Gila Ridge, Cibola dominate sectionals
Cibola and Gila Ridge each dominated their section tournaments on Saturday with eyes toward similar results next week at the state tournament.
Both the Hawks and Raiders won their respective tournaments, with Gila Ridge qualifying 11 wrestlers for state and Cibola 12.
The Raiders finished with 218.5 points, well ahead of Cesar Chavez's 178 in the Division I Section I tournament. They had five champions. But Pierre Gaud, a defending state champion, lost his championship match in a controversial match, said Cibola coach Mike Jankowski.
“There were a couple of questionable calls during that match,” Jankowski said. “I even talked with the head ref after, and if he said I brought up rule application instead of questioning things, things might have gone different. But he knows what he has to do moving forward.”
Alexander Juarez (113), Andres Gandara (120), Mark Cruz (145), Vicente Guerrero (170) and Cisco Reyes (195) won their weight classes. Gaud (160) and Brandon Firestone (285) were second, Josh Olson (106), Luis Nunez (132), Jonathen Arviso (152) and Sergio Contreras (182) took third and Martin Martinez (138) was fourth.
The Hawks ran away with the Division II Section I tournament, finishing more than 100 points ahead of runner up Raymond Kellis in the team standings.
Six of the Hawks' section champ came from the lower weight classes — Nathan Mendivil (106), Austin Gerber (120), Curtis Cox (126), Levi Riley (138), Isaac Saenz (145) and Joseph Varela (152). Kainoa Renaud (220) also won his weight class, while Sam Kuckuk was second at 170. Liam Beaumont was third at 182, and Jordan Sheldahl (160) and Emilio Castro (195) were fourth.
“We came in expecting to have a good weekend,” coach David King said. “We expected seven or eight champions, but overall I'd thought we'd qualify more.”
At the Division IV Section I tournament in Camp Verde, the Shamrocks had two section champs among their state-bound wrestlers.
Both Grady Eldridge (170) and Alex Varela (285) entered the tournament as the No. 4 seeds, but both claimed titles in their weight class. Tommy Hernandez (106) and Andy Determan (152) were second in their weight classes and Zach Lopez (120), Ernesto Sandigo (136), Clay Sierra (145) and Nick Cain (195) were third. With fourth place finishes, Chris Henderson (113), Brandon Moreno (160) and Ryan Walters (187) will round out the YC contingent in Prescott.
“We were hoping to take 12,” coach Derek Beck said. “But we're still going in the right direction.”
The Shamrocks were second in the section behind Camp Verde.
In Division I, San Luis had four qualifiers, including section champ Carlos Uquilo at 220. Jose Garcia (third at 138), Bryan Zuniga (third at 145) and Oliver Navarro (fourth at 195) also qualified for state.
“I think we did alright. It was about what I expected,” coach Rob Jankowski said. “We had guys step it up today.”
In Division II, Yuma High ended up qualifying seven for state, with three wrestlers losing title matches to their Gila Ridge rivals — Kodi Doerr (106), George Arce (152) and Andreus Gomez (220). Leo Salcedo (113), Isaac Reyes (132) and Kade Kottenbrook (138) took third and Carlos Vargas (145) took fourth.
“We had some good surprises at 132 and 152, but there were a couple of setbacks,” coach Jeff Welsing said. “Overall it wasn't a great day because I'd thought we'd qualify more. But we're still sending seven to state, and I guess that's pretty good.”
Kofa had one qualifier at Division I — Josh McDonald, who was fourth at 160.
Antelope had two qualifiers at Division IV — Fred Pearson was third at 160 and Jason St. Clair was second at 132. San Pasqual's Max Moaldonaldo qualified at 135, but coach Angelo Derma said he broke his hand in the final match. His status for state in unknown.