State Wrestling: Sunnyside has shot at 15th straight title

2012-02-11T00:00:00Z State Wrestling: Sunnyside has shot at 15th straight titleDaniel Gaona Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
February 11, 2012 12:00 am  • 

PRESCOTT VALLEY - Whether Sunnyside will win its 15th straight state title may have been the biggest question after the first day of the Division I state wrestling meet Friday.

But the answer won't be available until tonight.

The Blue Devils are in second place with 57 points. Chandler is in first with 62.

Today's championship round begins at 4:30 p.m.

The Blue Devils have five wrestlers remaining in the championship bracket and three in the consolation bracket.

Leading the way is top-seeded Cedric Gonzalez (220 pounds), Sunnyside's lone defending state champion. He advanced with a pin in 3 minutes, 58 seconds at Tim's Toyota Center.

"He's one of the best competitors I've met," Sunnyside coach Anthony Leon said. "I'm confident he can step on the mat and compete with anyone and win another state championship."

Heavyweight Timothy Laverty, also a No. 1 seed, advanced with a pin. Sunnyside teammate William Olivas advanced in the 120-pound bracket with a 2-0 decision.

"He's been banged up and he came to wrestle," Leon said about Olivas. "I applaud him because he's tough. He's got a shoulder injury, neck injury, you name it."

Raul Moraga moved on in the 132-pound bracket with a 4-0 decision and likely has the toughest match against No. 1 seed Robbie Mathers of Phoenix Desert Vista.

Leon said he was hoping for all eight to be alive for state titles.

"I'd feel a lot better if we still had eight guys up top, but I'm confident my three guys down below are going to compete hard," Leon said Friday. "This tournament is going to be won or lost tomorrow."

Division II

Ironwood Ridge, the defending Division II state champion, has five wrestlers in the semifinals of the championship bracket but is in second place with 77 1/2 points heading into the final day. Yuma Gila Ridge is in first with 84 points.

Nighthawks coach Tim Berrier was disappointed with the team's performance in the first day.

"It looks like I didn't have these guys mentally prepared for this," Berrier said.

Defending state champ Tate Sandifer advanced in the 132-pound bracket, but fellow defending state champ Connor Buette (120) lost 6-1 in the quarterfinals.

Trevor Willson (126), Troy Taylor (145), Matt Filbert (152) and Tyson Otuafi (220) also stayed alive in the championship bracket.

"I was able to work the moves I needed to and get the pin in both my matches," Otuafi said. "As a team, we're prepared, and individually, I feel like I'm as ready as I can be."

Mountain View's has three contending for titles with Ty Waltz (126), Tanner Waltz (138) and Richie Alvarez (195). Ty Waltz will face Willson today.

Marana advanced two to the semis with Alex Steinbach (138) and Scott Freibaum (170). Steinbach will face Tanner Waltz.

Pueblo's Alvaro Gallego stayed perfect at 48-0 and clinched a semifinal berth as the No. 1 seed of the 106-pound bracket.

Cienega's T.J. Gudeman (160) is the lone Bobcat remaining in the championship bracket.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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