Ahwatukee Foothills News: Ahwatukee Sports

Ahwatukee Sports

Jason P. Skoda
  • Jason P. Skoda
  • Sports writer
  • Resident sports writer at the Ahwatukee Foothills News
Sunday 01/25/2015
Proposal: Bring a NFL conference style set up to DI football

With the initial divisional placement snafu still fresh one of the things that I keep getting hung on up is the number of teams in Division I football.

It’s nothing new.

It was just 29 the last few years, and the current proposal has 22. It just seems silly to be able claim a state championship when the entire division consists of so few teams.

A ring is a ring in the end, but it is just so watered down it some come with less stones than other division champions.

It’s not the schools fault and believe it or not it isn’t even the Arizona Scholastic Association’s doing. It’s just the way Arizona’s landscape is laid out.

There are just very few areas in the 113,998 square miles of the state where big schools can be found. There isn’t much that can be done about that, but something can be proposed – with a nod toward C-Town Rivals’ Ralph Amsden who mentioned the idea - on how to give the Division I state title more teeth.

And we have to look no further than Glendale this week.

The Super Bowl just might be a super problem solver. Let’s give Division I football a NFL like set up.

Set it at 24 teams.

Divide into two 12-team conferences called Whizzer White and Randall McDaniel Divisions.

Create three four-team divisions in each conference.

The three division winners and a wild card advance to the playoffs. The two conference champions play for the state title.

Clean and simple.

The current system has been has been addressed with the 30 percent rule being put in place compared to last year’s setup of 16 state qualifiers out of 29 teams (55 percent).

So a portion if it is already on the books (8 of 24 is 33 percent) by the AIA.

The four-team divisions would make three mandatory regular season games putting the onus (sorry guys) on the ADs to fill seven freedom games. That’s not going to be easy in anyway shape or form. At some point people have to step and play games that they don’t want to and get the schedule done.

Here is my proposed conference/sectional breakdown, which would assume no team appeals out and forces Division II programs Salpointe Catholic and Sunnyisde to bump up to DI:

Whizzer White Conference

Section I

Cienega

Ironwood Ridge

Salpointe

Sunnyside

Section II

Campo Verde

Chaparral

Desert Vista

Mountain Pointe

Section III

Boulder Creek

Brophy

Desert Mountain

Horizon

Randall McDaniel Conference

Section I

Basha

Chandler

Hamilton

Perry

Section II

Desert Ridge

Mesa Mountain View

Queen Creek

Red Mountain

Section III

Centennial

Liberty

Mountain Ridge

Pinnacle

These are merely suggestions. Hardly set in stone. There are some interchangeable parts here.

And it won’t change the fact that there is a perception only a handful of teams are truly in contention to win the big-school championship (in reality the last two champions were first time winners and three of the last four champs – eliminating Hamilton’s 2012 title - have a combined four titles between them in the history of the programs.)

My original proposal had zero Tucson schools in DI. Reality is a team down south last made a big-school championship game was 1999 (Sabino) and the last championship team was 1979 (Amphitheater). Since the current proposal included Cienega and Ironwood Ridge I went with it.

Overall I think it has some traction to it.

This also doesn’t take other sports into consideration but that’s nothing new. Other sports would have a different set up. This is about trying to bring some substance to the big-school state championship in Arizona.

Let’s face it the talent level in the state in recent years has brought plenty of spotlight. Strides have been made in the level of play and coaching throughout the state.

Some think football is at an all-time high right now in Arizona.

Now let’s bring the same type of thinking and expectations to the state’s premier division.

Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or jskoda@ahwatukee.com. Follow him on Twitter @JasonPSkoda.

Posted in Ahwatukee sports on Sunday, January 25, 2015 1:37 pm. Updated: 7:53 am. | Tags: Aia , Football State Championship , Whizzer White , Randall Mcdaniel

Friday 01/23/2015
Rock bottom is here for AIA, member schools

There has always been a fair amount of discontent with Arizona Interscholastic Association and the member schools it regulates.

It goes hand-in-hand.

The AIA has to make the hard decisions, and any entity that rules over 250 institutions is going to have backlash.

But the angst behind it is at an all-time high after several decisions in recent days.

It used be the dissatisfaction was more like a sulking kid who has been grounded and once alone in his bedroom – out of earshot of the parents - he would bad mouth them.

These days – after the rubber stamp promotion of Chuck Schmidt and the ridiculously off-the-mark divisional placement – the anger, disrespect and bewilderment is no longer just murmured like the kid grumbling in his bedroom.

There is blatant disrespect of the AIA in conversations with coaches and administrators without hesitation, and social media attacks are seemingly coming at 140 words a second.

What it has come down to is the AIA has lost its membership. Anything they do is second-guessed and torn apart. I used to think the rumors of certain schools and/or sports seceding from the AIA were just crazy talk.

Now I think a clean break would be good for all involved.

It would take someone with deep pockets, a lot of free time and a blueprint for success in place with input from all those involved.

Until that person shows up on their unicorn, the two sides have to figure something out.

The AIA made inroads on Thursday by saying in a memo that it will re-evaluate the divisional placement.

