TURLOCK — The ninth annual Rumble In The Jungle, Pitman High's wrestling tournament, apologizes to no one in size and scope.
More than 500 mat athletes spanning 30 schools and four CIF sections will gather for what experience tells us will be a long and rigorous Saturday.
The competition features varsity, junior varsity and for the second year girls. Pitman coach Chris Wolfley says the field will include about 50 girls split into five divisions.
"It's not really a girls tournament, but at this time of the year, they need to see each other in competition," Wolfley said. "We've increased the girls divisions this year from three to five."
The Rumble also features 32-man brackets. The later-round matches should be intense. The way the brackets are organized this year, no semifinal loser can recover and win the title. If you lose in the quarterfinals, your best result is fifth or sixth place.
The tournament also begins the drawing-down of the regular season. Next week's league dual meets will lead to the Sac-Joaquin Section Dual Team Championships a week from Saturday at Lincoln High.
Wrestlers must count no more than 40 matches on their record before the Team Duals.
Action at the Rumble starts at 8:45 a.m. and climaxes with the semifinals at 5:30 p.m. and the finals at 7:30.
NOTES Turlock edged Paso Robles by a single point to take home the team title at the Mid Cals in Gilroy. The Bulldogs topped a 72-team field, thanks to a weight-class title by Isaac Bertalotto (134) and seconds by Jason Valdovinos (113), Rafael Herrera (126) Albino Orozco (160) and Ricky Flores (220). ...
Modesto High's Saavedra brothers stepped to the top of the podium at the Tim Brown Memorial, held at the spacious Sacramento Convention Center last weekend. Emilio, an unbeaten junior, trailed Escalon's Tyler Lawrence 1-0 before he recovered to win 3-1 in the 132-pound final. Israel, a freshman, dominated the 120s and was named the meet's outstanding lightweight.
Gregori senior Dean Duivenvoorden defeated Ripon's Trevor Smith, No. 1 in the section at 182, in the 195 semifinal. Duivenvoorden was beaten in the final while Smith, slowed by a sore ankle, defaulted out of the third-place match. ...
Oakdale continues to hone its talented lineup for the postseason. While it overpowers opponents in the Valley Oak League, it works overtime on the weekends. The Mustangs drove 7 1/2 hours to Temecula last weekend and placed 11th out of 75 teams at the sixth annual Battle for the Belt. Hondo Arpoika (195) placed fifth and Nico Colunga (106) was sixth for medals.
The Battle for the Belt is increasing its clout via appearances by national power Bethlehem Catholic (Pa.) A showdown dual at Gilroy on Friday night will further harden the Mustangs. "We started slow because of the football lag but we're getting better fast," coach Brian Stevens said. ...
Here are the local girls champions from the Lady Eagles Invitational last weekend at Enochs: 101 Sarah Phillips, East Union; 104 Gabby Garcia, Golden Valley; 108 Natalie Brown, Grace Davis; 112 Gurleen Chahal, Livingston; 118 Ashley Barrios, Central Valley; 120 Lexy Cordova, Central Valley; 126 Gabby Savala, Beyer; 133 Gracie Garcia, Modesto; 136 Daisy Sanchez, 147 Zaira Reynoso, Central Valley; Livingston; 165 Alyssa Cantu, Weston Ranch; 172 Martina Bernal, Central Valley; 180 Jenee Judd, Calaveras; and 213 Liz Lopez, Pacheco. ...
Last but not least: Calaveras freshman Kyle Chaboya enjoyed his first victory last weekend at Enochs. It was noteworthy Chaboya has cerebral palsy.