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Published on February 19, 2024
San Antonio and Concord Wrestlers Shine as De La Salle Secures 9th Straight NCS TitleSource: Facebook/Smithson Valley High School Media Team

The mats were sizzling this weekend across Texas and California as high school wrestlers battled for supremacy, and it was the San Antonio-area squads alongside the indomitable De La Salle High School in Concord that made waves at their respective state and sectional championships, sources from FOX San Antonio and Mercury News reveal.

At the 2024 UIL State Championship in Cypress, Texas, Smithson Valley's boys team flexed their muscles to finish fourth with senior Efren "Junior" Arizmendez clinching gold in the 165 pound class, according to FOX San Antonio. Meanwhile, in Northern California, De La Salle continued their streak by seizing their ninth straight NCS title, stacking up a dominant score of 260 and plowing through competitors with 33 pins, momentum clearly driving the Spartans as they outpaced their nearest rival, Liberty, by a decisive 98 points.

The Pieper girls team, also from the Comal Independent School District, didn't disappoint either, clinching a fifth place with Junior Meela Stubbs powering through to a third-place finish in the 185-pound category, backed up by fourth-place finishes from juniors Savannah Schaaf and Cameron Massie, as reported by FOX San Antonio. Not to be outdone, Judson girls added some extra sparkle to San Antonio's wrestling scene with junior Samaria Barnett taking home first in the 152-pound weight class, an emphatic victory that surely sent cheers echoing throughout the gym.

Over at the North Coast Section wrestling championships, "Their brotherhood is real," new De La Salle coach Carlos Sumulong told Mercury News, an acknowledgment of the dedication it takes to maintain such a lauded winning streak, with senior Caleb Tatad taking the season by storm with his commanding major decision victory in the 115-pound division after a third-place finish last year motivated him for a state berth.

While the De La Salle squad polished their ninth consecutive sectional title trophy, they weren't the only individuals celebrating, Liberty's David Calkins Jr. nabbed the 192-pound title, pinning success for a second year straight, attributing this year’s wins to mental resilience, saying, "It was just a matter of me staying in the moment and staying present," in what can only be a testament to his tenacity and focus amidst the grueling demands of the mat.