After tasting defeat at the hands of Madera High in its first dual meet of the season, Turlock High bounced back with an impressive showing at this year’s Vacaville Duals Tournament with an 8-1 finish.
Turlock’s lone loss came in its final dual against host team Vacaville by a score of 21-47 on Saturday. But while the Bulldogs came up short against their orange and black counterparts, their string of seven victories over the likes of Madera South (43-27), Elk Grove (39-24), Bella Vista (40-22), Los Banos (66-9), Vacaville B (51-18), McQueen (46-21), Spanish Springs (41-27), and Monte Vista (47-21) were convincing enough for head coach Mike Contreras to declare the outing a success.
“I was happy with our performance. I was pleasantly surprised with the results,” Contreras said. “We were looking to rebound after our performance against Madera, and I think they did an excellent job at rebounding.”
Albino Orozco emerged as the most successful Turlock wrestler after the two day competition, earning All-Tournament honors with his 7-1 individual record. Isaac Bertalotto and Rafael Herrera also had good showings as they both finished with 6-1 individual records while Dustin Lema surprised with an 8-1 individual record.
Each Bulldog wrestler won at least one match through the tournament while also limiting pins, goals Contreras was striving for.
“We have a lot of kids who don’t have a whole lot of varsity experience, so I think it was a really good tournament to get some quality mat time and try to fix some of the mistakes we were making,” Contreras said. “They did a good job of staying in position and not giving up any bonus points.”
Now, with the upcoming Clovis West Shootout scheduled for this Friday and Saturday, things are about to go from tough to tougher for Turlock. But that’s exactly what Contreras wants.
“We get to see the best in the state of California,” Contreras said of the upcoming tournament.
While the format of this year’s shootout has changed—Friday hosting four team dual meets and Saturday hosting an individual tournament—the difficulty of competing with the Tri-Rivers Athletic Conference has not.
“That league is easily the toughest league in the state of California, and those schools will be there. It’s a brutal league,” Contreras said of the TRAC. “We want to strive to be the best. If you want to be the best, you got to wrestle the best. So that’s what we’re going to go down and do.”