Sunday, March 02, 2014

Banks Takes Masters Title at 195 Pounds

Joey Banks is about five wrestling matches away from accomplishing his next goal as a stellar Franklin High School athlete – an undefeated season and a CIF State Wrestling Championship.

Banks rolled right through his 195-pound opponents Friday and Saturday at the Stockton Arena to take the Sac-Joaquin Masters’ Championship in his weight group, the second Franklin grappler to win this honor. 

The first was Peter Anguiano who won the Masters’ title in 2010 at 285 pounds. Unlike Banks, Anguiano has just one defeat going into the state meet, that to Elk Grove’s Lefi Letuligasenoa at the Delta Valley Conference championships.

Lefi eventually won the state title that year while Anguiano placed third.

Banks defeated one of his toughest opponents, Jesuit’s Erik Medina, 4-2 in overtime to grab the Masters gold medal. He is now 25-0 this year in individual matches. 

“He looked really, really good up to the (Masters’) final,” Franklin wrestling coach Fred Marks said. “He didn’t look all that bad (against Medina), but was just cautious. (Banks) is so fast that when he wants to score, he’ll score.”

Banks, who will play football at Sacramento State in the fall, will now preparing for the always-grueling state wrestling meet that begins Thursday in Bakersfield.

“Right now he’s ranked sixth in the state,” Marks said. “He’s so fast and so explosive there’s no way he can’t place.”

Banks won’t be the only Wildcat in Bakersfield this year. Grabbing a third place at the Masters at 126 pounds was Josh Villaflor.

Villaflor, a junior, will be going to Bakersfield for the third time. He was seventh two years ago and third a year ago. Both times he wrestled at 120 pounds.

“Josh had a terrible first match (at Stockton),” Marks said. “Devon Sookhoo of Enochs had him on his back a bunch and scored about eight straight points.”

Villaflor lost the match and then won seven in a row to grab the third place medal.

Franklin finished with 68.5 points to end up 11th overall. Elk Grove placed 10th as a team with 68 points.

Elk Grove had eleven grapplers compete at Masters, but only three will move on to state. They are Jacob Seto, Kelani Tonge and Sai Ta’amu.

Seto, the Division I-A champ at 106 pounds, finished sixth in Stockton. Tonge was sixth at 126 pounds while Ta’amu was fifth at 220 pounds in the Masters.

Elk Grove finished tenth in team points at the
Sac-Joaquin Section Masters' Wrestling
Tristan Scott, Elk Grove’s 120-pounder, was eighth at his weight, but fell short of qualifying for the state meet. The top seven in each weight group advance one to state.

No other EGUSD wrestlers placed at the Masters.

Vacaville once again repeated at the team champion. They had 210 points led by defending state champion Jeramy Sweany who won the Masters title at 220 pounds Saturday. Last season he won state gold at 195 pounds.

The Cal Grappler website has Sweany ranked number one in California at 220 pounds.

The Bulldogs had two other Masters champs in Anthony Hernandez at 126 pounds and at 106 pounds in Jordan Aquino. 120-pounder Gionn Peralta, who finished third at state last year, was defeated in his Mastesr championship match by Modesto’s Israel Saavedra.

Saavedra and Peralta are ranked one-two in California at 126.

At 145 Hayden Fry’s attempt for a first place was short-circuited by Lorenzo De La Riva of Folsom. Two other Vacaville grapplers also qualified for state giving that squad seven in Bakersfield this week.

Folsom, which finished second with 163 team points, will also send seven to state. Besides De La Riva’s first place at 145, the Bulldogs also had winners in Nick Fiegener at 182 and Josh Lazaro at 132.

Fiegener is ranked number one in the state by Cal Grappler at 182 pounds.

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