State: Badgers qualify 5 grapplers for D-III meet at PVEC

Prescott’s John Dwyer won by pin Jan. 3 in the semifinal round of the Mile High Challenge at the Prescott Valley Event Center. (Les Stukenberg/The Daily Courier, File)

Prescott’s John Dwyer won by pin Jan. 3 in the semifinal round of the Mile High Challenge at the Prescott Valley Event Center. (Les Stukenberg/The Daily Courier, File)

PRESCOTT VALLEY — Prescott’s wrestling team sends five of its grapplers, the most of any varsity squad in the quad-cities, into this week’s Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) State Championships at Prescott Valley Event Center.

The Badgers compete in the Division III tournament. The first session is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 9. This tourney continues with the second session at 6 p.m. Thursday. On Friday, Feb. 10, the second session resumes at 10 a.m., followed by the medal rounds at 7 p.m.

Chino Valley will also be in the 3A tourney. Mayer contends in the 4A tournament at the same times as the 3A meet.

Bradshaw Mountain faces off in the Division II tournament, which begins with the first session at 11:30 a.m. Friday. The second session is 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 11, followed by the medal rounds at 4 p.m. Although no local teams are involved, the D-I tourney is slated for the same times as D-II.

Admission costs $15 per adult, $10 per senior citizen or military member, and $5 per student with a school ID. These are all-day passes. Children ages 5 and younger get in free.

The following is a breakdown for Prescott, Bradshaw Mountain, Chino Valley and Mayer’s entrants into the state meets.

PRESCOTT

The Badgers placed fourth out of 12 teams at the D-III, Section IV championships this past

Saturday, Feb. 4, at Payson High School.

Prescott’s John Dwyer at 195 pounds, who won a section title; 120-pounder Darian Bowyer (section runner-up); heavyweight Gavin Nelson (third place); 126-pounder Miles Baxter (fourth) and 132-pounder Andrew Salberg (fourth) each qualified for state.

“I am impressed with the team of five going to state,” first-year Prescott coach Max Payne said. “We’ll have a good battle at state.”

In the first round at state Thursday, the second-seeded Dwyer (25-2 overall record) faces Pueblo Magnet’s Omar Ibanez (22-9); Bowyer (32-5) takes on Walden Grove’s Carlos Ramos (34-15).

Nelson (34-8) battles Buckeye Union’s Patrick Quiver (33-2); Baxter (23-15) locks horns with fourth-seeded Canyon del Oro’s Chad Gallego (32-13); and Salberg (28-13) meets top-seeded Lee Williams’ Nic Verville (55-1).

BRADSHAW MOUNTAIN

This past Saturday, D-II Bradshaw Mountain finished fifth out of 13 teams in the Section II championships at Ironwood High School in Glendale.

The Bears are sending four wrestlers to state, which coach Brad Grauberger said is “undoubtedly the best finish in recent history” for Bradshaw.

Those grapplers include 182-pound section champion and state No. 1 seed Olijah Sally; 220-pound section titlist and state No. 1 seed Jacob Kidd; 170-pound section champ and state No. 3 seed Daniel Medevielle and 106-pound third-place sectional finisher David Medevielle.

In the first round at state on Friday, Sally (49-4 overall record) faces Nogales’ Joshua Sanchez (5-11); Kidd (54-2) battles Campo Verde’s Nick Yeager (29-20); Daniel Medevielle (42-10) locks horns with Sierra Linda’s Regginald High (21-18) and David Medevielle (42-13) takes on Paradise Valley’s Nic Grace (33-17).

CHINO VALLEY

A year after finishing as the Division III state team runner-up, Chino Valley has only two of its wrestlers in this week’s state meet.

At the D-III, Section IV championships this past Saturday, the Cougars placed sixth as a squad. Keller Rock at 138 pounds won a section title and Austin Ehlert at 126 pounds claimed second place to advance.

Four other Cougars came within one match of placing for state, including 120-pounder Cody Jasper, 132-pounder J.C. Mortensen, 145-pounder Kyle Lund and 182-pounder Tyler Plumb.

In the first round on Thursday, the second-seeded Rock (42-4) faces Walden Grove’s Conrado Medina (23-15). Ehlert (35-12) will take on Pueblo Magnet’s Brian Lujan (28-5).

MAYER

Mayer’s wrestling team suits up 195-pounder Marcos Leal and heavyweight Austin Fischer for the D-IV state tournament fray.

Leal (14-8 overall record), a third-place finisher in the D-IV, Section I tournament this past Saturday at Greenway High School in Phoenix, faces St. Johns’ Diego Hernandez (37-19) in the first round on Thursday.

Fischer (13-12), who placed fourth at sectionals, has the unenviable task of battling Section IV champ and state No. 1 seed Ahli Foster (9-2) of Winslow in his opener.

Follow Doug Cook on Twitter @dougout_dc. Reach him at 928-445-3333 ext. 2039.