As it stands nearly every sport championed by the AIA has some level of dissatisfaction with the organization.

It’s a long list, but here are some of the common themes that coaches and administrators express in general conversations:

* Decisions are made without input by those directly affected or worse yet when input is given they feel like their voices aren’t heard.

* Smaller sports feel nearly every decision is based on what best fits football rather than adapting rules and regulations for each individual sport.

* There is a feeling of hypocrisy with the latest example coming when it was announced Schmidt was going from associate executive director to executive director in 2017 without opening up the process. It seemed hollow considering at the same time the AIA has made a point of requiring that of the three candidates nominated by a conference for executive boards that one be a female and another be a person of color.

* Athletes transfer schools with the ease of changing lanes as they bypass their neighborhood school for the one that best fits their desires.

* The MaxPreps formula for deciding the postseason play isn’t explained fully. There has long been distrust with the numbers because of past mistakes and keeping the formula locked up only deepens speculation that things are not always on the up and up.

Then the divisional placement that came out on Tuesday was received with complete disbelief. Jaws dropped, letters were written and a bigger gap was created between the AIA and the membership schools.

At first the AIA’s response was to say that’s why there is an appeals process.

It wasn’t enough.

Responses like the open letter Fountain Hills boys soccer coach Tony Galietti wrote to the AIA hit the mark.

After pointing out countless errors, issues and inconsistencies, Galietti closed with:

“The real problem with this realignment is that it will create a competitive imbalance that is not conducive to student-athlete participation. I anticipate many programs having difficulty being at all competitive, which will discourage kids from participating and will artificially and needlessly halt the growth of soccer in our state at the high school level. No one likes to be on either side of a 10-0 score line and with this current alignment we will see huge discrepancies in scores much worse than 10-0. If the AIA does not reconsider this 3-year block we will see an entire cohort of student-athletes lose out on a meaningful and fair soccer experience. As a coach, I urge the AIA to put this on hold and get consensus among coaches or AD’s before moving forward.”

The urging and complaining led to the AIA sending out a memo telling the schools that they were going to re-examine data over the weekend.

It was the only move the AIA could make because the initial divisional placement was rock bottom in this forced relationship.

Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or jskoda@ahwatukee.com. Follow him on @JasonPSkoda.

Posted in Ahwatukee sports on Friday, January 23, 2015 10:50 am. Updated: 7:53 am. | Tags: Aia , Divisional Placement

Thursday 01/22/2015
Deer Valley is about to have a Super (Bowl) week

Deer Valley High School will be getting the royal treatment leading up to the Super Bowl.

It gets started on Friday, according to principal Kim Crooks, when two of the students will be surprised with Pro Bowl tickets from the When U Dream a Dream Organization.

The plan is to surprise them during an assembly on Friday morning with the boys getting a police escort to the game.

Then next week the Deer Valley football team will be running plays as a dress rehearsal for the NBC TV crew, which is producing the Super Bowl.

They will do it at the school Monday, Wednesday and Thursday before heading to University of Phoenix Stadium on Friday.

At University of Phoenix Stadium they will get to run plays on the field and they were told to learn end zone dances of players (spike it like Gronk) from both teams.

They will also be running through the tunnel and will become the player with their corresponding number.

NBC does it to check lighting and positions of their cameras.

On Tuesday the NBC/NFL interactive bus will be on campus from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The Lombardi trophy is in the bus as well as some other interactive opportunities for the kids.

Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson will be in attendance.

NBC is going to try to break the "Most Selfies taken in an hour" Guinness Book of World Record.

The current record is held by Lee Goodfellow (UK) at Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, UK.

Deer Valley students will be taking selfies with Peterson and should they succeed Deer Valley we will be in the Guinness Book of World Records with NBC.

Additionally, the school is are also creating its own Football Frenzy Zone on their practice field during the 8:30 a.m to 12:30 p.m. block of time on Tuesday as students and staff will be in their favorite NFL team attire.

Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or jskoda@awhwatukee.com. Follow him Twitter @JasonPSkoda.

Posted in Ahwatukee sports, Blogs on Thursday, January 22, 2015 12:34 pm. Updated: 12:07 pm. | Tags: Deer Valley Football , Super Bowl , Patrick Peterson , Guinness Book Of World Records

Tuesday 01/20/2015
Five area players honored at AzFCA All-State banquet

The boys clean up well.

After seeing some of the pictures from the AzFCA All-State banquet it was clear the Mountain Pointe quartet and Desert Vista’s T.J. Roberts had a blast at the Scottsdale Hilton Resort and Villas.

The Pride’s Austin Cronen, Brandyn Leonard, Nick Carman and Bruce Hester joined Roberts meaning Ahwatukee represented 20 percent of the 25-man team that made up the AzFCA’s All-State squad.

Leonard was selected as a running back, Carman an offensive lineman, Hester a defensive lineman, Roberts as returner and Cronen at linebacker.

Cronen was named the state’s top linebacker and received the Ron Pritchard Linebacker Award.

Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or jskoda@ahwatukee.com. Follow him on Twitter @JasonPSkoda.

