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Garza Earns Coveted State Wrestling Championship Title
c garza champ
Shown here after capturing a Masters championship, Mustang wrestler Ceasar Garza put an exclamation point on his OHS career, winning a State Championship at 170 pounds during the late February State Meet competition in Bakersfield. Jeff Kettering/The Leader

A senior who is headed for Michigan State on a wrestling scholarship, Ceasar Garza can now call himself a California state champion.

The senior, wrestling at 170 pounds, claimed top honors in the weight class at the State Meet over this past weekend in Bakersfield, Feb. 25 through 27.

“He wrestled six times and he won by a landslide each time until the finals,” said Oakdale High School head wrestling coach Steve Strange. “He won each match by eight or more points; he won the quarterfinals by a major decision, he won the semifinals by a major decision.”

Garza, in fact, sailed through the tournament until the finals, when he met up with Sergio Montoya of Clovis North.

“That was a very tough match, he won it 2-1 in double overtime,” Strange said of his standout senior. “He went the whole weekend without being taken down.”

Oakdale took 11 wrestlers to the state tournament; along with the 170-pound championship for Garza, sophomore Carlos Garcia took the mats at 160 pounds and came home with an eighth place medal, going 5-3 in the competition.

Also wrestling for Oakdale but not placing were: Elijah Elting, 106 pounds; Eziequel Vela, 120 pounds; Michael Torres, 126; Colton Silva, 132; Jonathan Hernandez, 138 pounds; Brodie Johnson, 145; Payne Perkins, 152; Jordan Van Rys, 182 pounds; and Garrison Gerber, 220 pounds.

“We finished 13th overall as a team, we would have liked to have won a few more matches but 11 is the most guys we’ve ever taken to state and Ceasar is our first state champion since 2008 for Oakdale,” Strange added. “Seven of the 11 will be returning next year. It was a great weekend.”