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Pride comes out of CCAL tournament with seven first place victories; Turlock crowns five champs
All 28 advance to Divisionals for Turlock and Pitman
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The 2019 Pitman High varsity wrestling team advanced all 14 of their wrestlers to the Divisional Championships this upcoming weekend. - photo by Photo Contributed

Pitman and Turlock High wrestling dominated the first ever Central California Athletic League Championships this past weekend after they combined to crown 12 champions out of 14 weight classes.

To make things even more interesting, both combined to send all 28 wrestlers to Divisionals this weekend and both coaches could not be any more ecstatic.

“It was the first time in school history that we have ever had 14 in the finals,” said Pitman head coach Adam Vasconcellos. “Feels like a long time ago but when I first started my very first year, we only had three in the finals.”

Pitman has definitely come a long way, as they have cemented their case as one of the premier wrestling programs in the state alongside their crosstown foe—Turlock High—a school with a longstanding winning tradition.

Turlock managed to qualify all of its wrestlers to Divisionals, but this past weekend, they managed to get 11 wrestlers in the CCAL tournament finals.

In the end, five won: Gus Bonilla (120), Adrian Heras (126), Lance Couchman (170), Cesar Rocha (182) and Mike Jeffus (HWY).

“Had five champs, should have been six but poor time-keeping,” said Turlock head coach Mike Contreras. “We qualified all 14 to Divisionals. There are 11 in the finals. Should have been 12, but we had some poor officiating.”

Turlock also finished with three third-place finishes.

“Overall we are happy with our performance and working hard to qualify as many as possible to Master’s,” Contreras added.  

Pitman were the story of the day at the CCAL tourney.

Julian Rosales (106), Izzy Tubera (113), Nolan Lok (138), Sammy Silveira (145), Kendall La Rosa (160), Jaron Azevedo (195) and Juan Mora (220) all took first place in the CCAL championship.

Only Lok and Azevedo are seniors while the rest are underclassmen.  

“We had 7 champions and 7 runners-up,” said Vasconcellos. “It was exciting for the kids and the team.  Putting all 14 in the finals was our goal at the beginning of the week and the boys stepped up and accomplished it.”

Pitman’s youth team is currently boasting around 70 kids said Vasconellos.

“We are starting to fill our lineup with kids that have a lot of experience,” Vasconcellos added. “We will have a huge test this week with SJS powerhouse Vacaville.  It’s an exciting time of year and our boys are fresh and want to get as far as possible. Plus, what I am most pumped about is we get to unleash Lilly Freitas this weekend in her divisional qualifier at Central Valley.  This could be the start of something special for all of our Pitman kids.”

The Divisional Championships will take place from Gregori High School, starting at 9 a.m. Saturday.