Posted in Ahwatukee sports on Tuesday, January 20, 2015 9:13 am.

Saturday 01/17/2015
LIVE BLOG: Flowing Wells Invitational

TUCSON - Coming to you live from Flowing Wells High.

Well, since this one is on trackwrestling anyone who is reading is probably reading it after the fact.

I should have patented this long ago.

Instead I will keep readers updated as much as I can while also taking pictures and doing interviews.

In other words, the scoring will be a bit behind and there will be some holes (watch the full match at Arizona-wrestling.com in the days to come) but doing the best a one-man-show can.

One thing to remember the most recent take is at the top.

XXX

thanks for checking in.

XXX

Outstanding wrestler - Vega (99 percent sure)

XXXXX

HVY - Jamar Rowe (Thunderbird) vs. Chris Sanchez (Amphi)

The crowd mostly subdued all night left out a big yell but my back was to it. Rowe got a two that could have been more.

Now Sanchez gets a reversal in the second period that could have been back points but not called

2-2

Rowe escapes, a two by sanchez. fun match

now 6-5 Sanchez after 2

its took 14 matches but the crowd is lively for the first tie,

6-6 with 1:30 left

Sanchez counters Rowes attack and gets the pin at 5:05.

XXX

215 - Lewis Arendall (Centennial) vs. Travis Howard (Marana)

2-0 after one period

Arendall down to start second

2-1 (second stalling maybe)

Howard still riding him out.

2-1 after two

Howard takes down

3-1 on quick escape

that takedown should seal it

5-1 with 18 seconds left

XXXXX

195 - Jeremiah Imonode (Desert Vista) vs. Phoenix Hollen (Mesa Mtn View)

0-0 after 1

Imonode down to start the second

He escapes and gets the 2 for a 3-0 lead

Hollen chooses down, 3-1 after second stalling warming on Imonode

Imonode trying to setup of his patented cradle. Now hollen gets stalling penalty

4-1

20 secs left

looks like Toros will tie Blue Devils for all time record

Imonode wraps up win 5-2 to remain undefeated on the season

XXXX

182 - Vicente Guerrero (Cibola) vs. Jesse Vllegas (Sunnyside)

Guerrerp gets the 2 on an inside single to a dump

2-0 after one

Guerrero on top to start second, sucks Villegas back for 2 near fall

Restart at  52 seconds, still up 4-0

7-1 at the end of 2

Villegas gets a 2 to start the third, kicks him out

8-3

Villegas nearly gets  a reversal, but Guerrero fights it off the for 10-3 win

XXXX

170 - Kieffer Taylor (Mesa Mtn View) vs. Cameron Wells (Higley)

Taylor builds a big 7-1 first period lead

Now 9-1 in the second period

Taylor clearly pushing the tempo, going hard and looking to get the team points it needs

310 right now. Wells getting his wrist taped.

Taylor gets the win by default., up 12-3

that should tie the record at 316

XXXX

160  - Weston Taylor (Mesa Mtn View) vs. Rafael Paredes (Amphi)

sorry, time got away from me

7-0 Weston Taylor

XXXX

Mountain View within 10 of the all-time record of 316

XXXX

152 - Blake Monty (Mesa Mtn View) vs. Jack Darveaux (Highland)

Didnt see it up but Monty got the 2 to start the match

riding him out pretty well

5-0 after 1

Make it 7, throws in the legs after the takedown

now 13-2 after hipping in and stepping over on Darveaux's shot attempt

17-2 tech fall

XXX

145 - Jose Parra (Sunnyside) vs. Anthony Woksach (Mesa Mt View)

Wokasch with the initial 2 and rides him out

Wokasch down to start the second, gets reversal at 1:33

I remember when he was keeping stats for Mingus watching the Changs and Goettls win titles here

He has an arm bar but cant turn Parra,  switches to half gets nothing, almost gets the arm on the retry

4-0 after two

Neutral to start third

Pot. dangerous stops Wokasch from adding on, got in on a deep inside single but wasnt allowed to finish it

Parra couldnt do much; in the final minutes and Wokasch eventually gets another 2 for the 6-0 win

XXXX

138 - Marc Farina (Corona) vs. Ryan Sondrup (Marcos)

Farina gets a reversal in the final seconds to it at 2 after 1

5-4 Sondrup after reversal in final 25,

Farina escapes 5-5

Farina chooses down to start the third

Reversal by Farina gives him a 7-5 lead, only be reversed himself to make it 7-7

Farina escapes at 44 seconds, up 8-7

Sondrup tries a couple of laterals but Farina drops hims no points.

8 seconds left

one more desperate attempt no blood

Farina 8-7 winner

XXXXX

132 - Juaquin Olivas (Sunnyside) vs. Cory Crooks (Boulder Creek

0-0 through 1:20 (sorry for the delay Mrs Crooks)

Staying in the center of the mat, a lot of feeling out, neither wrestler taking many chances

0-0 after 1

OLivas down to start second

OLivas got to his feet, restart at 1:47

same thing, Olivas to his feet start at 1:33 after going OB

Escape at 1:08

Again not many chances taken, Crooks re-shoots after Olivas comes up short but they go OB

1-0 after 2

Crooks takes down. Its gonna come down to a takedown im guessing

escape at 1:46

OLivas gets the 2 at 1:20

escape at 1:03

Crooks nearly gets a an ankle, OLivas steps out.

