Madera South wins rivalry, close to league title


Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune

Madera South 160-pounder Isaiah Garza works Madera’s Julian Hernandez into a pin during last week’s victory in Joe Flores Gym.

 

The Madera South Stallions wrestling team has its eyes set on a league title after cruising to a 61-18 win against Madera in Joe Flores Gym.


The Stallions, who have been dealing with injuries and COVID issues throughout the season, were once again short-handed when they faced the Coyotes last Wednesday.


Still, they refused to make excuses.


“It’s next man up,” Madera South co-head coach John Petty said. “When you get hit by COVID, you gotta have that mentality. You can’t just rely on one guy. We have some great seniors, but it’s next man up.”


Angel Castellanos earned a win for the Stallions in the 195-pound division. Eric Gallegos added another victory for Madera South in the 220-pound battle while Robert Navarro followed up with another Stallions victory in the 285-pound division. Andrew Moreno (106 pounds), Luis Meija (113) and Nathan Leon (120) also contributed to the dominating victory.


Diego Jaimes (126), Edgar Hernandez (132) and Ricardo Martinez (145) won by forfeit to add to the Stallions’ tally. Jaime Garcia (138), Joseph Irelan (152) and Isaiah Garza (160) also took victories for Madera South.


“This team is in a position where we can do something remarkable. We gotta take care of Sanger next week and we’ll pretty much out-right win the league,” Madera South co-head coach Sal Gonzalez said. “We believe we can compete for a divisional title. The last Valley Championship that was won here in Madera was 32 years ago. Madera High did it. We can be the first one at Madera South to do it.”


While they chase their goals, the Stallions are also taking time to appreciate the opportunity to compete in the era of COVID.


“We feel good about our guys having the opportunity to compete, especially in times like this,” Petty said. “It’s a blessing to be able to come out and work hard.”


“We’re just thankful for having a season and to give these kids an opportunity to wrestle and compete for a league title,” Gonzalez added. “This group we have has been putting in the work. They have had some obstacles the last four years. Bringing in Petty and myself, we rebuilt the tradition at Madera South.”

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