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Gilroy
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April 4, 2020

Tag: prep roundup

Prep Roundup: Jan. 6

The Gilroy wrestling team maintained its shining reputation, taking on top programs from not only California, but Colorado, Washington and Utah Friday and Saturday at the Doc Buchanan Invitational at Clovis High School. The Mustangs walked away with four medalists — including two champions — out of the 10 wrestlers they brought. The team finished seventh overall. Christopher also competed at the meet, having only two wrestlers — Felipe Duenas (106) and Jimmie Lopez (113) — picking up a win. The Cougars JV team, however, finished first.   Nikko Villarreal and Paul Fox both walked away with first place finishes for the Mustangs after the grueling two-day meet.  Villarreal (145) picked up his third Doc B Championship, but it was no easy feat. He ran into trouble in the quarterfinals, falling behind in the third round which led to him having to come back with four points for the victory. Villarreal picked up a 5-0 win in the semis before taking on No. 2 ranked Chris Garcia (Clovis West) in the finals. It was another easy bout for the senior state and Central Coast Section champ, who won 5-0 to walk away on top. "One of Nikko's goals going into the season was to win his third cowboy hat (Doc B title)," Gilroy coach Greg Varela said via email. "It means a lot to Nikko to do well at what is called the best preview to the state meet."    Fox, wrestling at 152, entered the invitational on a two tournament win streak. The senior breezed through his competition, going undefeated in the tournament and beating each opponent 4-0 until facing No. 2 ranked Tyler Zimmer (Clovis West) in the finals. Fox scored three takedowns and an escape to capture his first Doc B title by a score of 7-2.  "This title means a lot to Paul because he finally gets the coveted cowboy hat (Doc B title) each winner receives for winning Doc B," Varela said. "Now he can put it on the mantle next to the one his older brother Willie (Fox) won a few years back on his way to a state title." Also taking home medals from the meet are twin brothers Matt and Mark Penyachek, who took third and fifth respectively. Matt (170) was pinned in the quarterfinals by No. 3 ranked Austin Flores (Clovis North). He went on to win three straight matches to set up a rematch with Flores in the third place bout. After three rounds the wrestlers were tied at 1-1. The match went into triple overtime, finally being decided by a reverse by Matt on Flores in the fourth sudden death OT in which he gained two points for the victory to claim third.  "This was by far the best tournament Matt has ever wrestled in his life," Varela said. "I couldn't be more proud of him for this performance. This year Matt has beaten state ranked wrestlers, but Flores is the most decorated athlete Matt has beaten this year." Mark (182) made it to the consolation quarterfinals after losing to the No. 2 state ranked wrestler. It was here he met AJ Nevillis (Clovis), who is ranked No. 5 in the state. Mark was taken down right away, but scrambled to score a reversal and nearfall to gain a two-point lead. He went on to score three more points to win 7-3. He then faced a nationally ranked opponent from Ponderosa, Colo. who pinned him in the second round, sending him to the fifth-sixth place match. He took on No.7 Young Wu An (Buchanan) who he would eventually pin for the win.  "As a coach I'm very pleased with the effort and composure the team displayed during those gut wrenching matches that got intense as the matches carried on," Varela said. "When you see your team raise themselves to a higher level to compete at such an elite level, I get excited for these guys because I see them starting to believe in themselves and grow as young men. In the end, that's what wrestling is about." The Cougars JV team walked away with a first place team finish in addition to Keanu Calimpong (132) taking first individually. Dean Agustin (106) and Tobias Mendoza (145) finished second, while Justin Garza (113) was third and Ray Tapia (195) and heavyweight Collins Orokow placed fourth.  Gilroy will compete at a dual meet against No. 4 Buchanan and No. 26 De La Selle at De La Selle Saturday. Christopher will compete at North Salinas at 6 p.m. Wednesday.  GIRLS BASKETBALL