It has been three years since the Fresno City College wrestling team won a state title.
Rams coach Paul Keysaw would like to see that change, and at home no less.
Fresno City will host the two-day state championships inside the main gymnasium this weekend. Preliminary matches will begin at 10 a.m. Friday, followed by other matches at 4 p.m. Saturday’s finals are set for 7 p.m., with semifinal matches at 10 a.m. Twenty teams and 120 wrestlers will aim to become champions.
“My motivation right now is for the team and the kids,” Keysaw said. “I think it’s going to be special for them to have a chance to win a state title in their own gym, in front of their own fans and family. That’s what will be special. The state championships itself is special no matter where you win it. Just having a chance to win it on your home floor … I think is a little bit more special.”
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Keysaw is aiming for his ninth state title overall. He has led the Rams to a 144-7 record and five state titles, with the first coming in 2006 in his first year and the last in 2012. Keysaw won three state titles at Moorpark College before arriving at Fresno City.
The Rams will be using Fresno State mats this weekend through the finals.
Last weekend at Santa Rosa Junior College, the Rams won the North with 213 points, followed by Sacramento City (184.5).
Heading into the state finals, Fresno City has three top-ranked wrestlers in the state by California Community College Wrestling: Jonas Gaytan (133), Martine Sandoval (149) and Mo Nasser (174). Sandoval, who redshirted last season, was a state champion in 2013.
“They’re great kids,” Keysaw said. “They’ve been outstanding wrestlers, and I’ve watched them grow into fine young men. I’m excited to see what they can accomplish at the next level.”
But first is a state title after the Rams lost to Mt. San Antonio in the dual state championships last month. The Rams lost the final three matches, 20-19.
“They got us; they simply got us,” Keysaw said. “They had a better day than we did. It was a great match and a great dual meet. We just had a couple of breaks not go our way. I’ve been reminding the guys how they celebrated in their gym and the feeling we had to the feeling they had. We sure do not want to watch somebody celebrating in our gym this weekend. We want to be the ones celebrating.”
Women’s soccer – Fresno City defender Alyssa Lugo was named All-American by National Soccer Coaches Association of America. She’s the only Rams player to be named All-American in consecutive seasons, coach Oliver Germond said. Lugo also was named to the All-NorCal team.
The Rams, who finished the season at 19-2-4 after a loss to eventual state champion Cerritos at the state championships, ended up No. 3 in the national rankings.
Men’s soccer – Fresno City midfielder Sergio Segura and defender Jesus Rodriguez were named to the All-NorCal team after helping the Rams to a 13-6-4 record and a trip to the NorCal Regionals.
JC wrestling state championships
- Friday-Saturday: 10 a.m., 4 p.m. (Friday); 10 a.m., 7 p.m. (championship final, Saturday)
- Tickets: $20 all-sessions pass; $12 per session; $8 students, senior citizens and children