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Mendivil named Sun/Rotary Wrestler of the Year
Josh Olson, Cibola
Andres Gandara, Cibola
Austin Gerber, Gila Ridge
Curtis Cox, Gila Ridge
Luis Nunez, Cibola
Clay Sierra, Yuma Catholic
Kade Kottenbrook, Yuma High
Isaac Saenz, Gila Ridge
Joseph Varela, Gila Ridge
Pierre Gaud, Cibola
Vicente Guerrero, Cibola
Andreus Gomez, Yuma High
Carlos Urquijo, San Luis
Alex Varela, Yuma Catholic
Nathan Mendivil has been enjoying his time off.
“A little too much,” he said, motioning down at his stomach, patting it and laughing simultaneously. “It's good to have a break.”
Already a state champion at 106 pounds, the newly selected 2012-13 Yuma Sun/Yuma Rotary Club Boys Wrestling Player of the Year may be strategically packing on the pounds.
The Gila Ridge junior said next year he wants to move up to 113 pounds after winning the state tournament in February in the lightest weight class. As a sophomore, he was fourth in the state at 106.
“I'm just going to work harder and if I can, gain a little weight — but I'm not sure going that's going to happen. It's my goal, but I tried it last year and it didn't work well. But whatever they need me at, I'll go.”
Gila Ridge coach David King said at either 106 or 113, Mendivil is in prime shape for his second-straight title.
“Your second state championship is way harder than your first,” King said. “It leaves him in good shape. I'd love to see him at 106 again, and I think he's a kid that has dedication to make that cut. And if he was at 106 again, there's absolutely no question he'd have a good year. And at 113 he'd have a good year, too. I think we saw a lot of seniors and upperclassmen at 113 this year, and it opens up next year.”
Mendivil said he realizes just how hard the second-straight state championship can be. Last year, he saw teammate Kevin Jumbeck — the first Gila Ridge state champion in any sport — lose his repeat bid. He lost 17-11 in the final match to take second.
“He was so close to winning the second one. He was there,” Mendivil said. “I'm going to work even harder from last year. I'm going to work as hard as I can and do the best I can and just hope for the best again.”
Mendivil went 50-1 on the year and outscored his opponents 372-17. His only loss was to Tel Kelly, who took second in the Colorado state championships, losing 7-6 in the middle of the state's five classes.
Mendivil also helped the Hawks to a second-place finish at the season finale for the second-straight year. Next year, they'll be joined in Division II by rival Cibola, which is moving from Division I.
Even if there is more competition next year, King said he likes Mendivil's chance of being on top again.
“He's also tough for a little guy. Pound for pound, he's one of the strongest kids on our team. That really translated well into his success this season. It was noticeable that he took control of every match he wrestled.”