They weighed between 36 and 136 pounds - they had skills - they were fierce - they were competitive. They were the 110 youth wrestlers (K-5th grade) who came to Yosemite High School Feb. 28 to compete in Mountain Mayhem, a youth wrestling tournament that has drawn youth teams to Oakhurst for more than 30 years.
The tournament originated as King of the Hill, under the direction of Leonard Brown, and transitioned to Mountain Mayhem, under the direction of Yosemite High wrestling coach Kent Lincoln.
The Yosemite Badger Youth Wrestling team (K-8) hosted the tournament. The team is coached by volunteers Jeff Guynn, Roger Brillhart, and three YHS senior wrestlers - Matthew Springer, Quinn Hilliard, and BraveHeart Sauceda.
“It’s a lot of fun teaching the kids how to wrestle, and it’s great to see each member of the team grow as a wrestler and as a person,” Springer said.
Colton Courtney, 5, is wrestling for the first time this year, being encouraged by his mother, Melissa. He is a member of the 40-member Yosemite Badger Youth Wrestling team.
The season did not start well for Colton, a kindergartner at Coarsegold Elementary School, losing his first seven matches. But he stuck with it, and things turned-around for the 34-pounder, winning his ffive matches, including three at Mountain Mayham.
“It’s an aggressive sport and he loves it,” Melissa said. “Now that he’s winning, he really loves it.”
Zeta Nelson, an 8-year-old third grader at Wasuma Elementary School in Ahwahnee wrestling for the first time this season, is the only girl on the Yosemite team. She placed third in her weight class at the tournament, receiving a medal, and said she likes the sport of wrestling.
“I like it when I beat a boy,” Nelson said.
In addition to host team, Yosemite, other teams participating in the tournament were Mariposa, Pine Ridge, Foothill, Big Creek, Easton, Sierra View, River Bluff, and Madera Ranchos.
The mini-wrestlers performed before a crowd of more than 200 at the YHS gymnasium.
Junior High team places fifth
On Sunday, March 1, the Yosemite Youth Badger Junior High team placed fifth out of 15 teams in the Mid State Champions Tournament, hosted by the Sierra Chieftan Wrestling Program. The top three places will advance to the Nor-Cal Tounament of Champions Dat , LOCATION. Badgers who placed were:
103 pounds: Nicolas Guynn - fourth place
128 pounds: Jeffrey Eagle - third place
135 pounds: Diego Combs - first place
205 pounds: Dylan De La Cruz - second place
K-3rd grade ( weight class - first, second, third)
36 pounds: Colton Courtney, Yosemite - Jonathan McCraw, Easton
42 pounds: Matthew Zuniga, Easton - Christopher Hankey, Foothill - Trent Long, Foothill
44 pounds: Caiden Skelton, Yosemite - Wyatt Ferguson, Foothill - Christopher Moran, Big Creek
47 pounds: Landon Day, Pine Ridge - Johnathan Loman, Big Creek - Easton Seymore, Mariposa
52 pounds: Alejandro Aguirre, Easton - Hunter Staggers, Yosemite - Lawson Collier, Foothill
54 pounds: Cayden Ferrell, Foothill - August Seymore, Mariposa - Bo Gomez, Foothill
56 pounds: Jesse Riopel, Yosemite - Blayden Wave, Yosemite - Johnny Harshman, Foothill
58 pounds: Jeremiah Willden, Yosemite - Lucas McGoldrick, Yosemite - Ethan Cornell, Yosemite
60 pounds: Anthony Ruiz, Yosemite - Jaden Gomez, Easton - Blaze Hughes, Yosemite
62 pounds: Jackson Kissee, Yosemite - Gavin Day, Pine Ridge - Jesse Martinez, Yosemite
64 pounds: Tino Montes, Easton - Hailey Wafford, Big Creek, - Luke Brown, Foothill
65 pounds: Zachary Pallares, - Easton - James Carater, Yosemite - Reese Mallet, Foothill
67 pounds: Karl Wall, Mariposa - Gabriel Rivera, Easton - William Wall, Mariposa
70 pounds: Mac McGrath, Foothill - Paiton Nuefeld, Yosemite - Brennan Long, Foothill
72 pounds: Taxtyn Weiland, Mariposa - Adrian Perez, Sierra View - Jade Gowdy, Mariposa
78 pounds: Ayden Cortez, Easton - Max Zuniga, Easton - Shane Piersol, Sierra View
82 pounds: Isaac Taqvarez, Easton - Saul Sanchez, Easton - Kenny Rutledge, Mariposa
101 pounds: Victor Castenada, Easton - Joseph Ramirez, Yosemite - Zeta Nelson, Yosemite
4th and 5th grade (weight class - first, second, third)
59 pounds: Micah Bassett, Mariposa - Braden Craig, Yosemite
64 pounds: Tanner Robinson, Foothill - Matthew Peterson, Pine Ridge - Corben Troll, Big Creek
70 pounds: Nathen Sanchez, Easton - Caleb Zelazo, Mariposa - Mack Hunter, Mariposa
73 pounds: Robbie Burton, Mariposa - Taylor Greene, Yosemite - Logan Metzger, Yosemite
80 pounds: Nicholas De La Cruz, Yosemite - Evan Jiminez, Sierra View - Aaron Wallenburg, Mariposa
78 pounds: Antonio Conti, Yosemite - Ty Holt, Mariposa - Ann Jolina Persicone, Foothill
85 pounds: Isaiah Betancourt, Easton - Trevor Jobinger, River Bluff - Arwen Nephew, Foothill
90 pounds: Dylan Hankey, Foothill - Johnathan Higgins, Foothill - Jonah Collier, Foothill
103 pounds: Travis Stone, Mariposa - Ryan Abner, Yosemite - Courtney Monthei, Mariposa
136 pounds: Diego Rojas, Madera Ranchos - Matthew Adams, Mariposa