Crooks looks to have the 2 on the edge, called obn

restart at at 13

3-2 final Olivas

XXXX

126 - Ted Rico (Combs) vs. Branson Tibbs (Boulder Creek)

Physical hand fighting this far.. Russian tie for Combs but go out of bounds

Tibbs circling for 2, but Combs scramble to the top and gets the first 2 at 22 seconds

2-0 after 1

Blood time for Tibbs

COmbs deferred

Tibbs took Neutral,

Nice ankle picks leads to 2 for Combs

Combs rides him out

Combs chooses down, up 4-0 to start the third

Escapes at 11 seconds

Tibbs needs some big, but Combs not giving anything up

Ref waited too long to call a stalemate, Tibbs missed out on about 8 seconds

Tibbs takes quality shot but Combs sprawls and then hits a headlock for the 5 point move

10-0 final

XXX

120 - Paden Mason (Mesa Mtn View) vs. Alex Carrillo (Desert Vista)

Mason comes in with four defeats and Carrillo undefeated but there is no question as to who wrestled tougher schedule.

Rematch of last year's FW finals and DI semis, Mason winning both

Carrillo got the initial 2, Carrillo reversed and got two near fall on a tilt

Mason down to start second,

Carrillo threw in the legs got too high, reversal Mason

6-2

45 secnds left

6-2 after 2, Mason down to start position to start third

escape at 45

7-2

reversal in the final 25 secs.

7-4 final

XXXX

113 - Danny Vega (I. Ridge) vs. David Salazar (Sunnyside)

Vega with an inside single for the takedown, 15 secs into it.

there was restart at 27 seconds, and Vega rode him out

2-0 after one

Vega chooses down, escapes gets takedown

tilt for 3 near fall

Salazar escapes  with 13 seconds left

9-1 after two

Salazar chooses neutral

A nice flurry of moves by Vega leads to restart after they go OB on takedown

Vega secures it this time

11-1

Another tilt makes it a major, 14-1 with 38 secs left

2 more near fall make it a tech with 15 seconds left

16-1

XXXX

106 - Roman Bravo-Young (Sunnyside) vs. Jason Holmes (Chandler)

Size difference showed up early as Holmes took a clean shot but BYoung hipped in and fought it off before getting the initial 2.

Running a tight spiral but Holmes fighting it off.

2-0 after one

BYoung takes down.

Gets a reveral

4-0

Stalling on BYoung

Holmes sits out and BYoung kicks him out

4-1

Holmes gets in deep again, but BYoung just too big and talented. Fights it off, gets the two and two near fall

8-1 after 2

Escape by Holmes, Young gets two on the edge 46 secs left

10-2

Holmes escapes, neutral with 25 left

Another takedown gives Bravo-Young a 14-3 win.

XXXXX

Match of the night - 132 Olivas vs. Crooks.

XXX

Mountain View set the record for teams pints since the tournament expanded from 10 teams, entering the finals with 292.5.

The old record since the tournament opened it up the whole state was 262 1/2 points by Sunnyside in 1999.

The overall record is 316 in 1997 when the tournament was regulated to just Tucson programs.

XXXX

Award winners

Honorary Caballeros - Andres Gandara (Cibola), Jeremiah Imonode (Desert Vista)

XXXX

Title matches

106 - Roman Bravo-Young (Sunnyside) vs. Jason Holmes (Chandler)

113 - Danny Vega (I. Ridge) vs. David Salazar (Sunnyside)

120 - Paden Mason (Mesa Mtn View) vs. Alex Carrillo (Desert Vista)

126 - Ted Rico (Combs) vs. Branson Tibbs (Boulder Creek)

132 - Juaquin Olivas (Sunnyside) vs. Cory Crooks (Boulder Creek)

138 - Marc Farina (Corona) vs. Ryan Sondrup (Marcos)

145 - Jose Parra (Sunnyside) vs. Anthony Woksach (Mesa Mt View)

152 - Blake Monty (Mesa Mtn View) vs. Jack Darveaux (Highland)

160  - Weston Taylor (Mesa Mtn View) vs. Rafael Paredes (Amphi)

170 - Kieffer Taylor (Mesa Mtn View) vs. Cameron Wells (Higley)

182 - Vicente Guerrero (Cibola) vs. Jesse Vllegas (Sunnyside)

195 - Jeremiah Imonode (Desert Vista) vs. Phoenix Hollen (Mesa Mtn View)

215 - Lewis Arendall (Centennial) vs. Travis Howard (Marana)

HVY - Jamar Rowe (Thunderbird) vs. Chris Sanchez (Amphi)

XXXX

From what I have been told the level of wrestling has been as superb as usual at the FW Invite but there have been very few upsets.

The finals feature the top seed vs. the second seed in 11 of the 14 matches.

XXXXX

One little tidbit - the wrestling coaches went through 30 dozen donuts on day 1 and 29 dozen on the second day.

