Turlock High 215-pound wrestler Eli Watson captured his division’s championship at the California Bulldog Classic this past weekend at Turlock High School.
Overall, the Bulldogs finished second in the teams standings, behind Gregori (Modesto) and ahead of Beyer (Modesto).
Watson, a state finalist a season ago, pinned Anthony Alvez of Johansen (Modesto) at 1:32 in the final. He pinned all three of his opponents on his way to the championship.
Turlock’s Cole Cronon was bested by Ahmad Faizi of Davis (Modesto) in the 120-pound final, while teammate Shane Petty fell to Cesar Cervantes of Downey (Modesto) in the 157-pound title bout.
The Bulldogs will take part in the James Riddle Tournament this weekend at Oakdale High.
Penalty kicks aplenty in final day of Pride Cup
Saturday marked the second and final day of the 14th annual Pride Cup in Turlock, and it was competitive, to say the least.
Three matches were decided by penalty kicks during the weekend slate, including the championship game at Pitman High School between the Enochs Eagles (Modesto) and Delhi Hawks, which ended in a 1-1 (4-2) score in favor of the Eagles. A few blocks away at the Turlock Regional Sports Complex, the host team, Pitman, also played in a pair of close matches, but left the tournament empty handed.
The Pride came away with a 0-0 draw in their morning game against Edison (Stockton) before losing in 1-1 (4-2) in penalty kicks in their afternoon consolation match to Atwater. It was quite the contrast to what Pitman head coach Manny Romero expected from his team. Through the first couple weeks of the season, he felt as if they were firing on all cylinders offensively, while defense had been their achilles heel.
In the Edison match, the Pride were unable to capitalize on eight shots on goal. Meanwhile, their goalkeeper, Jonny Delgado, played the hero for his club as he tallied seven saves, many of them from close-distance strikes. Against Atwater, they experienced similar frustrations after scoring just once off seven shots on goal.
The results dropped the Pride to 1-3-2 to start the 2023-2024 season. They are hoping for a quick turnaround ahead of the start of league play on Jan. 10 against Modesto.
— Joe Cortez and Christopher Correa/The Journal