Three Yuma wrestlers in finals
Ryan Gill will be going for his second straight state championship today after winning his first three matches at the AIA Division IV State Wrestling Championships.
And he'll be bringing some company as well.
Gill was one of three Yuma County wrestlers to go 3-0 on the tournament's opening round and will be joined by teammate Alex Varela and Antelope's Kurtis Skousen in the finals tonight.
The Shamrocks are sitting in fourth place in the team standings with seven wrestlers still competing. Alex Deyman lost his 182-pound semifinal but is still guaranteed no worse than a sixth-place finish. Casey Alexander (132), Clay Sierra (145), Nico Franco (160) and Ernesto Sandigo (120) all need at least one more win to guarantee a medal.
Antelope's Fred Pearson is also guaranteed a medal at 160.
For No. 1 Gill (15-1), he'll need to beat No. 2 Austin Davis (42-3) of St. Johns to repeat as champion. The state tournament is just the third tournament of the season for Gill, who was told in November he would likely miss the wrestling season due to an injury suffered during football season.
“He had a good day. He was focused and ready to go,” YC coach Derek Beck said of Gill, who won by a forfeit, had a pin and a 9-6 decision on his first day. “Nothing was going to hold him back as far as injuries go. He had his head on straight and did what he was supposed to do. He wrestled a good day.”
Gill's teammate Varela (41-10), the No. 3 seed at 220, will face No. 5 Jake Lee (33-5) of San Tan Foothills. Varela also won by a forfeit and also won a pair of decisions.
“He put in a lot of work to drop from heavyweight to 220,” Beck said. “It's paying off right now. The No. 1 and No. 2 seeds both got pushed into the consolation bracket, and he did what he needed to do. He showed heart and character.”
Results from San Pasqual were not available. Coach Angelo Derma did not return messages left by the Yuma Sun.