No one else breaks it down quite like I do.

XXXXX

Team standings heading into finals

1.  Mesa Mt View  292.5
2.  Sunnyside  200.5
3.  Chandler  164.0
4.  Corona del Sol  150.5
5.  Cleveland  143.0
6.  Cibola  136.5
7.  Desert Vista  135.5
8.  Ironwood Ridge  129.5
9.  Cienega  123.5
10.  Amphitheater  120.5
11.  Centennial  113.5
12.  Combs  103.0
13.  Boulder Creek  102.0
13.  Marana  102.0
15.  Thunderbird  101.0
16.  Northglenn  100.0
17.  Tucson  99.0
18.  Marcos de Niza  96.5
19.  Highland  91.0
20.  Marana Mt. View  82.0
21.  Hamilton  66.5
22.  Higley  63.5
22.  Queen Creek  63.5
24.  Willcox  56.5
25.  Flowing Wells  51.0
26.  Silver City  50.0
27.  Americas  48.0
28.  Sahuaro  39.0
29.  Sahuarita  38.5
30.  Paradise Valley  34.5
31.  Rio Rico  32.0
32.  Socorro  28.0
33.  Catalina  27.5
34.  Pueblo  26.0
35.  Desert Mountain  19.5
36.  Rincon  19.0
37.  Montwood  16.5
38.  Carl Hayden  6.0

Posted in Ahwatukee sports on Saturday, January 17, 2015 5:30 pm. Updated: 8:46 pm. | Tags: Flowing Wells Invitaitonal , Wrestling

Friday 01/16/2015
Desert Vista celebrates fantastic fall sports season

The standards at Desert Vista, regardless of the vocation, have always been high.

The fall of 2014, however, was a game changer.

The school celebrated on Friday during a winter assembly as MaxPreps came to town for it Tour of Champions to present the girls volleyball team an award for finishing No. 2 in the final national rankings.

The Thunder won their first state title in dominating fashion, going undefeated in regular season non-tournament matches, and senior Jenna Tunnell was named a first-team All-American by the USAToday and American Volleyball Coaches Association.

The championships and honors didn’t stop there.

Junior Karen Guo was the badminton state singles title and Josh Vedder won the state title in the 100 backstroke in a team record 50.70 seconds.

Then there were the cross country teams that pulled off a feat that the state has never seen.

For the first time in Arizona history both of the big-school state titles were won by the same school as the Thunder boys and girls each brought home championships.

It went a long way in coaches Chris Hanson (boys) and Jeff Messer (girls) in being national coaches of the year.

The girls were expected to defend their title and boys were considered favorites but it wasn’t a foregone conclusion like the girls were to start the season.

Some of the boys made huge strides from two years ago to become completely different runners and finished No. 15 in the nation by one poll.

The girls finished fifth in the country while senior Dani Jones was named the Gatorade female runner of the year.

In total it would be a great decade for most sports programs and better than the history of others, but Desert Vista pulled it off in one year.

Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or jskoda@ahwatukee.com. Follow him on Twitter @JasonPSkoda.

Posted in Ahwatukee sports on Friday, January 16, 2015 11:08 am. Updated: 11:26 am. | Tags: Desert Vista Athletics , Maxpreps

Tuesday 01/13/2015
MP's Hester back in the wrestling room

Anyone who watched Bruce Hester play defensive end at an all-state level this year knows it takes a lot to wear the Mountain Pointe senior down.

Craig Brooks had the right formula.

The wrestling coach in his first year with the Pride worked on Hester’s sensitive side.

“He kept telling me I hurt his feelings by not wrestling,” Hester said with a chuckle. “Every time I saw him he’d say he wanted me to come out.

“I got some things squared away and figured I give it a shot.”

Hester wrestled varsity as a sophomore, but didn’t come out last year to concentrate on his senior year of football. It paid off as the 6-foot-1, 260-poinder dominated the line of scrimmage this year and will find a good place to play in the fall (New Mexico most likely).

Until then he will give the last month of wrestling a shot. He isn’t expected to join the team this weekend in Winslow but he plans to stick it out the rest of the way.

“I’m gassed right now,” Hester said. “I’ll get in wrestling shape and see what I can do.”

Brooks, who had a state runner-up at heavyweight last season at Higley, thinks if Hester commits he can do some damage.

“He’s got the strength and athleticism,” Brooks said. “It’s a matter of getting the technique down and getting him in wrestling shape. He can do some things. No doubt.”

Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or jskoda@ahwatukee.com. Follow him on Twitter @JasonPSkoda.

Posted in Ahwatukee sports on Tuesday, January 13, 2015 10:12 pm. Updated: 1:51 pm. | Tags: Mountain Pointe Wrestling , Bruce Hester , Craigh Brooks , New Mexico Football

Carrillo returns from dark side with undefeated start

The impulse is so foreign and wrong that the once the thought of giving up enters the mind it can destroy the foundation of an athlete’s will.

It can leave their confidence crumbled and torn. If the negative thought gets imbedded deep enough it can be hard to return from the dark side, never competing at their previous level of expectations again.

