Victor Daza had reason to smile as he sat on the medal podium with his Gilroy High wrestling teammates Saturday night at Watsonville High.
The sophomore 122-pounder was soaking in yet another championship for the Mustangs.
Daza was one of six individual champions for Gilroy, leading the Mustangs to the Monterey Bay League team title with 306 points at the MBL finals.
“It feels amazing. These guys are my brothers, my teammates,” Daza said. “It’s good to be champions together. It’s a great feeling.”
Palma finished second with 272.5 points, followed by Alisal (235), San Benito (206.5), Monterey (156) and Christopher (154).
Gilroy and Christopher combined for eight individual champions.
The Mustangs got individual titles from Jesse Vasquez (115), Daza, Victor Olmos (128), Paul Fox (134), Nikko Villarreal (140) and Matt Penyacsek (162).
Daza won the 122-pound final with a 9-1 major decision over Palma’s Adam Lucero.
“My mindset going into every match for CCS and league is, ‘This kid’s not taking my spot,’” Daza said. “My hopes are getting to state, and I’m not going to let anyone take that from me.”
The top six individuals in each weight class advanced to the Central Coast Section meet, which will be held Friday and Saturday at Independence High in San Jose.
Vasquez won the 115-pound final with a 12-1 major decision over Alisal’s Rico Huerta.
Olmos claimed the 128-pound championship with a 12-1 major decision over North Monterey County’s Carlos Anaya.
Fox used a third-period pin to defeat San Benito’s Robb Rodriguez in the 134-pound final.
The 140-pound title went to Villarreal with a 22-7 technical fall over Palma’s Alex Garcia.
Penyacsek defeated Palma’s Bart Bonfantini with a 4-2 decision in the 162-pound title bout.
Christopher got individual titles from Jimmie Lopez (108) and Ricardo Bribiescas (147).
Lopez, a junior, claimed his third straight league title with an 11-0 major decision over Alisal’s Adrian Alonzo in the 108-pound final.
“With Jimmie, the main thing is, he listens,” Christopher coach Alecxis Lara said. “Anything we ask of him, he does it, with training, the mental preparation aspect, the strategy – he just does exactly what we ask him to. As long as he does what the coaches tell him to, he’s going to keep improving and getting better.”
Bribiescas won by injury default in the 147-pound final.
“I feel we could have qualified a few more, but on the positive side, we had some really big wins today,” Lara said. “Considering it’s the new, tougher league, the amount of kids we’re taking (to CCS), we’re pretty pleased, and the kids we are taking are all good enough to place at CCS.”
Individual titles also went to Palma’s Martin Martinez (154), Alisal’s Jovan Villalobos (172), Monterey’s Jacob Golden (184), Palma’s Josiah Pulealii (197), Palma’s Tyler Escobar (222) and Palma heavyweight Hildelv Manzur.
For Gilroy, William Calderon (108) took sixth, Lupe Jimenez (147) was third, Noe Garcia (154) claimed fourth, Mark Penyacsek (172) took second, Julian Carbajal (184) placed third, Daniel Patterson (222) finished second and heavyweight Frank Martinez claimed second.
Gilroy is now gunning for its 11th straight CCS team title.
“I’m just proud of these guys,” Daza said. “These guys are my brothers. Blood, sweat and tears go into our wrestling room.”
For Christopher, Raul Meza (122) was third, Jacob Myers (154) took sixth, Tomas Zamora (197) was third and heavyweight Navi Pannu claimed sixth.
For San Benito, Eric Loredo (108) placed third, Juan Gutierrez (115) was fifth, Julian Perez (140) took sixth, Simon Coelho (162) finished fourth, Daniel Arzeta (172) claimed fifth, Tim Castillo (184) placed second, Alejandro Banuelos (197) took fifth, J.J. Melo (222) finished third and heavyweight Alex Gonzales placed third.