Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera Souths’ Damion Sheriff gets his hand raised after recording a pinfall victory over Madera’s Victor Calderon. The win gave the Stallions a 24-20 team lead over the Coyotes during Wednesday’s dual meet win.
The Madera South Stallions wrestling team held off the Madera Coyotes’ comeback effort to win
30-23 at home to almost secure itself a County/Metro Athletic Conference championship.
The Coyotes, who were down 18-6 at one point, took a 20-18 lead after Nate Galicia defeated Christian Perez 14-2 at 106 pounds.
The Stallions, however, regained a 24-20 lead when Damion Sheriff defeated Victor Calderon by fall in the 113-pound match.
The gap continued to get bigger from that point as the Stallions followed up with more wins and put the Coyotes away for good in Wednesday’s rivalry match.
“They’re Madera kids, so you know it’s gonna be close,” Madera coach Joe Romine said. “I told our guys the tougher team is gonna win tonight and they were the tougher team.”
The Madera South victory puts Madera’s nine-year County/Metro Athletic Conference championship streak in jeopardy. Both teams have one more CMAC dual match remaining on its schedule — Madera battles Bullard on Feb. 5 and Madera South faces Sanger on Wednesday and Edison on Feb. 5.
Madera’s David Diaz kicked off the night with a win against Jaime Garcia in the 138-pound division. The Stallions responded with a win when Joseph Munonz defeated Dominic Gutierrez in the 145-pound match. Arturo Perez added another win for the Stallions when he beat Julius Loera in the 152-pound division.
In the 160-pound match, Madera South’s Bryce Walters broke a 7-7 tie going into the third period and held on for a 12-9 win against Adan Madrigal.
Madera South wrestling coach Ryan Philp said Walters and the rest of the sophomores played a huge role in the team’s win.
“We got a lot of wins from our sophomores tonight,” Philp said. “I’m really proud of our sophomore class.”
Madera’s Abelando Juarez got off to an 11-2 start against Madera South’s Giovanni Ortiz in the 170-pound division and won 12-7.
Madera South wrestler Abel Cardenas pinned Gage Bonderer in the first period to win the 182-pound match.
Angel Reyes won a tightly-contested match in the 195-pound division when he recorded a near fall in the third period to hold off Alex Carrillo, 4-1.
Julian Flores fueled the Coyotes’ comeback effort when he pinned Luke Cantu in the 220-pound match.
With the Coyotes down 18-12, Hulise Santiago beat Matthew Bolanos, 4-0, in the 285-pound match and cut the Stallions’ lead to three points.
After the Coyotes enjoyed a brief 20-18 lead, the Stallions pushed the gap to 10. Diego Jaimes contributed to the Stallions’ lead when he edged Josh Romero 10-8 in overtime in the 120-pound match. Vincent Moreno then recorded a take down in the final period of the 126-pound division to win 5-3 against Jojo Nicolas.
“Moreno went out there to get a win and seal the deal,” Philp said. “He’s our team captain, so it was good timing to have our team captain out there to seal the victory.”
In the last match of the night, the Coyotes’ Apolonio Ordaz earned a 6-5 win against German Flores in the 132-pound division. Still, the Stallions had already secured the match at that point.
“I knew there was gonna be a lot of close matches,” Philp said. “We just happened to win more of them. They had a great team. We had a great team. We went out there and battled. It was awesome.”