It is officially back-to-back Central California Athletic League Dual Meet Championships for the Pitman Pride wrestling team that just completed their second straight perfect season in league duals after defeating Turlock High on Tuesday from home, 54-21.
“Well credit to them, they have a very solid team there and all we can do is go forward … and now we just focus on the postseason and see if we can win a couple duals this weekend and then work on the upcoming tournaments,” said Turlock head coach Mike Contreras.
“We are guaranteed at least half the title, so again, league champs,” said Pitman head coach Adam Vasconcellos.
Pitman just completed back-to-back undefeated seasons in the CCAL, finishing 5-0 in regular season dual meets. Turlock ends at 4-1 for the second straight season.
In Tuesday’s match from the Pride gym, the atmosphere was electric.
Pitman went down 6-0 after a first match forfeit at 138 pounds and Turlock took a brief lead.
The Pride followed up with eight straight wins and took a dominating 45-6 lead.
Turlock followed up by winning three of the last five matches.
“We are very young, with all our big guys graduating this year, it is a big match experience, we don’t have much experience,” said Contreras. “I know we would take bumps and bruises, but they committed and then things will turnaround for us in the offseason.”
The title clinched by Pitman means it is their fifth league dual title over the past seven seasons. The junior varsity squad has captured seven straight league titles.
“We were missing some starters, but hopefully we can get them back….This team is too good to not try and win a section championship,” said Vasconcellos.
Turlock’s Ethan Ward (106) defeated Pitman’s Luke Gist via fall in the first period.
At 113-pound, Egberto Davalos of Turlock, who was ranked top 30 in California heading into the match, managed to take a 3-1 lead for most of the third over Pitman freshman Alex Talamante, who was close to scoring late points, but Davalos ended up holding off and winning, 5-1.
Izzy Tubera (120) of Pitman won via forfeit.
Conner La Rosa (126) of Pitman wrestled Turlock’s last year’s Master’s qualifier in Gus Bonilla, and after he scored two points early on, he rode it out and won it, 2-0.
Will Giron (132) was moved up a weight class and won via forfeit, while Adrian Heras (138) also won via forfeit.
Jon Stout (145) of Pitman defeated Logan Ladd of Turlock High via pin in the second period.
Pitman’s Sammy Silveira (152) was bumped up a weight class and defeated Ben Watson of Turlock via fall in the first period after securing a pair of takedowns.
Isaiah Ontiveros (160) of Pitman then toppled Turlock’s Raza Sajjadi after a 6-3 decision.
Simon Dishu (170) of Pitman secured the win via forfeit and at 182-pounds, Kendall La Rosa of Pitman won via fall in the second, over Ethan Clarke.
Pitman’s Tal Malhi (195) won his match via fall in the third period over Turlock’s Luis Macias.
Juan Mora (220) of Pitman won his match via fall in the second against Julian Aispuro of Turlock.
Emilio Gutierrez (285) of Pitman won his match via forfeit.
As of the weekend, Pitman wrestling is currently ranked No. 9 in the state by Cal Grappler and No. 10 by California Wrestler.
Pitman already placed second at the Doc Buchanan tournament. They also won the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-II championship in 2018 while losing to Oakdale last year in the finale.
“It starts this weekend, we have taken first or second in the last three years, I would love to get another blue banner for our high school,” said Vasconcellos. “We want to finish there, it is all about getting them to peak, we just need to be ready for Teams sections, then league championships next Friday — then Divisionals, then Masters and then State.”
The Sac-Joaquin Section Team Duals will take place from Lincoln High of Stockton at a time yet to be announced on Saturday.
“I have been preaching to them about sticking with it, and wrestling in the offseason and getting stronger,” Contreras added. “If we do that and if the kids stay committed, next year will be a different story.”