Morenci High’s men’s wrestling team have returned to the top, a year after finishing second in state last year.
The Southeast Arizona team wrapped up the two-day IAA Division IV Men’s State Wrestling Tournament this week by winning their third State Championship since 2016 at Poston Butte High School in San Tan Valley Wednesday.
Morenci’s victory marks his eighth state wrestling title in school history. The team hasn’t finished below third place since 2011.
“Every time a team wins a state title it’s memorable,” Morenci head coach Casey Woodall said in an email to The Arizona Republic. “So much has to be beyond our control besides all the hard work and control of the things you can.”
None of the 33 other teams that scored in the standings came close to the Wildcats’ 301 team points, winning by a differential of 117 points over runner-up Yuma Catholic.
Morenci hit the 301 mark boasting of winning five individual state titles in the 106, 120, 126, 152 and 220 weight classes. These individual champions have combined doubles records of 72 wins and five losses during of the season.
The Wildcats also took third place in the 113, 138, 145 and 285 classes, and two other wrestlers who placed fourth and sixth, respectively, in the 160 and 170 classes.
“This year has been special for a number of reasons. I think the persistence our kids showed in continuing to work and train when it didn’t look good for wrestling to have even a season was amazing, ”said Woodall. “Going five for five in the championship final is pretty rare. However, scoring 301 points in a tournament in brackets is something really special, because it’s pretty much team, and that’s important. “
Morenci jumped for the highest team score mid-afternoon. It was a question of who would come in second as finalist Yuma Catholic (184) and St. Johns (178) tied for third for a point at 178.
Jayden Dobson (11-0), Yuma’s undefeated Catholic senior heavyweight, pushed the Shamrocks over St. Johns when he won the 285, the final game of the event.
Thatcher was in third place (137.5) and Heber Mogollon completed the final fourth place on the podium (132.5). Last season’s tag team champion Santa Cruz Valley came in sixth place (130).
Here is the list of the first and second place winners of the 14 league matches, sorted by weight category:
106: Breck Williams, Morenci, Fr., (15-1); Mikey Doerr, Yuma Catholic, Jr., (9-2)
113: Gabriel Gonzales, Globe, So. (9-0); Diego Pena, Miami, Jr., (10-2)
120: Soloman Lucero, Morenci, So., (15-1); Lucas Eviston, Catholic Chandler Seton, Jr. (12-1)
126: Marcus Morales, Morenci, Sr., (16-0); Jacob Navarro, Yuma Catholic, Sr. (9-3)
130: Cael Porter, Mogollon, Jr., (18-0); Wesley Scarbrough, St. Johns, Jr., (15-2)
138: Wyatt Ogle, Santa Cruz Valley, Jr., (12-0) Seth Durbin, Globe, Sr., (8-2)
145: Malaki Porter, Mogollon, Jr., (17-1); Tanner Wisely, Phoenix Northwest Christian, Sr. (15-2)
160: Ote Allsup, Willcox, sire (17-0); Jesse Green, Thatcher, Jr. (13-6)
170: James Thomas, St. Johns, Jr. (18-0); Hunter Ogle, Santa Cruz Valley, Sr. (9-2)
182: Fisher Porter, Mogollon, Jr. (18-0); Brayden Oliver, Thatcher, Sr., (13-2)
195: Diego Chavez, Santa Cruz Valley, Jr., (12-0); Gage Thomas, Winslow, Jr., (14-1)
220: Trez Rodriguez, Morenci, So. (11-1); Abraham Silva, Parker, Jr. (10-2)
285: Jayden Dobson, Catholic Yuma, Sr. (11-0); Skylar Guerrero, Miami, Sr. (8-1)
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