Pair of Miner wrestlers set for state |

Pair of Miner wrestlers set for state

FOLSOM – Nevada Union wrestlers Luke Manuel and Zach Callas have already assured themselves of return trips to the state tournament. Today, the two seniors return to the mat looking for gold at the conclusion of the Sac-Joaquin Section Championships at Folsom High School.

Manuel and Callas each won two matches Friday to advance to the semifinals of their respective 154- and 162-pound weight classes – and both did so in impressive style.

Manuel, a section champion at 135 pounds last year and currently ranked No. 1 among 154-pounders statewide, pinned Bella Vista’s Bryce Ferland in 1 minute, 10 seconds and then posted a 17-1 technical fall against Ivan Valencia of Buhach Colony in the quarterfinals. Callas edged William Parraz of Hillmar 10-7 and then won his quarterfinal against Dino Hieb of Tracy by technical fall, 20-5. Both drew first-round byes.

“I’m excited for both those guys,” Nevada Union coach Shane Valdez said. “They’ve earned it. They’re looking tough and they’re going to state, now they want to see how high they can go.”

The Miners produced two section champions last year – Manuel and Drew Maraglia. Now Manuel and Callas want to duplicate that achievement.

“They want to win it,” Valdez said. “The higher you place here, the better spot you get at state. And they want to come out of here with No. 1 seeds.”

Callas will face a difficult challenge in a loaded 160-pound division that includes three state-ranked wrestlers – Justin Danz of Ponderosa, Victor Carazo of Grace Davis and Callas. The good news for Callas is that the other two are on the opposite side of the bracket.

Manuel will face Elk Grove’s Gavin Ludwig in his semifinal.

Nevada Union had other highlights Friday. Among those, freshman 105-pounder Joey Stickney pinned his first-round opponent before he dropped a 2-1 heart breaker to Edgar Paez of Rodriguez. He finished with a 1-2 record on the day.

Brett Schauffler won his opening round match at 137-pounds, then was knocked out with two straight losses.

Senior 147-pounder Kyle Brady, sophomore 173-pounder Tucker Trathen and sophomore 121-pounder Matt Manuel were knocked out of their brackets Friday.

Two Bear River wrestlers competed Friday: Addy Gemignani, a sophomore 114-pounder, lost both of his matches, including a close 7-4 decision in the first round against Matt Rucireta of Folsom; and sophomore heavyweight Chase Duncan also lost twice, including a 7-2 decision in his opener to El Dorado’s Gerald Littlejohn. A third Bear River section qualifier, Corbin Shakely, was unable to compete.

The championship round is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. tonight.


To contact Dave Price, e-mail or call 477-4240.

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