By Andrea Camarena

Exeter sophomore Robert Patino is officially a champion. Going 4-0 over the weekend, Patino won the Small Schools Valley Wrestling Championship with a 9-7 decision over the No.1 seed Efrain Sanchez of Arvin.

Patino's victory helped Exeter place fourth as a team at the Valley tournament in Tehachapi on Feb. 16-17.

After taking fifth place in the 2006 tournament, Patino dominated in this year's 125-pound weight class. As the No. 3 seed, Patino started the tournament with a win over Tehachapi's Adam Moreno by a technical Fall.

He then downed Dinuba's Juan Gomez with a majority decision. In the semifinal, Patino pinned McFarland's Josh Reyes in 3:27 to advance to the championship with Sanchez.

Exeter also had four wrestlers place in the top 6 in their weight classes who will go on to the Grand Masters.

Junior Will Hammerslagh took second place going 3-1 in the 135-pound weight class. He started by pinning Lewis Pena of Washington Union then won a 6-1 decision over Eli Alvarado of Fowler to advance to the semifinal. Hammerslagh defeated Madera's Kevin Gomez by a 5-4 decision but fell in the Championship match to Jason Hail of Tehachapi by a 7-1 decision.

Exeter junior Josh Wilson also took second place after going 3-1 in the 160-pound weight class. Wilson pinned Jonathan Wadkins of Farmersville in the opening match then took a technical fall victory over Coalinga's Trevor Brazelton, 18-3.

Wilson defeated Tehachapi's Jerry Wehust with a 8-5 decision to advance to the finals. No. 1 seed, Joseph Ames of Shafter pinned Wilson in 2:29 to take the Title.

Exeter junior Joey Avila went 4-1 to take third place in the 189-pound weight class. As the no. 1 seed, Avila pinned Washington Union's Justin Hobbs and Mendota's Joel Hernandez in 2:19. Avila then fell in the semifinal to Tehachapi's Marcus Abarquez in an 8-5 decision. In the consolation bracket, Avila pinned Bakersfield Christian's Curtis Doyle in 54 seconds, then took third place by pinning Firebaugh's Johnny Cervantes in 2:48.

Exeter freshman Jason Gagnon found success at his first Valley Tournament taking fifth place in the 103-pound weight class.

Seeded no. 7, Gagnon pinned Dos Palos' David Powell but fell in a majority decision to Edgar Diaz of Arvin, 15-5.

In the consolation bracket, Gagnon pinned Caruthers' Victor Torres in 2:36 and Wasco's Eric Sanchez in just 40 seconds. He fell again by a 14-6 decision to Firebaugh's Chris Martinez.

Gagnon pinned Marcos Bacasegua of Mendota in 3:02 to take fifth place.

Farmersville's David Mariscal also placed at the tournament. The Aztec junior wrestler went 5-1 to take third place in the 152-pound weight class.

He started the tournament by pinning Joey Tomayo of Wasco. He then fell to Kingsburg's Bryan Eskew in a 2-1 decision. In the consolation bracket, Mariscal won a 16-4 decision over Kory Costa of Exeter. Mariscal then pinned Firebaugh's Victor Rodriguez in 3:54 and advanced to the third place match when Arvin's Guillermo Molina was disqualified. Mariscal pinned Jeff Jaime of Caruthers in 2:32 to take third place.

Start typing and press Enter to search