Morenci boys head to section meet in Thatcher on Saturday

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Cody Torres takes down Florence senior Mikey Mosley and pinned him in the first period. The Morenci senior had three pins while winning four bouts at Safford.

By Raymundo Frasquillo

THATCHER – The Casey Woodall-coached Morenci wrestlers head to Thatcher for the Division IV – Section IV meet on Saturday, Feb. 12. The competition began at 10 a.m. It is to qualify for the state meet the following week. The Division III – Section IV meet is in Safford on the same date.

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Casey Woodall applauds the efforts of the Wildcats during a round-robin duals meet at Safford on Feb. 2. The Morenci head coach, a two-time collegiate All-American, and three-time Academic All-American guided the Wildcats to a 20-1 duals record this season.

It has never been the goal of the Wildcats to dominate opponents during the regular season. The meets attended are solely to prepare for the post-season, learning, improving, and getting better for that purpose.

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Shawn Hudman raises his hand to indicate winning his match. The Morenci senior won all four of his bouts in Safford, three by pin.

The Wildcats have been served and dined from a full plate, finishing first in the 17-team Scottsdale Horizon Invitational Dec. 11 and in the 28-team Phoenix Moon Valley Invitational Dec. 17-18, second in the 25-team Prescott Valley-held 2-day Mile High Challenge Dec. 31-Jan. 1, and third in the two-day Winslow-held Doc Wright Invitational Jan. 14-15.

Additionally, Morenci (20-1) succumbed once in 21 duals. The Wildcats topped Elfrida Valley Union 84-0, Tombstone 84-0, and Benson 71-12 in Morenci; Saint David 36-6, Eloy Santa Cruz 60-24, San Manuel 72-11, and Tucson Santa Rita 84-0 in San Manuel; Heber Mogollon 40-29, Pima 55-6, Thatcher 45-36, and Willcox 69-12 in Thatcher on Jan. 5; Globe 67-6 in Morenci on Jan. 12, Saint Johns 48-31 in Morenci on Jan. 20, Phoenix Maryvale, Santa Cruz 68-12, and Maricopa 68-6 in Maricopa on Jan. 26, and Safford 51-19, Florence 78-0, Tucson Empire 40-15, and Tucson Amphitheater 69-12 in Safford on Feb. 2. The lone loss was 27-46 to Yuma Catholic in Maricopa.

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Jericho Sanchez tries to get an advantage over Florence freshman Mishon Deal at Safford Feb. 2. The Morenci senior posted four pins in four bouts during the meet.

“The boys work hard, I’m just a cheerleader,” Woodall said. He was quick to point out he couldn’t have prepared the Wildcats as they have been, without the help of his assistant coaches, Tim Williams, Travis Torres, Zach Buccellato, Frankie Gonzalez, Anthony Gomez, R.K. Rockhill, and Gilbert Padilla at the high school level along with Mark Martinez, Josh Salas, and Nick Sanders at the middle school. “They are indispensable in the success of our program and work very hard behind the scenes to help our kids,” Woodall added.