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Garcia nearly takes down state winner
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Turlock High senior wrestler Fabian Garcia doesn’t like losing, especially because he hasn’t experienced much of it as a Bulldog.

He was disappointed Saturday night after coming up short against a two-time state champion in the 125-pound finals of the Doc Buchanan Invitational at Clovis High — considered the top regular-season gathering.

But after thinking about the match days later, he said the loss has done him good. That’s because he didn’t suffer a defeat to just any wrestler. This was Selma High junior Alex Cisneros, a masterful grappler and the owner of two state medals.

It took three overtimes for Cisneros to escape with the victory.

“I wanted to win,” Garcia said a few days later. “Sometimes it doesn’t always go your way. It’s one of those things you learn from your mistakes and move on.”

The three-time state medalist added that he’ll likely stick at 125 pounds. He’s not concerned that Cisneros might also remain at the same weight class, along with Vince Rodriguez, the Clovis North High senior who has two top three state medals.

“I don’t feel like going down to 119,” explained Garcia, who boasts an 18-2 record with 10 pins.

Another Turlocker shined at the tournament. Pitman High freshman Emilio Saavedra captured the 103-pound title over Johnson Mai of North Torrance High, while teammate Andrew Perez finished seventh at 135.

Garcia finished the tournament thinking that he can potentially win a state title.

“He’s a very resilient kid,” Turlock coach Mike Contreras said of Garcia. “He can win at 125 if he stays there. We’ll go another couple tournaments before making a decision. I’m sure that kid (Cisneros) doesn’t look forward to wrestling Fabian again. But Fabian is looking forward to wrestling him again.”

Garcia elaborated.

“I feel like I can beat him,” he said. “I’m pretty sure I can if I stay at the same weight. If I see him again, I feel like I can beat him.”

To contact Chhun Sun, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2041.