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Short-handed Kofa loses to Cibola, San Luis
Kofa coach Steve Kelly called it the culmination of a perfect storm of different factors.
It resulted in a perfect match for Cibola.
Kofa had just three wrestlers available against the Raiders and San Luis in a home match Wednesday, losing both matches — including allowing the maximum 84 points to Cibola.
They lost 51-0 to San Luis, while the Sidewinders lost 68-10 to the Raiders.
Between academic ineligibility, players missing practices and injuries, Kelly said the Kings were without 12 of their regular 14 wrestlers.
“We could have thrown guys out there, but if they couldn't make the commitment over the winter break, we weren't going to wrestle them tonight,” Kelly said.
“We need to make sure we send the message about the commitment that's necessary academically, No. 1, and then to the team. They didn't see that over the last couple weeks, and that's why we had three guys that came out today and represented us and wrestled hard.”
The three wrestlers didn't win a match and were pinned a total of five times — two of them were varsity wrestlers and one was called up from the junior varsity, Kelly said. The Kofa coach also said he was pleased with the way his wrestlers battled in a tough situation.
Cibola was also short-handed, missing two wrestlers who are hunting a state championship this year: Isaac Camarillo and Luis Nunez. Nunez's absence let freshman Martin Martinez compete at 138, getting a pin against Kofa's Aaron Camarillo and beating Nicolas Egas 15-4.
“The first match (against San Luis) I did all right, but the second match I kind of gassed out,” Martinez said. “I don't think I did as good.”
Cibola coach Mike Jankowski said the Raiders are stocked with talent around 138 with Camarillo, Nunez and Mark Cruz — making varsity time not common for Martinez.
“He's wrestling better than a lot of other freshmen in the entire state,” Jankowski said. “Where we have people around his weight class, we're looking at a lot of those guys place high at state, if not win state. He goes in there and battles those guys every day, and that's what makes him better than most freshmen.”
Martinez said he was trying to make the most of the opportunity.
“I'm just trying to get the best practice I can, I guess. It's my chance,” Martinez said. “It's like an audition for next year, and I have to figure out what I need to do better.”
Cibola heavyweight Brandon Firestone was the only other Raider to go 2-0 without a forfeit, notching pins against San Luis' Ubaldo Soto (5:48) and Kofa's Jacob Whittington (0:17).
The Sidewinders handed the Raiders their only two matches of the day: Bryan Zuniga got a pin at 5:47 at 145 against Isaiah Guttierez, and Carlos Urquijo got a 10-0 decision against Simon Jacuinde at 220.
“Only losing two matches, you can't really go wrong with that,” Jankowski said. “We talked about finishing guys when we have the opportunities, because at state last year losing by a point and a half, that comes down to two guys pinning their guy instead of decision or tech falls. If that happens, we come out on top.
“We've been preaching to those guys get those finishes. Today, instead of teching people, we should be pinning them. We're not trying to disrespect anyone, we're just trying to go out there and do what we're supposed to do.”
San Luis is no stranger to having to take forfeit, usually getting less turnout than the Yuma schools.
“I'd rather have all my guys get matches,” San Luis coach Rob Jankowski said. “I don't like it when all my guys don't get matches. I feel bad that I don't have a full lineup, and we're forfeiting a lot, and I'm sure he's feeling the same way. I just don't like that situation in general.
“We know who each other's stud wrestlers are, and if they're missing, I'm smiling. We don't have to face the guy who took third in state, or the guy who took second in state. I don't mind it, but I'd rather have full lineups against full lineups and go from there.”