The 2019 Clovis West Shootout will be held Saturday, November 23 hosted by Clovis West High School. It will officially kick off the beginning of the 2019-20 season with some firepower schools entering the event. Buchanan High enters the weekend with a No. 3 ranking by Flo Wrestling after having conquered the coveted California state tournament the past four seasons. Coaches Troy Tirappelle and Gabe Flores will have their boys ready to begin their journey in conquering another state title and make history in the golden state.
No. 1 Buchanan High will look for a Clovis West Shootout team title
No. 3 in the country and No. 1 in California, Buchanan High will be in the hunt to claim a Clovis West Shootout team title after finishing second in the team standings to fellow TRAC league opponent Clovis High. Last season, Buchanan won the CIF state tournament with 235 points and eight of its wrestlers garnering All-State status. Six of the eight grapplers return this season with high anticipations to becoming the No. 1 program in the country. Four of their wrestlers will attempt and defend their titles from a season ago – Jr. Carlos Negrete (120), Jr. Maximo Renteria (126), Jr. George Ruiz (152), and Jr. Rocco Contino (171).
Can No. 7 Clovis repeat as champions?
It would take some doing for the Clovis High wrestling team, or anybody else, for that matter, to knock off third-ranked Buchanan this weekend at the Clovis West Shootout. But that is not to suggest that there is nothing for the Cougars and their California brethren to strive for. On the contrary, wrestling in competitions like this one will help the Cougars to adjust and work on their mistakes as they strive to perform well at the CIF state tournament in February because that is the Holy Grail for any high school wrestler. The Clovis wrestling team finished second at TRAC, Valley, and Masters while placing third at the state tournament. Certainly, some conclusions can be drawn from last season duals and some educated predictions made based on those results. The Cougars return a pair of champions in Sr. Giano Petrucelli (145) and Sr. Tyler Gianakopulos (182). As well as an abundant group of wrestlers who performed well during the preseason.
Here come the boys from Central California
Coach Daniel Cormier and staff will have the Mustangs of Gilroy High ready for another season which is full of high anticipations. The Mustangs which have a powerful grip on the Central Coast finished second behind Buchanan at the state tournament. With three state place winners from last year and another from the 2018 season, Gilroy has the potential to score some serious points this weekend and position themselves as the top team in California. Despite graduating three state place winners and state champion Ryan Reyes, some people suggest the Mustangs won’t have the power do contest for a state title. However, what Gilroy High does have is a system that cranks out state-caliber competitors. The Mustangs have two wrestlers chasing a second championship title in Jayden Gomez (126) and Nicholas Villareal (285); both wrestlers won titles in 2018. Michigan State recruit Chase Saldate (152) was a runner-up in 2018 but looks to be the favorite this weekend.
Can they all repeat?
A total of 10 grapplers return this weekend to the mats in quest of claiming a second Clovis West Shootout title. As mentioned, Jayden Gomez (126) and Nicholas Villareal (285) of Gilroy High were champions in 2018. 2019 champions include Noah Arsitio of Clovis North (113), Carlos Negrete Jr of Buchanan (120), Maximo Renteria of Buchanan (126), Giano Petrucelli of Clovis (145), George Ruiz of Buchanan (152), Rocco Contino of Buchanan (170), Tyler Gianakopulos of Clovis (182), and Felipe Rodriguez of Clovis West (195). All these individuals have proven time after time that they can bang with anyone they put in front of them.
Is Joey Cruz the real deal?
That is a question many have asked after Cruz defeated Richard Figueroa at the 2018 FloNationals tournament. Only a sophomore, Cruz has been known around the youth circuit for years. Here in California, we have known of his accomplishments since his years at the Selma Youth Wrestling Club. Now a California CIF state medalist, Cruz will be in the hunt to win a Coveted state title. His quest begins this weekend as he could potentially be meeting up with two-time state finalist Carlos Negrete Jr of Buchanan High in the finals at 120-pounds. The fans should expect fireworks coming out from this highly anticipated match.