In just year No. 6 for the Garces wrestling program, Saturday was the best day yet.
Two big firsts happened at the Central Section Division IV boys tournament in Visalia and another first for the Rams at the Central Section Southeast Area tournament just 20 minutes away in Tulare.
In the boys tournament at Golden West High, freshman Tye Monteiro and DeAndre Beldo became the first Rams to win two divisional titles on the same day.
Monteiro, a freshman, won the boys 152-pound title with a 20-4 tech fall over Aiden Soto from Tulare Union.
Monteiro was also named the upper weight class MVP for the tournament.
“This feels great because I know I am the first wrestler at Garces to do this,” Monteiro said. “It feels good to see all of my work put into action.”
Beldo and Bakersfield Christian’s Brian Schuler prayed before their match on the mat, then Beldo made quick work of the 220-pound finals, pinning Schule at the 1 minute, 43-second mark of the first period for his first divisional title.
“This is such a big win for me and my team,” Beldo said. “Hopefully we can get recognized and get some support. I can’t wait to get to Masters and get better.”
Beldo and Monteiro will be joined by senior Darius Picar at the Central Section Masters Championships next Friday and Saturday at Fresno-Hoover.
This marks the first time three Garces boys wrestlers have advanced to Masters.
For Picar, the extension of his season is the big surprise of the weekend.
Picar came into the season with just four varsity wins, but went 5-1 in the 106-pound bracket and took third place with a third period pin over Jose Guzman of Highland.
“Never give up because you never know what can happen in the end,” Picar said.
The Rams finished sixth overall in D-IV after placing 19th in D-V last season.
“This is more about the kids and the work they put in,” Garces coach Robert Fowler said. “The kids that advanced today and won, they are the ones that put in the time and don’t miss practice. They are the ones that come into practice and are ready to work. This is about them and the type of kids we have here at Garces.”
At the girls area championships at Tulare-Mission Oak, Garces junior Sarah Machado became the first Ram to advance to the Central Section Masters Championships next weekend at East High.
Machado defeated Jazmin Portillo of South with a first round pin for fifth place at 172-pounds.