By Raymundo Frasquillo
Sixteen student-athletes earned the privilege of representing their school in the season opening wrestling meet Nov. 30. They did not disappoint the Wildcat Memorial Gymnasium crowd.
Morenci outscored its four opponents by a combined 284-18 in duals, topping the Tombstone Yellow Jackets 76-0, the San Manuel Miners 70-12, the San Carlos Braves 72-0 and the Benson Bobcats 66-6.
The Wildcats posted a combined 21-2 record in head-to-head bouts, winning 15 by fall (pin), three by technical fall (15 or more points), two by major decision (8 or more points) and one by decision (1-7 points). The losses were both by fall. Morenci also received 29 forfeit wins and yielded one by not having a full team, and there were three double forfeits which gave points to neither team. Ten Wildcats each went 4-0, one 3-0, three 1-0, one 3-1 and one 1-1.
“I was pleased with the effort and intensity, (but) there’s room for improvement,” Morenci fourth-year head coach Casey Woodall said.
Individually, seniors Kyle Sarret (152 lbs.), Christian White (195) and Jordan Arbizo (285); juniors Derek Waltrip (113), Cory Cota (120), Nico Carrasco (138) and Jacob Vierra (182), along with sophomores Mark Roybal (132), Ruben Casillas (126) and Issac Pacheco (160) each went 4-0; freshman Calvin Dunning (106) 3-0; sophomores Collin Batchelder (170), Nessa Martinez (170) and Zach Waltrip (106) each went 1-0; junior Gabriel Cabrera (145) went 3-1 and freshman Steven Roybal (170) 1-1.
Sarret had a pin, a 16-6 major decision plus two forfeit wins; White had two pins, a 20-5 technical fall plus a forfeit; Arbizo had a pin plus three forfeits; Derek Waltrip had two pins plus two forfeits; Cota had two pins plus two forfeits; Carrasco had a pin, a 23-8 technical fall plus two forfeits; Vierra had a pin plus three forfeits; Mark Roybal had a pin, an 18-8 major decision plus two forfeits; Casillas had a 22-7 technical fall plus three forfeits and Pacheco had a 2-0 overtime decision following an 8-8 regulation tie plus three forfeits.
Dunning got a pin plus two forfeits; Batchelder and Martinez each a forfeit; Zach Waltrip a pin; Cabrera a pair of pins, a forfeit plus was pinned and Steven Roybal a forfeit plus was pinned.
The Benson Bobcats, the Thatcher Eagles and the Globe Tigers each posted 3-1 records; the San Manuel Miners, the Tombstone Yellow Jackets and the Miami Vandals were each 1-3, and the San Carlos Braves went 0-4.
The Bobcats prevailed 30-23 over the Tigers, 36-17 over the Vandals, plus 42-36 over the Eagles and lost to Morenci; the Eagles beat the Braves 66-12, the Miners 54-24, plus the Yellow Jackets 60-18 and lost to the Bobcats; and the Tigers defeated the Yellow Jackets 42-24, the Braves 42-12, plus the Miners 48-24 and fell to the Bobcats.
Lone wins were posted by the Miners (30-21 over the Vandals), the Yellow Jackets (36-18 over the Vandals) and the Vandals (24-12 over the Braves).
Did Morenci’s wrestling program rebuild or reload for this season? It may be too early for the question to be answered. The Wildcats next home meet is a dual with Safford on Dec. 29.