Alex Carrillo had such thoughts break him, but the Desert Vista junior has seemingly gotten past the darkness.

“I gave up,” Carrillo said talking about last year’s state semifinals. “I don’t know where (the thought) came from, but it was there. I hated it, but I didn’t let it stick around long.”

The Desert Vista two-time state placer is 24-0 on the season and has won three tournaments – Moon Valley, Cerritos Tournament of Champions and Peoria – and looks to be on pretty solid ground heading into this weekend’s ultimate test.

The Flowing Wells Invitational, which begins Friday with the finals at 6 p.m. on Saturday, is considered the toughest tournament in Arizona and somewhere in the 120-pound bracket will be the true test.

Carrillo’s dark moment came against Mesa Mountain View’s Paden Mason, who took an early lead and built on it before securing the pin at 5 minutes and 8 seconds.

“I’m ready and I’m not backing down from anyone,” Carrillo said. “I’m sure we will face each other again. I let myself down in that match and I got stronger mentally.”

This weekend’s action, as well as the field at the Doc Wright Invitational in Winslow, will test the mental strength of a good portion the wrestlers.

Returning champions are Ironwood Ridge’s Danny Vega, Cibola’s Vicente Guerrero, Cleveland (N.M.)’s Jesse Nieto and Mason.

Getting through long, grueling tournaments can be a drain and a moment of weakness will lead quickly to the other guy getting his hand raised.

Carrillo knows all about it but his coach has seen him come through the other side.

“He has the mentality now that he is not going to leave it up to anyone else,” Thunder coach David Gonzalez said. “He is going to take care of it and let the chips fall where they may.

“He’s at that point where he is like (former DV three-time champion) Robbie Mathers was his sophomore year. He knew he wasn’t going to lose again. He wants what he wants and Alex has that mentality.”

Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or jskoda@ahwatukee.com. Follow him on Twitter @JasonPSkoda.

Posted in Ahwatukee sports on Tuesday, January 13, 2015 12:32 pm. Updated: 1:51 pm. | Tags: Alex Carrillo , Desert Vista Wrestling , Flowing Wells Invitational

Monday 01/12/2015
Skin infection pops up again as postseason nears

The Desert Vista wrestling room was closed on Tuesday for a bit after some of the Thunder wrestlers returned from California with a skin infection.

One of the wrestlers was in the hospital from Tuesday through Saturday while being treated for HSV (herpes related to wrestling) and MRSA, while others were held out of practice and competition all last week.

The room was closed by athletic director T.J. Snyder while the mats were being disinfected before the team resumed practice.

Coach David Gonzalez said the team took extra precautions – discarding old workout clothes, cleaning the mats, reiterating the need to shower immediately after practice, speaking up immediately when there is any sign of skin disease – all week before heading to the 33-team Peoria Invitational.

“We did everything we could to get it cleared up,” he said.

After last year’s delayed postseason because of a skin disease outbreak, which some believe started in California, there is a heightened awareness to keep on top of it.

Desert Vista has seemingly done just that as Gonzalez believes it was addressed quickly and properly.

At least one other program - Basha - has seen it crop up, but there hasn't been any indication that is wide spread like a year ago when sectionals were canceled for the smaller divisions and delayed for the bigger classifications.

* Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or jskoda@ahwatukee.com. Follow him on Twitter @JasonPSkoda.

Posted in Ahwatukee sports on Monday, January 12, 2015 10:29 am. Updated: 1:51 pm. | Tags: Desert Vista Wrestling , Skin Infection

Saturday 01/10/2015
LIVE BLOG: Peoria Invitational

PEORIA - Coming to you live from Peoria High.

Finals scheduled to begin around 5 p.m.

In case you are new to the live blog, here are things to know.

1. The freshest take is on the top. Scroll down to see older matches, stats, information, my opinion, etc.

2. I have a very obstructed view so I might miss some action more than normal.

3. Apologize ahead of time for misspellings of names and typos. I am trying to keep up with the action so my key strokes might be a little off at times.

4. Log-in to the web site, comment along, ask questions and I will try to reply when I can.

5. Enjoy.

6. Check of the finals at www.arizona-wrestling.com and see how much my commentary is off.

XXXXX

Complete results

106 – Roman Bravo-Young (Sunnyside) tech. fall  Isaiah De La Cerda (Alamosa), 17-2. Third – Liam Cronin (Servite) tech fall Jordan Martinez (DV), 20-3. Fifth – Carlos Vargas (Deer Valley) by deafult Josh Herrea (Desert Edge).

113 – Brandon Courtney (Desert Edge) dec. David Salazar (Sunnyside), 9-8. Third – Brady Schall (Hamilton) pin Matt Rodriguez (Servite), 1:34. Fifth – Sam Zdenek (Windsor) by default over Tommy Kaye (Peoria).

120 – Alex Carrillo (Desert Vista) dec. David Mendez (Moon Valley), 4-2; Third - Jonathan Latin (Basha) dec. Jose Bonifaz (CM), 4-1; Fifth – Tanner Wright (Peoria) pin Skyler Score (Windsor), 4:28.

