8943 Manning Melee croppedBW

Orange Cove High wrestlers Andres Tristan, left, and Martin Chavez held the Manning Melee trophy high after the Titans won the prestigious award for the first time in its nine-year history by defeating Reedley High, 36-20, on Jan. 25 at OCHS gym.

For the most part, the nine-year Manning Melee wrestling matchup has been a one-sided affair in favor of the Reedley High Pirates over the Orange Cove High Titans. But that all changed in the 10th meeting between the schools on Jan. 25 at OCHS gym.

Led by Division 5 top-ranked wrestlers Martin Chavez and Andy Tristen, the host school won four of the five matches contested and came away with a 36-20 triumph over the Pirates. The Reedley High girls won by a 42-18 score while Reedley defeated Citrus in the middle school match, 43-22.

"It's been a long time coming," said Titans head coach Pablo Saenz, who coached at RHS for six years before coming to Orange Cove. "These kids at Orange Cove have put the time in and worked hard. It's their turn."

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