Sanger wrestling teams down Reedley in dual meet

Apaches win varsity bouts, Pirates prevail in JV match and will host California Classic tournament this weekend

Sanger High’s Lailanie Vongnakhone works to gain the advantage on Reedley High’s Eva Luevano during the varsity girls 125-pound match on Dec. 6 at the SHS auxiliary gym. Senior Vongnakhone, who finished in the top 16 in state meet competition and went 40-12 in her junior season, defeated Luevano by technical fall, 16-2, in the second period. (Jon Earnest)
Jon Earnest
Published December 8, 2023  • 
11:00 am

SANGER – The Sanger High wrestling teams continued their early season success with a varsity dual meet sweep over Reedley High, as both schools prepared to compete in this weekend’s California Classic tournament in Reedley.

Wednesday at Sanger High auxiliary gym, the Apaches rolled to victory in the girls (64-9) and boys (54-18) classes, after the Pirates junior varsity boys roared from behind with two closing pins to post a 42-31 triumph. Sanger’s varsity boys collected three pins while the girls had a win by fall from Jasmin Tellez at 145 pounds as well as nine forfeit wins.

Apaches boys who posted pins against the Pirates were senior David Gonzalez (second period over Eaeb Olivas at 132 pounds), Joseph Gonzalez (second period over Vladamir Cuellar at 150) and heavyweight Cresencio Mandujano (first period over Jai Singh).

Junior Tirso Jiminez IV, who captured the 165-pound championship at the Old Dutch Classic in Santa Maria on Dec. 1-2, was one of three winners by forfeit against Reedley. Brandon Gamino (126), Nathaniel Flores (106) and Matthew Sumner (120) all won by majority decision.

All three Reedley victories came by pins, starting with state qualifier David Arroyo at 144 pounds (third period over Elias Gonzales) and followed by Demetrius Vargas (first period over Carlos Estrada, 157 pounds) and Joshua Rodriguez (third period over Jayden Plascencia).

The varsity girls had just four matches, with each school winning two. In addition to Tellez, Sanger had a 16-2 technical fall victory from senior Lailanie Vongnakhone over Eva Luevano. Vongnakhone went 40-12 last season and placed in the state’s top 16..

The Pirates received a pin from Jocelyn Ochoa at 115 pounds in the second period. Kenzie Herrera also won by decision over the Apaches’ Ruby Contreras.

Varsity matches took place on the glow of a new spotlight purchased for the program this season by the Sanger Unified School District. It was used at the dual meet as well as a season-opening home meet with Golden West on Nov. 29.

The California Classic takes place over two days at Reedley High School. Girls competition will take place Friday, Dec. 8, with first matches scheduled for 11 a.m.

The boys competition takes place Saturday, Dec. 9 beginning at 10 a.m. A number of schools from throughout the Central Section and other parts of California will participate, including region schools Dinuba, Sanger West and Immanuel in addition to Reedley and Sanger.

Jon Earnest
Reporter