This week began with a less-than-stellar bracket seeding for Garces freshman Tye Monteiro.
After placing fifth at the Central Section Master’s boys wrestling championships last Saturday, Monteiro was paired up against Gilroy’s Chase Saldate, the nation’s top-ranked wrestler at 152-pounds.
Monteiro now heads into the third and final day at the CIF State boys wrestling championships at Mechanics Bank Arena on a hot streak and one win away from becoming the first Ram to place at state.
Monteiro will try and become the first Garces state placer when he faces No. 7 Rocky Raby of Hemet-West Valley in the blood round at 9 a.m. on Saturday.
Monteiro lost to Saldate by fall 54 seconds into the championship bracket pigtail round on Thursday morning.
That was the lone match on Day 1 for Monteiro.
Friday was a totally different story as Monteiro pinned all four of his opponents to advance to the blood round in the consolation bracket that begins at 9 a.m. on Saturday.
“This is amazing. It’s a great experience,” Monteiro said. “I didn’t expect it to happen like this. I thought I would wrestle close matches. But four pins in a row, I’m just trying to keep it rolling.”
Monteiro began the day with a second period pin over Josh Provins from Roseville.
In the second match on Friday, Monteiro, ranked No. 23 in the state coming into the tournament, upset No. 18 Mario Franco of Concord-De La Salle in the first period.
Then came two major upsets for Monteiro.
First taking down 4-seed Brandon Bollinger of Hesperia-Sultana in the second period and his final match was a third-period pin over No. 12 seed Trent Houle from Mission Viejo-Capistrano Valley.
Monteiro becomes just the second Garces wrestler to finish Top 12 at state after Isaiah Martin did just that two years ago.
A win on Saturday morning would make Monteiro the first Garces state placer in the six-year history of the program.
“I wish could say I am surprised at what he’s accomplished right now, but I’m not,” Garces coach Robert Fowler said. “He has earned what he did today. He does everything right.
“He just pinned three top-20 guys and the fourth was ranked 28. I’ve never seen this type of run in 11 years of coaching.”