The Madera Tribune File Photo
Madera South’s Dylan Miracle, top, is one of four Stallions expected to place near the top of the podium at this weekend’s Chukchansi Invitational.
Madera South High School will be buzzing with wrestling activity this week, beginning with Thursday’s Stallion Stampede, a junior varsity wrestling tournament and concluding Friday and Saturday with the eighth annual Chukchansi Invitational.
“It’s one of the top tournaments in the state and the biggest in the Central Section,” Madera South head coach Sal Gonzalez said. “This is our first big tournament.”
More than 50 teams and close to 1,000 wrestlers will compete in the two-day tournament that begins at 9 a.m. Friday and Saturday with the finals scheduled for 4 p.m. in the East Gym at Madera South.
“We have nine of the top 30 teams here,” Gonzalez said. “Buchanan is ranked No. 1, along with Clovis North, Dinuba, Frontier-Hanford, Lemoore, Pitman, Hanford, Corning-Redding and Madera. You really get a combination of good programs and small schools.”
Gonzalez uses the Chukchansi Tournament as a way to set his lineup and finalize what weight his wrestlers will compete in.
“For our guys, they see their competitive weights,” he said. “We really don’t have kids that drop weight during the season. This is the weight they will be competing in during the year.”
Gonzalez has as many as nine wrestlers that could find their way to the top six podium, including 106-pounder Anthony Posas, who is ranked No. 2 in the state.
“He’s been putting in a lot of work over the summer,” Gonzalez said. “He’s gone to Nationals and has come one match away from placing the past two years.”
In addition to Posas, Gonzalez believes Augie Garcia, Dylan Miracle and Nathan Chavez have good chances to find their way to the finals match.
“Augie was a Chukchansi winner at 152 pounds,” Gonzalez said. “Dylan is ranked No. 11 in the state at 171, but he will be competing at 160-pounds this year. He was fifth his freshman year, third last year and we hope to get into the finals this year to get him a title. Nathan is ranked 19th. He took second at Chukchansi as a sophomore, but missed last year because of injury. This is the year for him to win a Chukchansi title.”
Gonzalez says that the allure of the Chukchansi is the opportunity for some of the small schools to be able to battle with the bigger schools.
“You really get a combination of good programs and small schools,” Gonzalez said. “It’s a good preseason tournament for both of them. You’ll have kids have opportunities from the small schools to place in this tournament.”