Despite taking only half a squad, the Madera South Stallion wrestling team got the most out of the wrestlers it did take to place 19th out of a loaded 97-team field at the 5 Counties Tournament in Fountain Valley.
“We took the kids that I felt could really benefit from a tournament of this magnitude,” said Stallion head coach Jason Gaeth-Pearce. “This is arguably one of the best tournaments around and our kids should be excited about how they performed.”
Luis Placido (195 pounds) and Peter Mendoza (285) led the Stallions over the weekend, placing fourth and eighth, respectively, while every Stallion won matches. Even freshmen Alexis Cortez and Esteban Garcia — who both got an initiation by fire of sorts in a tournament referred to as the “Beast of the West” for its reputation of being one of the toughest tournaments in the nation — won matches.
Both Placido and Mendoza made their road to the medal round difficult by dropping their first matches on Friday and having to battle back Saturday to reach the podium...