Among the foursome from Patterson is senior Joey Howard, who won second place in the 145-pound weight class in the Division IV tournament on Saturday, Feb. 16.
Patterson High placed eighth out of 22 schools at the tournament.
Howard went 3-1, wrestling Tyler Noon of Oakdale High in the final match. They went three rounds and Noon scored a hard-fought 12-5 decision.
Only the top four wrestlers in each of the 14 weight classes advance to Masters.
Howard, whose junior season was shortened by a broken bone in his leg, was thrilled with his performance at the divisional tournament, according to Patterson coach Lee Scoles.
“After coming back from last season — seeing the things (Howard’s) been able to physically overcome — we are very satisfied with the effort he gave,” Scoles said. “He’s controlling the tempo of his matches, wrestling with maturity, and showing balanced leadership for our team.”
Sophomore Daniel Cota, who posted a third-place finish at 120 pounds, is also advancing for the Tigers.
In his second season of varsity competition, Cota qualified for Masters for a second year.
“He’s really starting to turn it on, and he’s peaking at the right time,” Scoles said. “He’s showing his experience, and he’s getting better against quality opponents.”
Like Cota, Patterson High junior Manuel Cruz (132 pounds) will return to Masters for a second consecutive season on the strength of a third-place finish Saturday.
“Manuel’s greatest strength is his focus during competition,” Scoles said. “He has the ability to concentrate on the challenge in front of him, and he goes out and wrestles his best.”
Patterson will also send junior Jordan Canseco, who placed fourth in the 113-pound class at the Division IV tournament.
“This was probably (Canseco’s) best tournament of the season,” Scoles said. “He came into competition mentally focused and aware of his environment. He’s working hard, but enjoying the process.”
Canseco narrowly missed advancing to Masters in 2012 after finishing fifth. .
Patterson sent eight wrestlers to the Division IV tournament, but only six qualified to grapple into the second day. Junior Josh Roberts (126) and sophomore Francisco Plascencia (195) wrestled Saturday but did not advance to Masters.
Scoles said the division-level competition is tough enough to eliminate some of the best wrestlers from his team, so his goal is to prepare the four who moved up for their best competition.
“At this stage, the cream is rising to the top,” Scoles said. “Everyone wrestled well — I couldn’t be happier with the group of kids that we had. They went in with good attitudes and competed tough. Everyone that showed up gave it their best.”
Contact Marc Aceves at 892-6187, ext. 28, or firstname.lastname@example.org.