To the California wrestling champions go … goofy cowboy hats?

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

How do you make a wrestling event in Clovis, California -- hardly the mecca of prep grappling -- a major event? You give out cowboy hats, of course.

Anthony and Zahid Valencia — St. John Bosco wrestling
Anthony and Zahid Valencia — St. John Bosco wrestling

At least that appears to be the strategy being used by the fine folks organizing the Doc Buchanan Wrestling Invitational, a tournament held Saturday in Clovis, which is near Bakersfield in the middle of the state.

The host school ran away with the team title, scoring 205 points to runner-up Bakersfield's 115, but -- as first noted by the Los Angeles Times -- two Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco wrestlers won their individual brackets, and were handed absolutely fantastic cowboy hats as a reward.

If that isn't a heck of a way to differentiate one prep wrestling tournament from the rest, Prep Rally doesn't know what is.

Naturally, the Clovis event also handed out medals as most prep wrestling events do, but it was the hats on St. John Bosco brothers Anthony (126-pound champion) and Zahid (106-pound winner) Valencia that truly stood out. Seriously, when was the last time you saw track suits accessorized with Stetsons?

Well, you might see that in Texas or New Mexico, but certainly not in Southern California, except in the Valencia home.

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