Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Arianna Sarrett scored a takedown, a near fall, and a reverse for a 7-0 advantage against Saint David freshman Jeffrey Savage. The Morenci sophomore went on to win the bout by a pin. Morenci went on to post a 66-6 win over Saint David Feb. 27. The Wildcats also downed Saint Johns 50-28 on Feb. 23 and Santa Cruz 57-28 on Feb. 24, ending the regular season with a 13-0 record.
By Raymundo Frasquillo
MORENCI – The Casey Woodall-coached Morenci wrestlers downed three teams during the final week of the regular season, the Redskins 50-28 in Saint Johns (Feb. 23), and both the Santa Cruz Dust Devils 57-21 (Feb. 24) and the Saint David Tigers 66-6 (Feb. 27) in Morenci. The wins gave the Wildcats a 13-0 duals record.
There are no Division IV sectional tourneys and the state meet is slated for March 16-17 at San Tan Valley Poston Butte, 32375 North Gantzel Road.
In non-global health crisis seasons, wrestlers would have participated in several tourneys, notched over 40 individual bouts, and competed in the state-qualifying sectional meet.
Division IV member teams will not have sectionals, but each team can enter 14 participants or one in each weight class at the mid-March state meet. Padilla’s Pit, the team practice facility, will have intense wrestle-offs between Wildcats hoping to represent the school at the state meet.
It is the second time in Woodall’s eight seasons the sectional meet is not being held. The meet was postponed and cancelled due to health concerns regarding skin disease during his initial season in 2014. The Wildcats earned nine section titles in 10 years, the sixth consecutive team award under Woodall in 2020.
Morenci has finished in the Division IV Top 10 during each of the previous 10 state meets. The Wildcats ended fifth in 2014, third (2012-13, 2019), second (2011, 2015, 2018, 2020), and twice champions (2016-17).
Six of the 2020 Top 10 finishers were on Morenci’s schedule this season, No. 1 Eloy Santa Cruz with 199.5 points or 48 more than runner-up Morenci, No. 3 Saint Johns (111), No. 4 Heber Mogollon (93), No. 5 Globe (91.5), No. 6 Yuma Catholic (83), and No. 10 Benson (64.5).
The 2021 Wildcats outscored their opponents by an average score per dual of 55-16 (714-211) or by a 39-point margin. Morenci prevailed in 71 percent (80-113) head-to-head bouts, winning with the same percentage (57-80) by pin. A total of 51 forfeits were awarded to the Wildcats while yielding three.
Morenci also triumphed 81-0 over the Cowboys in Camp Verde (Jan. 20), 47-30 over the Phoenix Arizona Lutheran Coyotes in Morenci (Jan. 23), 28-0 over the Bobcats in Benson (Jan. 27), 63-18 over the Mogollon Mustangs in Heber (Jan. 30), 45-19 over the Willcox Cowboys in Morenci (Feb. 3), 70-6 over the Roughriders in Pima (Feb. 10), 47-24 over the Safford Bulldogs in Morenci (Feb. 11), 55-19 over the Globe Tigers in Morenci (Feb. 13), 62-18 over the Thatcher Eagles (Feb. 17), and 43-22 over the Yuma Catholic Shamrocks in Morenci (Feb. 20).
Individually, six freshmen, Breck Williams (106, 11-1, 2 pins), Noah Torres (113, 9-1, 4 pins), Michael Casillas (132/138, 9-4, 6 pins), John Provencio (145, 10-1, 2 pins), Austyn Nelson (195, 6-4, 1 pin), and Albert Cobas (220, 2-1); five sophomores, Arianna Sarrett (113, 2-0, 1 pin), Solomon Lucero (120, 11-1, 6 pins), Jordan Anaya (126, 0-1), Andrew Castillo (182/195, 3-3, 1 pin), and Arturo Rodriguez III (220, 7-1, 4 pins); five juniors, Martin Smith (126/132/138, 5-0, 4 pins), Cody Torres (152, 10-2, 6 pins), Shawn Hudman (160, 11-1, 5 pins), Kaden Summer (170, 3-5, 2 pins), and Jericho Sanchez (285, 12-1, 4 pins); and five seniors, Marcus Morales (126/132, 10-1, 5 pins), Conrad Aguallo (138, 4-3, 2 pins), Conner Williams (145, 0-1), PaulDaniel Moreno (152/170, 1-1, 1 pin), and Jarret Saiz (170/182, 5-3) or 21 different entrants competed in at least one varsity bout during the regular season.
Wildcats – 66, Tigers – 6
Four juniors and a freshman from Saint David faced Morenci’s 13-member roster.
The Wildcats posted wins in four of five head-to-head bouts, two by a first period pin and two by decisions. The loss was by a first period pin. Additionally, the Wildcats received eight forfeit wins and there was a double forfeit in one weight class.
Sarrett (113) pinned Saint David freshman Jeffrey Savage and Moreno (152) pinned Saint David junior Talon Haynie, both in the first period; Hudman (160) decisioned Saint David junior Brayden Merrill 7-2, and Aguallo(138) decisioned Saint David junior Jeremiah Toyota 4-2.
Williams (106), Lucero (120), Morales (126), Casillas (132), Summer (170), Saiz (182), Nelson (195), and Sanchez (285) each won by forfeit.
There was a double forfeit at 220, no entrant for either team.
For Saint David, junior Devvin Deskins (145) pinned senior Conner Williams in the first period;
Wildcats – 57, Dust Devils – 21
The visitors had a team of two seniors and five juniors. Morenci had a full roster of two seniors, four juniors, two sophomores, and six freshmen.
The Wildcats posted wins in three of seven head-to-head bouts with two by a third period pin and one by decision. The four losses were by a first period pin twice, a second period, and by a decision. Additionally, the Wildcats received seven forfeit wins.
Lucero (120) pinned Santa Cruz senior Joaquin Jimenez and Morales (126) pinned Santa Cruz junior JuanFlores, both in the third period; and Saiz (182) decisioned Santa Cruz senior Mauricio Lopez 6-5.
Breck Williams (106), Noah Torres (113), Casillas (132), Provencio (145), Cody Torres (152), Hudman(160), and Sanchez (285) each won by forfeit.
For Santa Cruz, junior Hunter Ogle (170) pinned Summer and junior Davin Ethington (220) pinned Cobas, both in the first period; junior Diego Chavez (195) pinned Nelson in the second period; and junior Wyatt Ogle (138) decisioned Aguallo 3-0.
Wildcats – 50, Redskins – 28
The Wildcats prevailed in seven of 12 head-to-head bouts, with three first period pins, a second period pin, a third period pin, a technical fall, and a decision. The losses were two by first period pin, two by second period pin, and one by a major decision.
Lucero (120) pinned Saint Johns freshman Parker Jackson, Aguallo pinned Saint Johns senior Peter Casey, and Cody Torres (152) pinned Saint Johns senior Ren Crosby in the first period; Hudman (160) pinned Saint Johns senior Jace Chlarson in the second period; Sanchez (285) pinned Saint Johns senior Nicholas Patterson in the third period; Morales (126) defeated Saint Johns senior Dion Perry by 19-4 technical fall; Provencio (145) decisioned Saint Johns sophomore J.T. Richardson 9-3.
Breck Williams (106) and Sarrett (113) both won by forfeit;
For Saint Johns, sophomore Ryan Lewis (182) pinned Saiz and senior Slade Nevins (195) pinned Nelson in the first period; junior Wesley Scarborough (132) pinned Casillas and sophomore Kyson Price (220) pinned Rodriguez in the second period; and senior James Thomas (170) defeated Summer by 15-7 major decision.