The year was 1996 and Adam Tirapelle won a CIF state title for Buchanan High, wrestling for his coach, and father, Stephen. It was also the first time in the school’s history that the Bears won League and the Valley tournaments. They did so by outdistancing their hometown rivals, Clovis High.
Fast forward 21 years and Adam Tirapelle is still a part of this great rivalry. He is now a part of the Cougars coaching staff, attempting to dethrone his alma mater as the top team in the Golden State. Clovis High has won a total of 13 individual team championships, including five consecutive titles from 2011-2015 until Buchanan dethroned the Cougars last season in the state tournament, 274 ½ – 232 ½.
This Thursday, Buchanan enters as the top-ranked team in the state by The California Wrestler and is second-ranked nationally by The Open Mat. Clovis is number two in the state and is the national number eight. The victor of this dual-meet should win not only the Tri-River Athletic Conference, but the Valley tournament, and the CIF state tournament as well. Buchanan won last season’s meeting, 32-27, to stop Clovis’ winning streak of 91 dual meets against California opposition that stretched over eight seasons.
Both teams are coached by a Tirapelle family member. Buchanan has Troy Tirapelle, a former three-time state champion for the Cougars, while Clovis has Stephen and Adam Tirapelle leading the charge against Buchanan. A total of six number one and 27 state-ranked wrestlers will be competing in this action packed event for the opportunity to be called the top program in California.
The junior varsity match will begin at 4 pm., followed by varsity to begin at 7 pm.