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Lady Generals shining big with a small bulb

The Shafter High Generals girls wrestling team may be small in numbers, but they make up for it in determination and talent. The Lady Generals have not had enough girls to field a full team, so they haven't been on top of the scoreboard in dual matches, but the quality of their wrestlers have the rest of the Central Valley taking notice.

Such was the case in their dual meet with rival Wasco Lady Tigers. Shafter may have lost the dual match, but in the four matches that were contested, the Lady Generals won all four matches, three of them by pin.

The theme was the same for the majority of the season, but individually, the girls have as much talent than the school has ever had. "Our girls team may be small, but they are a fierce team," commented Girls Head Coach Eli Espericueta. At the South Sequoia League tournament, the Shafter girls had three of their four wrestlers place in the top two in their divisions.

Angie Lepe placed second in the tournament, while Julissa Gonzalez and Mikayla Weller won championships. This qualified all three of them to the Valley Championships, which will be held at Golden Valley High School on Saturday February 11.

Walker, a sophomore, had a record of 12-4 for the season. Freshman Julissa Gonzalez has had an outstanding season, going 25-2 for the season, with 23 of those wins by pin.

Espericueta is confident that his three wrestlers have a chance to qualify for the following week's Masters Tournament, and possibly the State tournament, which will be held again in Bakersfield.

"We fully anticipate to have at least one, if not two, state qualifiers. It would be the first time in school history that we had a Girls wrestling state qualifier."


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