Sam Price and his teammates on the Davis High wrestling team looked at the Modesto Metro Conference Championship Tournament as a step to the next level -- the section divisional championships.
Looking ahead didn't stop them from having an impressive league tournament as well.
Price pinned Beyer's Reymond Padilla in the final seconds of the first period in the 160-pound weight class, leading a group of seven Spartans to win individual titles at Davis High.
Sophomore Mike Crowell was the other Davis wrestler to win via pin. He beat Modesto's Heath McManis 4 minutes, 32 seconds into the 135-pound championship. The Spartans' Bobby Perez was named the outstanding upperweight after beating Johansen's Nick Beam 6-0 in the 145-pound final.
Downey saw four wrestlers win titles, including the bookends of the finals with 103-pounder Eddie Flores and heavyweight George Ferris.
Beyer saw two wrestlers take home titles, including 125-pounder Oliver Congleton, who pinned Davis' Josh Delgado in 48 seconds in their final. Congleton was named the tournament's outstanding lightweight wrestler.
Johansen's Xavier Jones pinned Modesto's Justin Mungaray in 3:00 in their 215-pound championship.
The top four placers in each weight class advanced to next weekend's Sac-Joaquin Section Division I South Championships at McNair High in Stockton.
Davis' big showing, said Price, is due to one thing.
"It's all our hard work in our wrestling room," he said. "We're all practicing as hard as we can, and everybody's getting better. And doing what we did today, that's the payoff."
Crowell had a tough match with Modesto's McManis, who rode an early takedown to a first-period lead. But Crowell bounced back, leading 6-4 before he got the pin.
"This is nice, but we're all looking beyond this week," said Crowell, a sophomore. "We want a lot more than this."
Congleton won his second consecutive MMC championship. Like the Spartans, the Beyer High junior has his eyes on the horizon.
He caught Delgado with a pinning combination move called the "Cooper."
"For whatever reason, I've been hitting that move a lot lately," said Congleton, who improved his record to 32-5. "I hit it for five points in my semifinal, and got the pin in the final."
His goals include a strong showing at next week's section divisionals, followed by the section Masters tournament, the final step toward the CIF State Meet. He knows exactly who the favorite at the section Masters meet will be.
"Kody Klaus (from Vacaville) is the No. 1-ranked wrestler in the state in our weight class," Congleton said. "Maybe I'll meet up with him at Masters.
"I know that if I compete with him, I can compete with anybody in this class."
Downey's Flores, a state meet qualifier as a junior last year, was at ease in his 9-0 win over Jake Congleton. Flores showed up after the match wearing pajamas with dinosaurs on them, subjecting himself to ridicule from his teammates.
"I'm a senior this year," Flores said with a grin. "I figured I might as well have some fun and break these out for the postseason."
He promised to continue wearing them, perhaps all the way to state.
Meanwhile his teammate, Shane Galton, was a little more serious after beating Davis' Paul Crisanty 14-1 in the 119-pound final.
"I had some butterflies going out on the mat," Galton said. "But I got over them.
"I know it gets a lot tougher from here."