Originally Published: December 5, 2018 10:13 p.m.
CHINO VALLEY — In a dominating performance, Chino Valley’s wrestling squad rolled past Bradshaw Mountain and Flagstaff in a three-team Division III, Section IV dual meet Wednesday, Dec. 5, at the Cougars’ main gym.
With their 69-12 and 71-12 wins over the Eagles and the Bears, respectively, the Cougars remained undefeated in dual meets this season at 13-0.
In the process, three Chino Valley grapplers stayed unbeaten on the 2018-19 season with 15-0 records, including 113-pounder Colby Evens, 126-pounder Wade Payne and 170-pounder Keller Rock.
The Cougars are among the top two or three teams in their section and they have the capability to place in the Top 5 at state in February at Prescott Valley Event Center.
“We’re headed in a really good direction right now,” Rock said of the Cougars. “We started off a little slow [Wednesday]. But we went to Wickenburg last week and we looked really solid. Once we get a few more things down in the practice room, we’ll keep rolling.”
While the Cougars went 2-0 on Wednesday, Bradshaw Mountain finished 1-1 and Flagstaff was 0-2. The Bears defeated Flagstaff, 59-24.
“This is a phenomenal team – I’ve never seen a team like this before at Chino Valley, except for my freshman year,” Payne said. “We’re going to take sectionals, and we might even take state with this team.”
Added Chino Valley coach Kevin Giese, “At this point, we’re where we need to be. We’ve got a lot of tough wrestlers. There’s still a lot of things we need to improve on – some balance issues, some hunting for halves, just a lot of basic stuff.”
Versus Bradshaw Mountain, Chino Valley’s Rock, 195-pounder Caesar Ocampo, 220-pounder Samson Estala, 106-pounder Hunter Lane, Colby Evens, Payne, 132-pounder Lane Evens, 145-pounder Matthew Davis and 152-pounder Kyle Lund all pinned their opponents. Heavyweight Jimmy McCormick won by decision.
“Usually we start out really slow, and when something bad happens we’re usually mad at ourselves,” Colby Evens said of the Cougars’ team. “We get that anger out of us, and we show it really well.”
Only two Bears won their matches versus Chino Valley, including 138-pounder David Medevielle and 160-pounder Enrique Arcenas, both by pin. Bradshaw Mountain forfeited at 113 pounds and 170 pounds. Sam Denman, at 138, is nursing a dislocated elbow and should return in a couple weeks.
Bears coach Brad Grauberger said he hopes four or five of his wrestlers can qualify for the D-III state meet. Medevielle, Arcenas, 120-pounder Blake Huenemeyer, Denman and 132-pounder Titus King are ones to watch.
“Enrique’s going to be a good one,” Grauberger said. “He’s one of our wins leaders – he’s got 13 on the year. We battled [against Chino Valley], and we’re close. We’re still young, but we have a stronger room [this season]. Every week we get better. I’m happy.”
Bradshaw Mountain heads to the Chandler Prep Titan Wrestling Invitational at 10 a.m. Friday, Dec. 7, at Coronado High School in Scottsdale.
Chino Valley will compete in a four-team dual meet against Mohave, River Valley and Kingman at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12, at Kingman High School.
Doug Cook is a reporter for The Daily Courier. Follow him on Twitter at @dougout_dc. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 928-445-3333, ext. 2039.