126 – Noah Blakely (Servite) dec.  Josh Kramer (Desert Edge), 5-4. Third - Angel Laguna (Sunnyside) dec. Josh Villa (Windsor), 6-2. Fifth – Ty Love (Sunrise Mtn) dec. Daniel Morris (MV), 3-1.

132 –Juaquin Olivas (Sunnyside) dec. Tel Kelley (Alamosa), 9-7. Third – Kyle Ford (GR) dec. Paul Bagnoli (CM), 7-2. Fifth – Wolfgang Bernal (Servite) dec. Jake Armenta (Sun. Mtn), 11-6.

138 – Owen Lawrie (Faith Lutheran) dec. Taylor Rich (SDO), 5-0.

Third - Jordan Breeser (Mtn Ridge) dec. Jimmy Dietz (Liberty), 14-7. Fifth – Brian Mitchell (Des. Vista) dec. Troy Madrigal (Servite), 8-2.

145 - Matteo Ambriz (Windsor) dec. Jose Parra (Sunnyside), 4-2 OT. Third-)  Kyle Robbins (C. Chavez)dec. Nico Braswell (Basha), 9-8. Fifth – JJ Reed (Servite) maj. dec. Solomon Reyes (Westwood), 14-2.

152 – Jake Swift (Deer Valley) pin Angel Cordova (Servite), 3:58. Third - Derek Tangap (Sunny) dec. Franklin Makabe (Des. Vista), 9-2; Fifth – Josh Vigh (Des. Edge)  dec. Ryan Fischer (Mtn. Ridge), 10-5.

160- Austin Moyer  (Westwood) dec. Harold Johnson (C.Chavez), 11-10. Third- Keven Vidal (Servite) dec. Marc Frias (Sunny), 5-1. Fifth – Adam Gallegos (Des. Edge) dec. Nate Henry (Alamosa), 2-1.

170 – Chad Porter (Desert Vista) dec. Karl Halstead (Moon Valley), 5-4. Third - Gordon Livermore (Servite) pin William King-Britt (G. Ridge), 1:25; Fifth – Dalton Hoffer (Hamilton) dec.  JJ Nelson (Lake Havasu), 8-6.

182 – Michael Vazquez (Servite) dec. Joe Keller (Windsor), 5-1; Third - Jed Smith (Mater Dei) maj. dec. Chris Davis (SDO), 10-0; Fifth – Nathan Garcia (CM) dec. Jesse Villegas (Sunny), 10-9.

195 – Jeremiah Imonode (Desert Vista) dec. Parker Saltzman (Servite), 7-3. Third - Jarom Christensen (SDO) dec. Rico Tipton (Hamilton), 8-3; Fifth – Peyton Hume by default over Riley Hansen (Libert)

220 – Danny Reyes (Goldwater) dec. Davion Grey (Moon Valley), 8-3. Third - Lewis Arendall (Centennial)  dec.Frankie Leal (Peoria), 3-1. Fifth - Kayle Paterson (Servite) pin Rafael Pacheco (Cholla), 3:29.

HVY – HVY – VJ Leuta (Servite) dec. Grant Eagar (Westwood), 3-2. Third - Roy Lopez (Mesquite) dec. Aaron Blackwell (Liberty), 7-3.; Mathew Hutka (Mountain Ridge) pin Jerome Doss (Cholla), 3:16.

XXX

HVY - VJ Leuta (Servite) vs. Grant Eagar (Westwood)

Scoreless after one

Lueta escapes and gets takedown 3-0 to start third

Escape Eagar

3-1 with 48 seconds left

Eagar attempts shot but cant finish

stalling on Lueta 1.6 left.

3-2 final

XXXX

220 – Danny Reyes (Goldwater) vs. Davion Grey (Moon Valley)

Rematch from Moon Valley, Reyes won a close one that was a bit controversial when it came to losing control on the edge i believe

Reyes with the initial 2 in match up of state champions

2-1 after 1

Reyes escapes and gets the takedown, 5-1

I really need a better vantage point

Reyes doing a good job of riding,  but gets called for stalling at 23. restart.

6-1 after stalling called on called on Grey

Grey escapes, Reyes gets two basically by giving two forearm shivers to Greys shoulders, follows him across mat for 2

8-2

Reyes made sure there was no controversy, 8-3.

XXXX

195 – Jeremiah Imonode (Desert Vista) vs. Parker Saltzman (Servite)

Imonode with two takedowns 4-1

Imonode escapes and gets the two on a sprawl and spin around

7-1

7-1 after 2

Saltzman chooses down

Blood time for Saltzman

Saltzman escapes 7-2

second stalling, 7-3

32 secs still neutral

Imonode wins third tournament of the year (Moon Valley, Cerritos TOC)

XXXXX

182 – Joe Keller (Windsor) vs. Michael Vazquez (Servite)

Since no AZ wrestler taking a break to get some interviews

Vazquez with the 5-1 win

XXXX

170 – Karl Halstead (Moon Valley) vs. Chad Porter (Desert Vista)

Halstead got the initial 2 when Porter tried an arm drag and Halstead, side stepped to gain control.

Porter escaped, and then used a shuck for a 3-2 lead.

