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Underclassmen come through in Ripons TVL-opening win
WRES--Hilmar-Ripon pic
Ripon heavyweight Tristan Smith takes control of Hilmars Edmar Vega moments before taking him down and scoring the pin in Wednesdays Trans-Valley League dual meet at Abeyta-Hortin Gym. - photo by GARY JENSEN/GreatShots.

RIPON — Despite missing several starters from its normal lineup Wednesdsay, Ripon had members of the junior varsity team come through to help the varsity pin down a one-sided 55-16 win over Hilmar in the first Trans-Valley League dual match for both teams.

The Indians (1-0 TVL, 7-3 overall) claimed the final five matches to race away victorious. The finishing run was started by freshman Justin Swilley in the 126-pound matchup against Dylan Gomes. Swilley pinned his opponent despite wrestling up in weight. 

Ripon racked up dominant wins from there, getting an 11-2 major decision from Anthony Latno (132) followed by pinfalls from Brandon Barnett (138), Javier Hernandez (145) and Steven Deulus (152).

“I was pretty happy with how we wrestled,” Ripon coach Glen White said. “We had some injuries and our younger kids stepped up and did a nice job for the varsity.”

White also lauded sophomores Matt Sulaimon and Jordan Campa. Suliamon, a first-year wrestler, outpointed Jordan Campa 6-3 at 220 to give the Indians an early 15-7 cushion, while Campa pinned Cole Cozine at 113.

It was back-and-forth at the start, as 160-pounder Justin Rentfro and Gabe Aguilar (182) posted decision wins that gave Hilmar a 7-6 advantage through three bouts. The Yellowjackets forfeited at 195 and trailed the rest of the way.

Picking up wins via fall for Ripon were Dylan Health (170) and standout heavyweight Tristan Smith.

Ripon heads to Chico Saturday for the Joe Rios Memorial and takes a week off of dual action before hosting rival Escalon on Jan. 20.

“That’s our big league dual meet every year, so we’re hoping to have everyone healthy and get a good match with those guys,” White said.


Central Catholic 40, East Union 37


East Union 78, Kimball 0

TRACY — Host Kimball gave up a lot free points with only three varsity wrestlers available to compete Wednesday, but East Union had a forfeiture that hurt its chances against Central Catholic.

“There were still a couple of matches that could have made the difference,” East Union coach A.J. Reindel said. “They wrestled well and it was nice to compete with (Central Catholic) for a change.”

Jason Betlej (126) was East Union’s lone grappler to win twice on the mat, recording a 12-1 decision against Central Catholic and a win by fall against Kimball.

Enrique Mendoza (132, pin), Ruben Gallegos (160, pin), Joel Melena (182, pin) and Jaysen Reindel (220, 5-0) picked up points in the Central Catholic match. Damon Cabanas (138,) and Anthony Contreras (145) each had a pin against Kimball.

Central Catholic toppled the host Jaguars, 54-3. East Union won both junior varsity matches — 46-6 over Kimball and 54-0 over Central Catholic.


Oakdale 54, 

Manteca 30


Lathrop 42, 

Manteca 33

Brothers Austin and Tyler Welch, at 170 and 182, respectively, each scored two pinfall victories at Winter Gym. Heavyweight Carlos Hernandez pinned his Lathrop opponent.

Manteca’s JV dropped a 48-12 decision to Lathrop and lost to Oakdale, 66-12.