Wrestlers earn seven medals, lead PHS to third-place finish
by Marc Aceves | Patterson Irrigator
Feb 04, 2014 | 758 views | 0 0 comments | 62 62 recommendations | email to a friend | print
TURLOCK -- The Patterson High varsity wrestling team picked up a strong third-place finish at Pitman High School's 10th annual Rumble in the Jungle tournament on Saturday, Feb. 1.

The Tigers got a second-place finish from senior Manuel Cruz at 138 pounds and six other wrestlers placed in the top seven as Patterson accumulated 120 points to earn its third-place showing.

"This was our last tournament of the season, and the competition was tough," said Patterson coach Virgil Canseco. "Many schools brought out their A-team, and there were many state champions and state qualifiers on the mat."

Oakdale High claimed the team title with 247 points, while host Pitman placed second with 236.5 points. Selma High (105 points) and Buchanon High of Clovis (95.5) rounded out the top five.

After a 1-point defeat on Jan. 29 to Livingston High's Jose Ruelas, Cruz went back to the drawing board and got back to work.

On Saturday, Cruz showed what he learned from the recent meeting with Ruelas, taking control of the match and pulling away for a victory over his Western Athletic Conference rival, for a 2-1 head-to-head advantage on the season.

Patterson dressed 13 wrestlers for the tournament, and it was the first time this season that the Tigers were at full strength for competition.

"Seven out of 13 varsity wrestlers placed," Canseco said. "So this experience gave us a good indication of what we have to do to step up for the remainder of the season."

Freshman Adrian Luna (108 pounds) and junior Daniel Cota (132) each battled to collect a solid fourth-place finish for Patterson. Senior Jordan Canseco (128) took home fifth-place honors.

Brad Gill, a senior 170-pounder, and Francisco Plasencia, a junior 195-pounder, each came away with a sixth-place nod, while freshman Michael Boschi (160) garnered a seventh-place victory for the Tigers.

"In a competition with a lot of good teams, we were happy to place third," Virgil Canseco said. "Everybody wrestled tough, and gave us a chance."

Patterson's Simon Perez placed first in the 160-pound junior varsity weight class. Teammate Jerome Crocket (152) took second, and Nick Molineri (128) earned third-place honors.

The season continues at 9 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, as Patterson travels to Ceres High School for the WAC tournament.

Contact Marc Aceves at 892-6187, ext. 28, or marc@pattersonirrigator.com.
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