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Ward of Turlock wins wrestling Regionals; four girls advance to Masters
wrestling pic
Turlock High wrestlers Hailey Ward, Evy Tovar, Zoraya Cardona-Perez and Elena (left to right) take a picture after the SJS South Regionals. - photo by Photo contributed by Lucas Solarez

Sophomore varsity wrestler Hailey Ward (101) of Turlock High is only continuing to flourish after she took first in this past weekend’s Sac Joaquin Section Girls Southern Regional Tournament.

Of the Turlock wrestlers competing, Ward was the only one to finish in first place, however, two of her teammates will also advance to Master’s with her; Zoraya Cardona-Perez (121) and Evy Tovar (126).

Delhi’s Naomi Cortez (137) also advances after she placed seventh in her bracket.

“They have all been working hard. With all the girls being sophomores or freshmen, we have a young team and the top eight advanced to Master’s,” said Turlock head coach Lucas Solarez. “There is always room for improvement. The girls competed, but we have two weeks to tighten some things up.”

Ward ended up getting a first round bye then won back-to-back matches via fall, eventually winning the finale in a 3-1 decision over Stagg High’s Lizzete Ramos.

“Hailey looks to earn another Master’s title and place higher in State than last year’s eighth place finish,” said Solarez.

Cardona-Perez lost her first match, but then battled her way back in the consolation bracket after winning three straight. She lost her fifth match, going 3-2 in the process, but earned a seventh-place result, which advanced her to the next tournament.

Tovar won her first two matches, including a first-round bye before losing to the second place Yesenia Ruiz of Tokay in the semifinal.

Tovar ended up placing fourth.

“I think the work in the room and their determination to compete and learn moves helps with their success,” Solarez added. “They stay after practice to get extra work and I think seeing Hailey’s success makes the other girls hungry to do the same.”

The Master’s Tournament will take place from McNair High in Stockton and will run Feb. 16-17.


Bulldogs fall in second round of team duals  

Heading into the Sac Joaquin Section Team Duals, no team had more momentum in the Division-II bracket than Turlock High after they completed their final season in the Central California Conference with a perfect 6-0 regular season.

The Bulldogs managed to topple Valley High in the opening round with a 73-0 shutout. But things didn’t end as well when Turlock faced the eventual champions Bella Vista in the semifinals. The Bulldogs lost with a close 35-32 match to Bella Vista.

Bella Vista won the final over Ponderosa 40-21.

“We should have won, but we gave up too many bonus points,” said Turlock head coach Mike Contreras.

Turlock will advance to Divisionals in the Division I-AA tournament from Folsom High at 9 a.m. Feb. 16-17.


‘Jackets wrestling drops second round match in Section team duals 

The Hilmar High varsity wrestling team competed in the Division-V bracket of the Sac Joaquin Section Team Duals and started off by handling Capital Christian in a 58-22 final, earning them a berth in the semifinal.

From there, the ‘Jackets met the eventual champion Calaveras in a tough matchup that ended with a 51-18 loss for Hilmar.

Calaveras would eventually defeat Escalon in the finale, 44-23.

Hilmar will advance to the D-V Divisional tournament that will take place from Delhi High at 9 a.m. Feb. 16-17.