By Raymundo Frasquillo
The most important wrestling meet of the season, the state qualifying meet, concluded with Morenci earning the team title.
The sectional champions were recognized at the conclusion of the Willcox-held Division IV, Section II meet Feb. 4. It was the sixth title in seven years (2014 meet not held) and the first with seven individual Wildcats as section champions.
Morenci outdistanced the runner-up Willcox Cowboys by 121.5 points, 258.5-137. Benson finished third with 127 points, Pima fourth (101.5), Thatcher fifth (68), Bisbee sixth (64), San Manuel seventh (57), Globe eighth (51.5), Tombstone ninth (36), Tucson Santa Rita 10th (32), San Carlos 11th (29.5), Sells Baboquivari 12th (13), Sells Tohono O’odham 13th (8) and Miami 14th (3).
The 2011 sectional meet ended with Morenci amassing 263 points, but only 94 more than runner-up Thatcher (169). The 1999 and 2005 teams both had eight individual champions, but those meets were in regional format.
Fourth-year Morenci head coach Casey Woodall reminded the Wildcats this has not been their season-long goal. The team goal is and has been to qualify for and put forth one’s best effort at the upcoming state meet.
The Wildcats will return to their routines of hard work and going over details, the little things they’ve learned and may have not done correctly in the sectional, to excel in the next meet.
A total of 56 of 105 participants qualified for the state meet, 14 each as first, second, third and fourth placers. Nine entrants were in the 138, 145, 152 and 220 weight classes; eight at 120 and 160; seven at 106, 113, 126, 132 and 182; six at both 170 and 195 and five at 285.
The Wildcats qualified 13 of 14 entrants, also with three second and three third placers.
Morenci’s seven champions were, junior Nicholas Carrasco (138, 4-0, 3 pins); juniors Derek Waltrip (113, 3-0, 3 pins) and Cory Cota (120, 3-0, 1 pin); sophomores Ruben Casillas (126, 3-0, 2 pins) and Mark Roybal (132, 3-0, 2 pins) and seniors Christian White (195, 2-0, 2 pins) and Jordan Arbizo (285, 2-0, 2 pins).
Second placers included senior Frankie Gonzalez (170, 1-1, 1 pin) and freshman Zach Waltrip (106, 0-1), and the third placers were senior Kyle Sarret (152, 3-1, 3 pins), junior Jacob Vierra (182, 3-1, 1 pin), sophomore Nathan Willey (220, 3-1, 2 pins) along with junior Gabriel Cabrera (138, 2-1, 2 pins). Freshman Steven Roybal (160, 1-2, 1 pin) did not qualify.
Carrasco pinned Pima sophomore Collin Grimes in 51 seconds during the first round, gained a forfeit win from Tohono O’odham junior Michael Francisco in the quarterfinals, pinned Bisbee senior Jacob Silva in 50 seconds during the semifinal and posted a 19-4 technical fall over Benson junior Howard Post in the final.
Derek Waltrip pinned Globe freshman Brayden Salazar in 35 seconds during the quarterfinals, pinned Pima sophomore Jeb Schysm in 1:04 during the semifinals and pinned San Carlos sophomore Raymond Sneezy in 27 seconds during the final.
Cota had an 18-3 technical fall over Thatcher senior Tanner Kouts in the quarterfinals, a 10-2 major decision over San Manuel sophomore Julian Rodriguez in the semifinals and an 8-5 decision over Bisbee junior Sergio Montoya in the final.
Casillas pinned Tohono O’odham sophomore Destiny Robles in 16 seconds during the quarterfinals, posted a 16-1 technical fall over Globe sophomore Xavier Martinez in the semifinals and decisioned Willcox sophomore Andrew Kee 7-1 in the final.
Mark Roybal pinned Tombstone freshman Jasmine Jacquay in 1:05 during the quarterfinals, plus had a 21-4 technical fall over Thatcher freshman Brik Skousen in the semifinals and a 4-0 decision over Benson junior Connor Luis in the final.
White drew a quarterfinal round bye, pinned Willcox freshman Caiden Hall in 1:56 during the semifinals and pinned Pima senior Hadley Schmidt in 5:31 during the final.
Arbizo drew a quarterfinal round bye, pinned Tohono O’odham freshman Dylan Luna in 1:55 during the semifinals and pinned Thatcher junior Sam Masten in 31 seconds during the final.
Zach Waltrip drew quarterfinal and semifinal round byes and was decisioned 2-3 by Willcox freshman Kelby Flowers in the final.
Gonzalez drew a quarterfinal round bye, pinned Pima junior Dillon Jones in 1:29 during the semifinals and was decisioned 1-3 by San Manuel senior Franky Renteria in the closing seconds of the final.
Cabrera drew a first round bye, was pinned by Thatcher junior Braden Phelps in 3:50 during the quarterfinals, pinned Santa Rita senior Seth Moreno in 2:47 during the consolation fourth round and pinned Baboquivari junior Chris Segundo in 44 seconds for third place.
Sarret drew a first round bye, pinned Thatcher junior Layton Alder in 1:33 during the quarterfinals, was disqualified against Tombstone senior Anthony Zazueta during the semifinals, pinned Globe junior Robert Mikeworth in 3:20 during the consolation fourth round and pinned Pima freshman Brennon Hughes in 1:50 for third place.
Vierra got a 16-1 technical fall over Miami sophomore Michael Mowrey in the quarterfinals, was decisioned 1-3 by Willcox senior Rafael Villegas during the semifinals, had an 11-1 major decision over San Manuel senior Colbey Stratton during the consolation second round and decisioned Globe junior Riley Cline 4-3 for third place.
Willey drew a first round bye, pinned Pima junior Weng Phung in 1:05 during the quarterfinals, was pinned by Bisbee senior Rigoberto Regalado in 5:30 during the semifinals, pinned Santa Rita senior Rudolpho Duarte in 54 seconds during the consolation fourth round and decisioned San Manuel junior Max Fisher 9-4 for third place.
Steven Roybal was pinned bye a Pima junior in 1:00 during the quarterfinals, pinned Globe junior Marcus Ortega in 4:54 during the consolation first round, and was pinned by Santa Rita senior Andrew Holiday in 59 seconds during the consolation second round.
Benson had three champions; sophomore David Ens (145), senior David Arthur (152), freshman Clayson Goodwin (182); Willcox two; freshman Kelby Flowers (106) and senior Alan Gonzalez (220) and both Pima and San Manuel one apiece; junior Ryne Lewis (160) and senior Franky Renteria (170), respectively.
Willcox had 8-9 qualify, also with three runners-up, two third placers and one fourth placer; Benson and Pima both 6-11 in the top four, Benson with two second plus one third placers and Pima with a second, a third and three fourth placers and Thatcher 2-11 with two seconds and two thirds.
Bisbee qualified 3-11, two seconds and a fourth; San Manuel 4-5, also a third and two fourths; Globe 4-10, a third and three fourths; Tombstone 2-7, a second and third; Santa Rita 2-5, two thirds; San Carlos 2-3, a second and a fourth; Baboquivari 1-2, a fourth; and Tohono O’odham 1-4, a fourth and Miami had none of its three entrants qualify.