Tyler Takeda/The madera Tribune
Liberty’s 138-pounder, Zack Santoro works his Wasco opponent into a pin during the Mad Ranch Duals tournament at Liberty High School. The Hawks won the Bronze Division title after winning their last three matches.
Liberty Hawks head wrestling coach Jay Pumarejo was pleased with the way his team performed at the Mad Ranch Duals the Hawks hosted this weekend.
After losing its first two duels of the tournament, Liberty came back with a win over Mission Oak-Visalia and then won the Bronze bracket with wins over two County/Metro Athletic Conference schools — Madera and Liberty.
“How lucky are our kids that they get to wrestle against some of the best wrestlers in the state in their home gym,” Pumarejo said. “I’m happy for them.”
Liberty was one of the few teams to boast a full line-up and used it to its advantage. They also recorded eight victories by pin in the last two matches.
“The way our season is designed, we like our kids to peak at the end,” Pumarejo said. “For them to see good competition early is going to help prepare them for the peaking process. This also helps boost their confidence.”
The Hawks opened the tournament with a loss to Tri-River Athletic Conference and defending champions Clovis North. Zack Santoro, at 138 pounds and Sam Rauschenberg, at 195 pounds, picked up Liberty’s lone contested wins of the duals, both by pin.
Liberty narrowly lost to the Wasco Tigers, 42-35. Rauschenberg, Santoro, Conner Hiatt (145 pounds), Diego Salas, Anthony Salas and Diego Rojas picked up contested wins.
Against Mission Oak, Spencer Gladders got the Hawks started with a win at 106 pounds. Anthony Rocha (120 pounds), Ryan Avila (132), Santoro (138) and Diego Salas (160) picked up wins.
In its dual against Madera, five wrestlers picked up contested victories. Hiatt, Jarrod Dotson (152), Anthony Salas (170) and Rauchenberg earned victories.
Liberty picked up five more wins in a victory over Sanger. Gladders, McIntosh (113), Santoro, Rojas and Rauschenberg added to their individual win totals.
Meanwhile, Madera head coach Joe Romine ended up with eight wrestlers filling the 13 spots in the line-up, resulting in 30 points from forfeits.
“Dual tournaments are tough when you don’t have full line-ups.,” Madera head coach Joe Romine said. “We suffered some injuries so we had to pull those guys out. The guys that were here, we got what we wanted. We wanted them to get experience.”
In a 59-18 victory over Mendota, eight wrestlers picked up wins. Alex Carillo (195), Nathan Galicia (106), Apolonio Ordaz (132), Adam Madrigal (160) and Abelando Juarez (170) won by pins. Hulise Santiago won by a 6-3 decision at 220 pounds, Dominic Gutierrez won by major decision, 14-3, at 145 pounds and Julius Loera won by major decision, 153, at 153 pounds.
Julian Flores, at 285 pounds, won a 2-1 decision against Clovis East. Dominic Gutierrez (145 pounds), won by a 4-2 decision and Matthew Arrezola won by a 3-1 overtime decision in a 40-33 team loss.
Against the Central-Fresno Grizzlies, the Coyotes picked up five wins in a 40-28 loss. Flores won by a 3-2 decision, Galicia won by pin, Jovani Nicolas (126) won by major decision,
13-2, Loera won by a 6-3 decision and Carillo won by a pin for the Coyotes.
Santiago and Galicia recorded pins against the Hawks. Nicolas and David Diaz (138 pounds) won by major decision. Ordaz picked up a win by pin and Loera won by a 10-0 major decision.
In a 42-34 victory over Buhach Colony, Galicia, Ordaz and Santiago picked up wins by pin for the only contested victories.
“Sometimes you go to a tournament and a marginal kid would only get two matches in,” Romine said. “You come in here, you get five matches in five hours. It’s about mat time. We’ve seen improvement.”
For the Madera South Stallions, they suffered a tight 33-31 loss to Shafter to open the duals.
Christian Perez (106 pounds), Damion Sheriff (113), German Flores (132), Jaime Garcia (140), Joseph Munoz (152) and Angel Reyes (195) each picked up wins. However, Madera South only had eight of the 13 spots in the line-up filled.
The Stallions suffered a second round loss to Buhach Colony-Atwater.
Perez won by a pin, Flores won by a 3-2 decision, Munoz won by a 10-2 major decision and Reyes won by a 7-2 decision against the Thunder.
Madera South picked up a tough 40-36 victory over the Clovis West Golden Eagles.
Perez, Diego Jaimes (120), Flores, Munoz and Reyes each picked up victories against the Golden Eagles.
In a victory over Exeter, Jaimes, Flores, Munoz and Reyes each picked up victories by pin.
The Stallions, who opened with two straight losses, finished the day with three straight wins after a 45-30 victory over Mission Oak.
Perez, Sheriff and Munoz each won by pin and Reyes won by a 6-2 decision in overtime.
Madera will wrestle this weekend at the Zinkin Invitational at Buchanan-Clovis High School while Madera South and Liberty will take the week off.
“This week is finals week so I like to give the kids the opportunity to have success in the classroom as well as in the wrestling room,” Pumarejo said. “This sets us up for a tough tournament schedule in January and helps get us to hit the postseason feeling good in February.”