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Raiders have 11 go perfect to claim city championship, trophy
Cibola made history.
The Raiders became Yuma's first wrestling city champion as they defeated Gila Ridge 52-9 Wednesday in a five-way dual match at Ernest F. Rillos Gym. Both teams entered the final round of the tournament a perfect 3-0.
“This is what we had planned all year. It doesn't surprise us,” Cibola coach Mike Jankowski said. “This is what we worked for. This is what we spent all offseason working for and we accomplished it.”
Cibola's 160-pounder Pedro Rosas added, “What can I say? I feel good.”
Yuma High finished third, followed by Kofa and San Luis.
As a result of their victory, the Raiders received a black sledgehammer with a hickory wooden handle. Rosas said they plan to engrave “City champions” on the handle and hang it up in the Raiders' wrestling room.
In the championship match, Isaac Camarillo (112) and Adam Ludwin (119) scored pins in the second period as Cibola jumped out to a 12-0 lead. The Raiders never looked back.
“I thought as a team, we would've done better,” Rosas said. “But looking at the score, there's no questions asked.”
Gila Ridge coach David King said he was disappointed to finish runner-up. He added that he didn't expect the margin to be as wide as it was and came to the conclusion that the 43-point loss can be attributed to Cibola winning most of the close matches.
Nonetheless, King's expectations for his team haven't changed.
“We take a loss like any loss and we learn from it,” King said. “I would love to be a city champ but I'd feel a whole lot better being a state champ. We still got time for that this season.”
For Cibola, they too have eyes on a bigger prize.
“I want all of our guys winning four or five matches at sectionals and then get a lot places at state,” Jankowski said. “We want to try to take a run at (Tucson-)Sunnyside.”
Eleven of Cibola's 14 wrestlers went a flawless 4-0.
John Mejia (125) and Juan Reyes (189) were the only Hawks to go undefeated.
In what amounted to be the third-place match, freshman 103-pounder Chantz Bathrick's pin on freshman Vincent Nunez 48 seconds into the second period of the final bout allowed Yuma High to prevail 35-34 over Kofa.
“They have no idea about tradition,” Criminals coach Jeff Welsing said. “Just the rivalry that Yuma-Kofa have, I told my kid and said, ‘You got to go out there and put him away.' He did. He was fired up and he went out there and put him away.”
The Kings took an early 10-0 lead but the Criminals got back into the contest with pinfalls in two of the next four bouts to take a 15-13 advantage. The lead went back and forth the rest of the way until Bathrick's heroics.
The Criminals split their four matches, beating San Luis 64-10. James Gomez (171) and Richard Cabrera (189) were a impeccable 4-0 for the Criminals.
Kofa's lone win was a 48-21 decision against San Luis. Hugo Rosales (119) and Juan Ortiz (285) picked up three wins each.
Cheng Sio can be reached at email@example.com or 539-6866.