The Clovis West Shootout has decreased in scope, but it won’t be lacking in star power.
The 29th annual wrestling tournament is set to feature eight state top-two ranked competitors when action begins at 9 a.m. Saturday. The finals start at roughly 4 p.m.
Preseason state No. 1-ranked Nico Aguilar (106 pounds) of Gilroy as well as Clovis’ Justin Mejia (120), Josh Hokit (182), AJ Nevills (195) and Seth Nevills (285) headline the field, which will feature wrestlers from 18 schools.
Mejia is a two-time state champion, winning at 113 last season and 106 as a freshman, while Seth Nevills won the 285-pound title last season as a freshman, following his brother Nick Nevills as the only freshmen heavyweight champs in California high school wrestling history.
Never miss a local story.
Aguilar (106), Hokit (170) and AJ Nevills (182) were all state runner-ups last season.
2 Returning CIF State wrestling champion in the fiield for the 29th Clovis West Shootout: Clovis’ Justin Mejia and Seth Nevills
State No. 2-ranked Liam Cronin (113) of Servite, Gilroy’s Alex Felix (132) and Poway’s Chris Bailey (195) are among 15 state top-five wrestlers expected to compete.
Five-time defending state team champion Clovis is sending a split squad to the Shootout, with highly ranked Brandon Betancourt (No. 4 106), Jared Hill (No. 5 at 152) and Ruger Wyneken (No. 14 at 170) are headed to the Holister Invitational. Other top-ranked teams in the field include No. 3 Bakersfield, No. 5 Poway, No. 6 Gilroy and No. 14 Clovis West.
The tournament host Golden Eagles feature a pair of top-five wrestlers in Javier Alaniz (No. 3 at 113) and Bobby Miguel (No. 5 at 138).
The tournament has undergone a series of changes over the past couple of years, going from a dual-meet format in 2011, to dual and individual tourney in 2012-2013, then a two-day individual event last year.
Girls soccer – Two-time defending champion Central headlines the 29th annual Peggy Renberg Holiday Classic, set for Friday and Saturday at Hoover High.
The No. 3 Grizzlies are among four of The Bee’s Central Section Top 15 teams in the field, along with No. 5 Redwood, No. 11 Madera and No. 13 Edison.
Central and Redwood each reached the semifinals at last weekend’s Harold S. Young tournament, with the Rangers beating four-time defending Central Section Division I champion Buchanan 1-0 in the quarterfinals.
The field also features host Hoover, El Diamante, Sunnyside, Memorial, Reedley, Mt. Whitney, Kingsburg and Tulare.
Play begins at 9 a.m. Friday and 8:30 a.m. Saturday, with finals set for 12:15 p.m. (Division III), 1:30 (Division II) and 2:45 p.m. (Division I).
Also, No. 9 Clovis West is hosting a five-team, round-robin tournament Friday and Saturday that includes No. 8 Frontier, No. 12 Clovis, No. 14 Central Valley Christian and Sanger.
Boys soccer – For the second straight year, Buchanan is part of the field for the Lotto Sport Western Showcase, which has drawn a national-class field to the three-day tournament in San Clemente.
The Bears, top-ranked in the Central Section by The Bee and No. 11 nationally in the SIMA Fab 50 compiled by topdrawersoccer.com, opened with a 1-0 win over No. 12 Carlsbad on Thursday behind a JT Arruda second-half goal.
Buchanan will face the winner between national No. 4 Servite-Anaheim and No. 30 Brophy Prep-Phoenix, Ariz., at 8:15 p.m. Friday.
The elite eight-team field also features No. 4 Servite-Anaheim, No. 25 Watsonville, No. 28 Hamilton-Chandler, Ariz., No. 30 Brophy Prep-Phoenix, No. 31 San Clemente and No. 32 Loyola-Los Angeles.
Buchanan won the Showcase last season with a 3-1 win over Brophy Prep, which was the defending Arizona Division I state champion.
Closer to home, Fowler is hosting an eight-team tournament through Saturday.
The field includes the host Redcats, Washington, Parlier and Firebaugh in Pool A, and Caruthers, Minarets, Liberty-Madera Ranchos and Kingsburg in Pool B.
The fifth-place game is set for 9 a.m., third-place at 10:30 a.m. and the championship is at noon Saturday at Fowler.