Wildcats open season with victory on their home mat

Photo By Raymundo Frasquillo: Morenci senior Cody Cota scores another near fall to end the match with a 17-1 technical fall over a Benson opponent. The 2017 state champion notched a first period pin in his initial bout of the season and was awarded a pair of forfeit wins in the Morenci Multi meet Nov. 29.

By Raymundo Frasquillo

MORENCI – Eighteen Morenci wrestlers weighed in to open the 2018 season in Wildcat Memorial Gymnasium Nov. 29. The 8-team multi-meet also included the Benson Bobcats, the Globe Tigers, the Miami Vandals, the San Carlos Braves, the San Manuel Miners, the Thatcher Eagles, and the Tombstone Yellow Jackets.

“I tried to get at least one match for everyone that weighed in,” fifth-year Morenci head coach Casey Woodall said. “We forfeited 160 (weight class), but he’s not ready yet.”

Photo By Raymundo Frasquillo: Wildcats senior Gabriel Cabrera holds the left leg and right wrist of a Benson opponent, and pushes with his hips to turn him over. Cabrera scored a 10-3 decision along with a second period pin, a 19-2 technical fall, and a forfeit win.

The Wildcats (4-0) outscored four opponents by an average of 66-10 (263-39 points per duel, 78-6 over Tombstone, 59-12 over San Manuel, 48-21 over Benson, and 78-0 over San Carlos.

Duels were won by Benson (3-1), 54-24 over Thatcher, 66-18 over Globe, and 69-12 over Miami; Miami (3-1), 47-30 over San Manuel, 48-15 over San Carlos, and 54-18 over Tombstone; Thatcher (2-2), 36-23 over Tombstone and 36-18 over San Carlos; San Manuel (2-2), 42-36 over Globe and 40-24 over Thatcher; and Globe (2-2), 36-24 over San Carlos and 48-6 over Tombstone.

The Wildcats posted a collective 25-4 (17 pins) overall record in head-to-head bouts, with eight first period pins, five second period pins, one third period pin, three technical falls (15 or more points), three major decisions (8 or more points), five decisions, and gained 23 forfeit wins. The losses were two by first-period pins, two by decisions, and four by forfeits in the 160-pound weight class.

Individually, seniors went 16-0 (6 pins), juniors 10-1 (4 pins), sophomores 12-0 (4 pins), and freshmen 10-3 (3 pins). Eight Wildcats ended 4-0, four 2-0, two 1-0, and one went 3-1, 2-1, 1-1 and 0-1.

Photo By Raymundo Frasquillo: Junior Nessa Martinez used her training and knowledge of the sport to record a first-period pin of a San Manuel opponent.

Seniors Cory Cota (120, 2 pins), Gabriel Cabrera (152, 2 pins), Nicolas Carrasco (138/145, 1 pin), and Jacob Vierra (182, 1 pin); junior Ruben Casillas (132, 1 pin); sophomores Calvin Dunning (113) and Omar Ortega (285, 2 pins); and freshman Marcos Morales (106, 1 pin) each were 4-0.

Junior Mark Roybal (145, 1 pin), sophomores Brandon Blair (126, 2-0, 1 pin) and Steven Roybal (145, 1 pin), and freshman Conrad Aguallo (126, 2 pins) were 2-0 apiece; juniors Nessa Martinez (170, 1 pin) and Michael Wirkus (220, 1 pin) both 1-0; freshman Joseph Hernandez (195) 3-1, junior Nathan Wiley (220) 2-1, freshman Francisco Araiza (138/145) 1-1, and freshman Mark Martinez (170) 0-1.

A Morenci split squad is in Pima for the Gila Valley Invitational and in Mesa for the Red Mountain Invitational, Dec. 1-2. Next week, the Wildcats will be in Pima for a multi-meet on Wednesday, Dec. 6, and at the 2-day Show Low Invitational on Friday-Saturday, Dec. 8-9.