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Stallions’ Munoz wins individual title

Courtesy of Chriss Cross

Madera South 147 pounder Joseph Munoz works to roll his opponent into a pinning situation during the Central Section Div. II Wrestling championships. Munoz got the pin over Monache’s Anthony Estrada to capture the title Saturday.


In the final match of the Central Section Div. II Championship round, Madera South’s Joseph Munoz sent the hometown fans home happy with a pinfall at 147 pounds for an individual championship.

Munoz, wrestling at home in Madera South’s gym, pinned top-seeded Anthony Estrada of Monache-Porterville, with a minute left in the second round grab the title.

“It feels pretty good,” Estrada said. “I was able to do it in front of my coaches, my dad and the crowd. I was feeding off the coach’s reactions and my dad’s reaction. It feels great, it’s awesome.”

“Joseph upset a couple of guys and is in the finals,” Madera South head coach Ryan Philp said. “Almost every one of our guys upset somebody this weekend.”

Munoz’s win also caused a celebration for Pioneer Valley, who won the Div. II championship because of Munoz’s pin. Pioneer Valley edged Monache by 1.5 points to capture the championship.

Madera South finished fifth overall and briefly held the top spot before the semifinal rounds started.

“We had a great shot at the team title,” Philp said. “Everyone wrestled above their seeds. Everyone did better than they were projected to do. It’s unfortunate that we had a couple of seniors miss weight. I feel bad for those guys. I wish they could had finished the season off right.”

The Stallions will next wrestle in the Grand Masters Tournament at Hoover-Fresno this weekend with a berth at the CIF State Championships at stake.

“Our momentum has carried over very good from the regular season,” Philp said. “We’re going to make a run at winning this thing next year.”

Munoz, seeded third, received byes until the quarterfinal round where he pinned his opponent. In the semifinals, Munoz defeated Foothill’s Luis Amaya, the second seed, by pinfall in the third period.

In the finals, Munoz got off to a 2-1 lead with a takedown with 23 seconds left in the first period against Estrada. Munoz added to his lead with a takedown and three near fall points with 39 seconds left in the second for a 7-2 lead.

Then, Estrada twisted his opponent to the mat with a takedown 31 seconds into the third period. He got Estrada’s shoulders onto the mat with 1:03 left in the third period to capture the Div. II championship.

Damion Sharrif placed fourth at 115 pounds for the Stallions. Diego Jaimes also reached the podium with a sixth place finish at 122 pounds.

Vincente Moreno won a pair of matches to place sixth at 128 pounds. At 140 pounds, Jaime Garcia won four straight matches, including a 5-4 decision in the third place match to win the consolation championship.

Arturo Perez placed eighth at 154 pounds. Abel Cardenas earned a pair of victories to place fourth at 162 pounds. Giovanni Ortiz earned a fifth place finish at 172 pounds.


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