A persistent outbreak of skin diseases at West Valley College has given the Modesto Junior College wrestling program a chance to save the day.
Unable to host its 29th annual tournament, West Valley coaches contacted Pirates coach Gary Fischer about moving the event from Saratoga to the Central Valley.
At least 18 of the state's top programs will gather at Pitman High on Oct. 13. The Modesto JC gym had been booked for a youth gymnastics meet.
"It's kind of like a mini-state tournament," Fischer said. "There's no other competition that weekend. Everybody looks forward to this meet."
The meet will begin at 9 a.m. and will feature matches on six mats throughout the day. Fischer hopes to get the finals started at 6 p.m. Tickets are $6 for adults, $5 for students and seniors.
Ringworm, herpes and staph infections are common in wrestling, spread by contact when equipment isn't cleaned properly or often.
Fischer said mats at college facilities are often used for other classes, such as dance and yoga, increasing the number of people using them and the need for diligent disinfection.
It will be the second tournament in three weeks for the Pirates, who held the Modesto Classic on Sept. 29. Fischer hopes being a good host will attract more teams to Modesto tournaments in the future.
It's been a good season for the Pirates, who are 2-1 in the Big 8 Conference and feature seven state-ranked wrestlers -- the most they've ever had -- including Victor Carazo (174) and Ryan Sughrue (184) in the top spots.
Their only defeat came on Sept. 26. Fischer said Modesto looked uncharacteristically flat in a 26-18 loss to Lassen.
"I don't see any reason why we can't beat the rest of the teams," Fischer said. "We'll be co-champs if we can't be champs."
STANISLAUS SOCCER -- The Warriors (8-5-1, 5-2-1 California Collegiate Athletic Association) will see a lot of familiar faces at Cal State Monterey Bay today as the women's soccer team has four area players on its roster.
Though Stanislaus senior Jenna Coates is hobbled by an ankle injury, she'll get to catch up with former Modesto JC teammate Jessica Hendricks. Monterey sophomore Cheri Schwanke and Stanislaus senior Cherie Early both hail from Sierra High.
Otters junior Eva Arzola graduated from Modesto High and sophomore Sarah Alderson from Beyer. Alderson leads Monterey Bay (2-5-2, 1-5-1 CCAA) with six points, on two goals and two assists. Arzola and Schwanke also have scored.
On the men's side, Hilmar's Kevin Amaral and Sierra's Jimmy Lacey are in their freshman seasons for the Otters (3-3-2, 2-3-2 CCAA). Amaral is a midfielder who has played in all of Monterey Bay's games.
The men ended in a scoreless tie when they met in Turlock on Sept. 9. The Warriors (2-8-3, 1-5-1 CCAA) hope to turn things around heading into next weekend's two-game homestand.
MJC MEN'S SOCCER -- Today is a big one for the Pirates, who put their 3-0 Big 8 Conference record up against that of host Santa Rosa at 3 p.m. Modesto (7-2) is ranked eighth by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.
JC Men's Water Polo
CERRITOS 16, MERCED COLLEGE 7, at Cerritos -- The Blue Devils were bombarded in the second half of their loss to the Falcons. After the first half ended 4-4, Cerritos outscored Merced 12-3.
Brett Kollman and Nick Koenig each scored twice for Merced.