Raiders flex their muscle
Anyone unaware of the talent on Cibola.s wrestling team was put on notice Saturday night in the Yuma Union High School District championship at Raider Gym.
"These kids are working hard," said Cibola coach Jose Moreno. "We.ve only lost two dual meets this year, so our chances are looking good."
The Raiders dominated everyone at the YUHSD duals, giving up only 16 total team points to Yuma High, Kofa and San Luis.
"This is pretty good," said Cibola 145-pounder Efrain Escudero of their second straight district title. "The team went out there and did what they had to do to win it."
Yuma finished second in the meet, followed by Kofa and San Luis, which only brought four varsity wrestlers.
San Luis. top grappler, Jesus Wong (140 pounds), was also held out with a finger injury.
"We.re not worried about dual meet scores, because we don.t have a ton of kids in the (wrestling) room," said Sidewinders assistant Corey Anderson, who was filling in for absent head coach Morey Miller. "What we want to see is the kids go out there, work hard, and not give up on themselves."
The Kings only brought two varsity wrestlers to the meet because of a miscommunication with the start time of the district championship.
The rest of Kofa.s weight classes were filled by junior varsity wrestlers.
"We were informed Wednesday that it was a (5 p.m.) meet," said Kofa coach Marty Dillon. "I had told my kids last week who asked me what time they should schedule work...I told them late afternoon, because last year we were done at 3 or 4 p.m.
"I stood by my kids, and let my kids keep the commitments that they made."
The featured match of the night was between Yuma.s Francisco Macias and Escudero, who moved up a weight class to face Macias at 145.
Both wrestlers were state qualifiers last season, but Escudero (18-0) dominated the match between two of Yuma.s most highly-touted wrestlers.
"He.s a tough kid," said Macias of Escudero, after losing by technical fall, 23-6, in the third period. "I wrestle the way I wrestle, and I don.t think he.s that much better than me. I.m just going to keep on doing what I.m doing."
The Raiders had an individual champ at every weight class with the exception of 103 pounds, 152 and 171.
Kofa freshman Anthony Bermudez won at 103, and Yuma senior Nick Johnson took home his first district title at 152 pounds.
There was no winner at 171.
"I.ve always had tough matches here," Johnson said. "This is great to finally be able to call myself a (district) champ."
Cibola has a bevy of talent this season with nine seniors in the lineup and three wrestlers - Clint Castaneda (125), Escudero (140) and Jose Madrueno (160) - ranked No. 1 in their weight classes.
"You couldn.t ask for better examples or role models in the wrestling room," Moreno said. "They.re tacking down what they need to know, and hopefully it sticks to the younger guys."