, but we only had only one champion in all of finals matches wrestled. We were outmatched on some of them and we have work to do, but we are getting better every day

 “It is tough to stay in wrestling mode in vacation but the kids were for the most part able to do that.”

 Damon Cabanas (126) of East Union won his first match by a point and his second by pin before being tripped up in the finals for second-place finish.

 “I gave it all I had today – every effort to the last second,” Cabanas said. “I won my first match by a point and the second by a pin.

 “In my second match he was too far over and I reached behind his head, rolled him over and got him in a head and arm.

 Ruben Bocanegra (195) of the Lancers also finished second.

 “I would have loved to get first, but second is all right,” Bocanegra said. “At least I got a medal, but I have to work harder.

 “I won two matches by a lot but came up a little short in the finals.”

 Jason Betlej (120), Gerardo Cuevas (132) and Jaysen Riendel (220) all brought home silver medals for East Union.

 Sierra’s Brandon Rullan (113) was seeded first and had a bye in his opening match. He tallied a pin the semifinals and in the finals he got a pin in just 20 seconds.

 “When I first shook his hand he didn’t feel like he was ready,” Rullan said of his finals match. “And right when the whistle blew he stood up so I took a shot and got him to his back and held him there.”

 Vincent Marquez (120) and Alex Loaiza (132) both got gold medals for the Timberwolves with pins over Betlej (120) and Cuevas (132).

 “If felt good going in and good coming out,” Marquez said of his match with Betlej. “I did a lot of moves that I have been practicing for a long time. I put a lot of pressure on him so he couldn’t do anything back to me.”

 Kody Justis (182) brought home the silver medal for Sierra with teammates Alaina Castor (106) and Jarrett Penner (160) getting the bronze.

 Castor battled back to pin Xavier Korez of Tokay for her third-place finish.

 “I was so tired,” Castor said.  “It took a lot to come back and win. I had to dig deep.”

 Timberwolves coach Alex Nuanez was pleased with his team’s performance.

 “We took six guys for the varsity and all six were in the finals,” Nuanez said. “I was happy with how they did. Bringing home three gold medals was the best part of the day.”


Pacific Coast

Ripon High School

There are road trips, and then there are Ripon High trips. The Indians traveled to Hudson’s Bay High School in Vancouver Washington to take place in the two-day Pacific Coast Invitational with Tristan Smith (185 pounds) finishing in fourth place.

 “This is the third time we have been to this tournament,” Indians coach Glen White said. There is some really stiff competition with some of best schools in Washington and Oregon. We always get good matches and it is definitely worth the trip.

 “We have not had a ton of people place so Tristan getting fourth is quite an accomplishment.”

 Making it to the second day for Ripon were Donny Fontillas (106) Javier Hernandez (145) and Gabe Barnett (160) who finished 3-2 and Brent White (138) who went 2-2.


Sacramento Team Duals

Weston Ranch

 The Cougars took just six wrestlers on Saturday and went 1-3 with the lone win against host Sacramento High, 27-15.

 Joshua Mendoza (152) was 4-0 for Weston Ranch.


Pittsburg Queen of the Mat

Weston Ranch

 The Cougars brought home two bronze medals from Pittsburg High School.

 Mia Hill (106) went 3-1 with three pins and Wonderful BeConge (235) was 2-1 with two pins.

 “The girls are looking good,” Weston Ranch coach Seth Davis said. “We just have to keep working hard and get better each week.”


Shark Tank Invitational

Lathrop High School

 Alex Garcia (132) was the lone Spartan to make the trip to Santiago High School in Santiago and he finished fourth with a 4-2 record over the two-day tournament.

 Garcia went 3-0 on Friday before running up against Daxter Gordon from Brawley High School who is ranked ninth in the state. Gordon won the Saturday morning semifinal bout sending Garcia to the consolation semifinals where he rebounded with a win. Garcia lost in the consolation finals.

 “Alex wrestled very tough this weekend,” Lathrop coach Vince Garcia said. He continues to work hard and stepped up this weekend to the level we all know he can wrestle at. Alex had his first loss of the year at this tournament which is always tough to deal with but was able to come back to take fourth place in a weight class that is two above the weight class that he will compete at toward the end of the year.

 “As coaches are very happy with his development and attitude to this point. He’s doing what he needs to compete with the top guys in the state.”


Mel Focha JV and
Girls Tournament

Lathrop High

 On Saturday at Escalon High Ashley O’Hare (160) went 3-0 and took first place. Karrissa Kammen (160) was second at 2-1 and Stephanie Rosillo (160) took third at 3-1.

 “The girls wrestled very hard this weekend,” Vince Garcia said. “We are happy with the way they are wrestling.”

 In junior varsity competition Mysson Harrell (120) was second at 3-1 and Nole Contreras (195) finished third.

 “This was a big tournament for Mysson who is a first year wrestler,” Vince Garcia said. “It’s nice to see his hard work is starting to pay off for him and I am happy to see him getting some wins.”