Joseph Castro will get a full taste of Valley wrestling Thursday night when the first-year Fresno State president flips the opening coin for the Clovis vs. Buchanan showdown dual meet.
Castro, a Hanford native who since last fall has been forming plans for reinstating wrestling at Fresno State, which was cut in 2006, will be joined by former longtime Clovis Unified Superintendent Doc Buchanan for the opening of the Tri-River Athletic Conference dual between No. 3 nationally ranked Clovis and No. 33 Buchanan at the Clovis High gym.
The teams will wrestle on a Fresno State-themed mat featuring a Bulldogs logo -- the same one that had been brought out of storage and used for the prestigious Doc Buchanan Invitational earlier this month at Clovis High.
And for a league dual, this match brings extra drama.
State No. 1 Clovis -- the three-time defending state champion and eight-time overall state titlist -- hasn't lost a dual in seven years against California opposition while Buchanan has improved to No. 5 in The California Wrestler's state rankings.
In addition, the meet features one of the Valley's family wrestling legacies with Clovis coach Steve Tirapelle's team squaring off against a Buchanan squad coached by son Troy Tirapelle.
Action gets under way with the junior varsity match at 5:30 p.m., with the coin toss expected to go off about 7 before the varsity teams take the mat.
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