Buchanan wrestling tops Clovis 38-18 in ‘The Big One’

FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) — When Buchanan and Clovis High meet on the wrestling mat, there is a reason why both sides call it “The Big One.”

“There’s a lot of history here – back and forth. These programs have been good forever,” said Cougars assistant coach Adam Tirapelle.

Buchanan, the six-time defending state champs ranked first in California and third in the nation, dominated the early rounds to dispatch state-ranked No. 3 Clovis, 38-18.

It marks the seventh straight dual where Buchanan has defeated Clovis. Despite a stretch of eight consecutive Clovis wins at one point, Buchanan leads the all-time series, 19-10.

Between the two schools, there are 20 state titles including a combined 11 straight dating back to 2011. This year, 26 wrestlers are ranked inside the Top 10 of the state rankings. “Clovis is a wrestling hotbed around the country – everyone knows about Buchanan and Clovis. It’s just an opportunity to show off our kids,” said Buchanan athletic director James Gambrell.

Both programs, ranked Top 20 nationally coming in, brought their loud fan bases to create a one-of-a-kind atmosphere.

“It started out with just great wrestling, inviting student sections, then a band. But it’s Clovis Unified, right? Everyone wants to take it to the next level,” Tirapelle said.

It’s competition at its core, but “The Big One” has evolved into something much bigger.

Among the festivities leading up to the dual: a choir performance, cheerleading routine from both schools, and pyrotechnics – all a reward for the wrestlers.

“You gotta have something that they wanna do. There’s gotta be a carrot at the end that you’re dangling in front of them,” said Buchanan head coach Troy Tirapelle. “Hopefully, this is it.”

This year’s CIF state championship will be held February 23-25 ​​at the Mechanics Bank Arena in Bakersfield.

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