PIMA — Blood, sweat, and tears were all left on the mat as 13 teams and several individuals competed for first place.
The Morenci Wildcats were able to come to Pima without its very top wrestlers and still take first place in the Digger O’Dell Gila Valley Invitational.
“We as a team did pretty good and wrestled strong, I think I did good just could work on some more of my finishes but overall pretty good,” said Morenci’s Conard Aguallo.
Aguallo finished in first place in the 132-weight division.
The top five team scores:
1. Morenci 443.0
2. Arizona Luthern HS 406.0
3. Willcox 380.0
4. Pima 313.0
5. Thatcher 298.0
In addition to Aguallo, Morenci’s Jaden Seballos earned a first-place in his weight division.
Jarom Larson was Pima’s only wrestler to place first, in the 126-weight division.
“As a team, we started off a little bit slower, but we’re getting a lot better, but we have high hopes,” said Angelina Berume, of Pima.
Willcox Cowboys had three wrestlers take home the championships and finished strong as a team. Those three were Caiden Hall, Otep Allsup, and Kelby Flowers.
Hall took home the championship after he pinned his opponent for the 195-weight division crown.
“What it’s like to pin someone, it feels like you’re on top of the world and it’s unexplainable. Our team performance I’m very surprised and very happy for my team because we have a lot of young wrestlers and their doing great and putting in the work,” Hall said.
Brik Skousen was the only Thatcher wrestler to take home a championship, in the 182-weight division.
“I feel we did well as a team; we got a lot of young wrestler’s that are still learning and we will just get better from here on out,” Skousen said.
“This tournament has been great, love seeing these young kids working hard and they get everything they get and they work for and it’s just great watching these kids wrestle,” said Digger O’Dell, the namesake for the tournament.
Day 1Morenci had control right from the start, finishing the first day in first place with 76.5 points and sending five wrestlers into the championship round.
Willcox also sent five different wrestlers to Saturday’s semifinals and was in fourth place as a team, 4 points behind second place Arizona Lutheran.
Pima had a good first day Friday, finishing strong with four wrestlers going into the semi-finals and in fourth place as a team.
Thatcher had its ups and downs in the first day of wrestling, going back in forth with Globe for the fifth-place spot. Thatcher was able to clinch the spot after halfway through the Friday’s action.