Wildcats edge Bulldogs in Safford dual, head to Benson Invitational

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Safford 145-pound sophomore Karson Zimmerman posted an early third-period pin over Morenci sophomore Brendon Enriquez. The Bulldogs forfeited four matches in dropping the dual 52-27 to the visiting Wildcats.

By Raymundo Frasquillo

SAFFORD – Morenci walked out of the Norma Bellamy Gymnasium with a 52-27 dual win over Safford to begin its January schedule on Thursday. The Wildcats fielded a full team or an entrant in each of the 14 weight classes while the host Bulldogs forfeited four classes.

The Casey Woodall-coached Wildcats edged Safford 28-27 in head-to-head bouts, posting 28 points on four pins and a major decision (8-14 points). The Bulldogs had four pins and a decision (seven or fewer points) to its credit. Morenci received 24 points on four forfeits.

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: A 4-point major decision was the difference in head-to-head bouts between Morenci and Safford on Jan. 2. Morenci sophomore Shawn Hudman tallied 11 points more, 16-5, than Safford freshman Braxon Young in the 138-pound weight class.

Morenci freshman Jordan Fernandez (106) pinned junior Chris Vertrees in the second period; senior Calvin Dunning (126) pinned sophomore Ray Granados in the first period; sophomore Cody Torres (152) pinned senior Shane Patton in the second period, and junior Jarret Saiz (160) pinned sophomore Andrew Bermudez in the first period. Sophomore Shawn Hudman (138) had a 16-5 major decision over freshman Braxon Young.

Freshman Jaeden Seballos (113), junior Conrad Aguallo (120), senior Carlos Bray (132), and senior Omar Ortega (285) were awarded forfeit wins.

Safford’s pins were by sophomore Karson Zimmerman (145) over sophomore Brendon Enriquez in the third period; sophomore Fernando Gonzales (170) over freshman Andrew Castillo in the first period; senior Briggs Baldwin (182) over sophomore Richard Trott III in the first period, and senior Robert White (195) over senior Steven Roybal in the first period. Senior Zach Juarez (220) decisioned freshman Arthur Rodriguez III 8-3.

Safford also posted a 60-12 win over the five-member Saint David squad. A double forfeit occurred in the 132- and 285-pound weight classes.

The Bulldogs’ three head-to-head bouts were each won by first period pins; Vertrees over Wyatt Judd, Young over Brayden Merrill, and Zimmerman over Zachary Hocker.

Granados, Patton, Bermudez, Gonzales, Baldwin, White, and Juarez each received forfeit wins.

For Saint David, Jeremiah Toyota (113) and Devin Deskins (120) both received forfeit wins.

Morenci and Safford both have four more meets this month. The Wildcats are in the two-day Benson Invitational on the 3rd – 4th, the Morenci Multi on the 15th, the Winslow-held Doc Wright Invitational on the 17th – 18th, and the Globe Multi on the 22nd.

The Bulldogs host a four-way meet with Benson, Pima, and Thatcher on the 8th, plus are in Tucson for the Catalina Foothills Invitational on the 10th – 11th, the Flowing Wells Invitational on the 17th – 18th, and a three-way with Catalina Foothills and Sabino on the 29th.

State qualifying sectional meets are on Feb. 8.

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