Central Valley High School’s blue banner will hang alone for a while in its gym. Not that the Hawks are worried about that.
Why? Because they have a blue banner – emblematic of a Sac-Joaquin Section title – the first in the school’s 10-year history.
Central Valley broke through Saturday afternoon and drilled crosstown rival Ceres 49-19 in the Division IV final at Lincoln High. To no one’s surprise, the Hawks celebrated the milestone feat.
Central Valley, which hasn’t dropped a Western Athletic Conference dual meet in three years, was upset by Los Banos in the 2015 final. Which was why Saturday was sugar-sweet for the Hawks.
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“It’s been something we’ve been shooting for since that loss to Los Banos,” Central Valley coach Robert Beckhart said. “For us to see the end of it is a neat thing.”
The section’s league champions, including a few runners-up, gathered for the always emotional team competition. Oakdale, which often romps at this event, was extended by Vista del Lago before the Mustangs earned their record eighth consecutive title and nine of 10. Only Oakdale and Ponderosa have won eight in a row.
Escalon rallied in the final matches to snap Calaveras’ five-year winning streak in D-V. Mariposa pulled away from Waterford to take D-VI.
8Oakdale’s consecutive titles at the Sac-Joaquin Section Wrestling Team Duals
Central Valley (11-1) waltzed past Union Mine 63-12 and into a rematch with Ceres, which the Hawks downed 53-21 on Jan. 12. Beckhart and Ceres coach Steve Festa adjusted their lineups this time, but the result was no different.
Wins by Luis Salcedo (122 pounds), Jason Beckhart (220), sophomore Will Sprouse (140) and Alex Alvarado (162) accelerated Central Valley’s march. Alvarado, trailing Spencer Nelson in the final seconds, turned it around with a reversal and near-fall. Nelson pinned Alvarado last week at Pitman’s Rumble in the Jungle.
“We were able to win the swing matches,” Beckhart said. “I like their (Ceres’) team, too. We work out with them during the summer. Today was a great thing for the city.”
Oakdale, competing in Division III, savored its record-tying victory, but not before it threw a little respect toward Vista del Lago. The Mustangs blanked Vista 72-0 in last year’s final, a rout that was not repeated.
In fact, Vista matched Oakdale’s three pins. The Mustangs, missing a few starters, pieced together points from 152-pounder Jake Ryan (making his season debut after a knee injury) and freshmen Cody Golding (170) and Ricky Torres (132). A pin in the next-to-last match by freshman Dustin Chavez (108) allowed Oakdale to exhale.
“The guys who weren’t supposed to come through came through,” senior star Trevor Williams said. “This one was much tougher than last year.”
Before moving to Division III, Oakdale had won six straight Division IV crowns.
Escalon had been beaten by Calaveras the last three years in the D-V final, and coach Derek Scott had not forgotten the heartbreaking losses of 2013 and ’14. When Redskins standout Shane Torre needed only 12 seconds for a pin at 220, the score was tied 24-24 with three matches to go.
The Cougars saved their best for last. Heavyweight Daniel Gonzalez won by pin and, after an Escalon forfeit, freshman Alex Jimenez (115) responded with the decisive pin. Jimenez’s win contained karma. Kyle, his older brother, was beaten by Calaveras late in the 2013 final.
Waterford, seeking a third straight D-VI banner, edged Bradshaw Christian 40-39 to reach the final. Mariposa dominated, however, 66-18 for the title.
Section Girls South Regional – Enochs, the reigning state champion, placed second behind Tokay at the inaugural Section Girls South Regional at Enochs. Sariyah Jones (108), Rory Coscia (118) and Katrina Guevara (139) all went 4-0 to dominate their brackets for the Eagles. Guevara outlasted Kiana Hart of Golden Valley 9-5 in a competitive final.
Jones, a 2015 individual state champion, shut out Jenna Bacich of Buhach Colony 7-0 for her title.
Other champions included Tiana Jackson of Central Catholic (113), Molly Wallace of Orestimba (145) and Kyra Judd of Calaveras (162). Wallace pinned all four opponents. The top eight from each weight class will advance to the Section Masters on Feb. 19-20 at McNair. The Stanislaus District will send 68 to Masters.