Tyler Takeda/The Madera Tribune
Madera senior Josiah Morales works his Sanger opponent into a pinning position at 170 pounds. Morales recorded a pin a little more than a minute into his match Wednesday against the Apaches.
The Madera Coyotes wrestling team tuned up for the County/Metro Athletic Conference tournament with a dominating victory over the Sanger Apaches to clinch a share of its eighth straight league championship.
The Coyotes, whose streak began in 2011, finished 4-0 in the CMAC dual meets to win a share of the title and won the outright title with the tournament.
“It’s always nervous,” head coach Joe Romine said. “I wish I could enjoy this more. Sanger is always tough and have a good coaching staff. They are similar in talent to us. You know they are going to have some good kids. They have had good teams in the past. We had a look at them earlier in the year and were missing some guys. We were at full strength tonight.”
The Coyotes won eight of the 13 matches, including five by pin, to celebrate Senior Night with the dual meet victory. The Coyotes honored 10 seniors and eight wrestled Feb. 7. Six of the eight picked up victories, including Rangel Miranda at 220 pounds.
“I knew where the points are and wanted to make sure my team was in the lead so I just pinned him,” Miranda said. “It’s special (to get a win on Senior Night). There’s nothing like it. I will always remember this moment.”
“For all the seniors to get a win tonight is special,” Romine said. “The kids put a lot of time and energy in sports, especially wrestling. For them to get a win is pretty nice.”
In the first match of the evening, Jonathan Solorio opened up a big lead in the first period of the 120-pound match. He recorded two takedowns and a near fall for a 7-1 lead at the end of the first period. Thirty-eight seconds into the second period, Solorio put his opponent to the mat to record a pin.
Senior Mauro Alejo fell behind early in his 126 pound match. He tied the score in the second period, but trailed 3-2 in the third. He threw his opponent down for a takedown to take the lead and added three near fall points at the final buzzer for a 7-3 win.
Rudy Paredes fell behind early at 132 pounds. He trailed 4-0 and couldn’t get anything going against his Sanger opponent. He cut the lead to two at the end of the third period and got a takedown to get within one. However, Sanger reversed the hold and got a near fall for a 12-7 victory.
At 137 pounds, senior Matt Montelongo went the distance with his opponent. After the pair were tied at two entering the second period, Montelongo received a point for an illegal hold, then reversed the hold for two points and received two near fall points for a 7-2 lead. Neither wrestler scored in the third period for a 7-2 victory for Montelongo.
Senior Akram Pacheco trailed 5-0 at the end of two periods. Although he got a reversal and an escape, he lost by a 7-3 decision at 145 pounds.
Oscar Ruiz had little trouble at 152 pounds. He recorded a takedown about a minute into the match and then worked his Sanger opponent into a pin with 4.7 seconds left in the first period.
Senior Elias Garcia was shut out in his 160 pound match before getting pinned with 48 seconds left in the third period.
However, senior Josiah Morales backed up his teammate with a pin at 170 pounds. Morales, who was docked a point before the match started because of a uniform violation, bounced back with a quick takedown and then recorded a pin 1:06 into the match.
Hulise Santiago lost by a 6-4 decision at 182 pounds.
Senior Codi Slayton pitched a shutout at 195 pounds. After a scoreless first, Slayton scored three points in the second and two more in the third for a 5-0 decision.
Miranda then came out to record the quickest pin of the night at 220 pounds. Miranda’s opponent threw him to the ground and got him on his back. However, Miranda, using his opponent’s momentum, turned him on his back and secured him for the pin with 1:34 left in the first period.
“I wanted to stay off my back,” Miranda said. “I used the inner strength. I didn’t think that was going to be the outcome. When I was on my back, I knew I had to turn him really quick. I used all my willpower to get him on his back and pin him.
“Rangel Miranda was in a topsy-turvy roll and it could have gone either way,” Romine said. “I think by just willpower to roll into a pin. It was nice for him on Senior night to come out.”
After 285-pounder John Cook received a forfeit victory, Matt Ornelas battled at 106 pounds. He fell behind after the first period, but used an escape and takedown for a 3-2 lead in the second period. Ornelas was called for locking hands to tie the score and his opponent got an escape to take a 4-3 lead. In a last ditch effort, Ornelas leapt and got his opponent into a takedown, but it occurred just after the final buzzer sounded for a 4-3 loss.
“Our 106-pounder got pinned by that kid earlier in the year,” Romine said. “To come back within a point was a big improvement. He’s a young sophomore in his first year of high school wrestling and he’s come a long way. Even in a loss, to overcome getting pinned, he will come back with a different kind of confidence.”
Senior Mario Moreno had a relatively easy time at 113-pounds in the last match of the evening. He recorded a takedown 15 seconds into the match and then pinned his opponent with 24.6 seconds left in the first for the 45-18 team victory.