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Calvary Chapel Sets Mark, Wins Title


STOCKTON — Calvary Chapel not only defended its state title Saturday, but the Eagles set a team points record in the process.

By midday Saturday, the Eagles had already surpassed their 1994 record of 120.5 points by eight points. Calvary Chapel finished with 136.5 points to win its fourth state title in five years at the state wrestling championships at the Spanos Center.

San Jose Independence finished second with 74 points, followed by Shingle Springs Ponderosa with 73.5.

"This is the best team we've had at state. Our 1994 team was good, with the Valdez brothers, Josh Holiday and Ed Mosley. But this team . . . they were tough and focused," Calvary Chapel Coach John Azevedo said.

Calvary Chapel senior Joe Calavitta won his second consecutive state title, defeating Kirk Moore of Bakersfield Foothill, 9-5, despite some hostile spectators in the crowd of 7,000.

Calvary Chapel's Ty Wilcox, on the other hand, had little difficulty defending his title, winning his 160-pound match with Telly Sanders of Clovis Buchanan, 12-3.

"It's hard to get to the top," said Wilcox after his final match. "But to stay on top, that's [even harder]."

Wilcox, who will wrestle at Oklahoma in the fall, said the record team score and winning a fourth state title is almost as special as the individual title.

"It's great as a team to win again. I can't begin to say how proud I am to be on this team," Wilcox said.

Calvary Chapel's other finalist, Burt Pierson, lost to defending state champion Carlos Blanco of Moreno Valley Canyon Springs.

Pierson faced Blanco at the Masters meet last week, and Blanco won, 20-8. Pierson made it more respectable Saturday, losing to Blanco, 10-5.

In addition to the final round, the Eagles won three fifth-place matches.

Louie Hernandez (145), who has battled a virus all season long, gutted out his fifth-place match against R.J. Martin of El Cajon Valhalla to win, 9-6. Tino Archuleta (125) won his match, 6-4, beating Kenji Arai of San Jose Bellarmine. And Jay McGuffin (135), who was a three-time Washington state champion, defeated Waylon Miller of San Jose Mission, 6-2. Josh Saul (171), finished eighth to medal for Calvary Chapel.

Hector Torres of Rosemead won the heavyweight title, defeating Billy Widler of Anderson, 5-3, in overtime.

Santa Ana's Tony Perez lost his championship match to Cleophas Johnson of Firebaugh, 17-8.

Perez advanced to the finals after beating Chris Felix of East Bakersfield, 11-9. Last year, Perez did not make it to state because he dislocated his elbow before the division finals.

The near-Cinderella story of the tournament was Garden Grove's Dennis Garcia, who was unranked most of the season. Garcia, a senior, worked his way through a tough bracket to make it into the 215-pound finals.

Garcia's good fortune was cut short, however, when he was pinned by Philp Ryan of Madera in 28 seconds.

"I thought I'd do OK [at state], but I never thought I had a chance for the finals," Garcia said.

Junior Pat Cadwallader became the first wrestler from Brethren Christian to place at a state championship.

Cadwallader took third at 135 pounds, defeating Robert Arballo of Madera, 6-4.

Austin Cathey of Huntington Beach also placed, winning his fifth-place match against Sonny Pereschica of Kingsburg by injury default.

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