I believe Porter was down to start second and got a reversal.

5-2

POrter has the legs in and riding him, but Halstead gets to feet and gets escape at 10 secs

5-3 Porter to start third, Halstead chooses down

Porter tries a farside cradle, to no avail

Restart at 1:10

Blood time for Halstead

restart at 33.5, Porter up 5-3 and top position

stalling on POrter,

restart at 12

escape at 6 seconds

Porter wins 5-4

XXX

160 – Harold Johnson (C.Chavez) vs. Austin Moyer  (Westwood)

Johnson up 4-2 after one

Moyer takes down

Moyer escapes kicked out 4-3

Takedown Johnson

Second staling on Johnson, 6-4

Moyer ties it with his first takedown 6-6 32 seconds left in 2p

JOhnson escapes with 10 seconds left

7-6 Johnson heading into third

10-9 Johnson after a couple of exchanges (worst seat in the house, cant see a lot of the action)

Moyer takes his first lead of the match 11-10 with 23 secs left

restart with Moyer on tpp at 9 seconds,  and holds on for the win.

nice comeback, 11-10 moyer

XXXXX

152 – Jake Swift (Deer Valley) vs. Angel Cordova (Servite)

Swift well on his way to his 108 straight win, getting six takedowns in the first period.

12-6 after one.

Swift down to start second, escapes and gets 2.

15-7

Injury time by Swift

Back at it with 1 minute left. Now 15-9

Cordova was in deep on single, but Swift gets the two (blocked couldnt see it) and now getting near fall points.

gets the pin at 3:58

Mostly doubles. He isnt afraid to shoot from anywhere. Not much just set up. Just lowers level and powers through.

XXXX

145 – Matteo Ambriz (Windsor) vs. Jose Parra (Sunnyside)

0-0 after 1

Parra down to start 2nd period

What has happened to hand control. It used to be drilled in our heads, you can not get out unless you control the hands.

0-0 with a restart at 22.8

0-0 after 2, Ambriz chooses down

Ambriz gets the reveral with 55 seconds left

2-0 lead

Parra with a Grandby for the reversal with 12 seconds, left, takes it to OT

2-2

Ambriz with an outside single sweep for the win

4-2 OT

XXXX

138 – Owen Lawrie (Faith Lutheran) vs. Taylor Rich (SDO)

0-0 after 1

scatch that, Lawrie gets 2 in final seconds

neutral

still 2-0 Lawries through 1:45

Lawrie chooses down

3-0 after the escape, Rich is going to have to change something up to score. Hasnt really gotten off many shot attempts

restarting with 38 seconds left

Attempts thrown with 13 seconds left and goes to back for 5-0 win for Lawrie

XXXX

132 – Juaquin Olivas (Sunnyside) vs. Tel Kelley (Alamosa)

Olivas looking to become a 4 time Peoria champ

2-2

stalling on Kelley

OLivas takes down to start second

OLivas with my personal favorite ankle pick for a 5-3 lead

Olivas 5-4 after 2

Kelley down to start the third

Escape ties it but snapdown by Olivas gives him a 7-5 lead with 43 seconds left

Second stalling on Olivas makes it 7-6

7-7 with 25 left after Kelley escapes

Olivas gets the 2 in the final seconds.. couldn't 9-7

Olivas the third to win four Peoria titles, and the first Arizonan after Reyes Gonzalez from Ci, Memorial and a wrestler from Rio Rancho

XXXX

126 – Noah Blakely (Servite) vs. Josh Kramer (Desert Edge)

Karmer up 3-1 after 1

Blakely takes down

tight match, not much action. Similar styles keeping it tight

3-2 after two

Kramer chooses neutral

Kramer hits a nice schuck but Bakely walks through it on the other side

Blakely takes the lead with 2 on the edge, 51 seconds left, 4-3

Kramer escape 404 48 seconds

restart at 37

Kramer inside single, switches off to double picks him up and called for the slam, 5-4 Blakely

restart at 23

Kramer gets off two shots but cant finish

Blakely gets the win

One coach behind me didnt think it was a slam, the other thought it was and Kramer drove his shoulder into him. Tough call.

XXX

120 – Alex Carrillo (Desert Vista) vs. David Mendez (Moon Valley)

If memory serves, Carrillo won the MV final over Mendez 3-0

Carrillo gets the initial takedown with lanky legs and arms to use a head and arm.

2-0 after one

Mendez down to start the second, Carrillo riding him through the first 45 secs

Mendez scrambled enough to grab a leg, but Carrillo never gave up control.

2-0 after one., In the old days, that certainly was enough for an escape.

Carrillo taking injury time

Third period starts with Carrillo choosing down

Carrillo gets the reveral

4-0 with 1:03 left

Stalling on Carrillo 51 seconds

reversal with 12 seconds left

4-2 win for Carrillo

XXXX

113 – Brandon Courtney (Desert Edge) vs. David Salazar (Sunnyside)

Courtney lets him loose with 1:13 left after the initial 2

Stalling warning on Salazar

2-1 after 1,

Neutral to start second

Same scenario - takedown kickout

takedown kickout

6-3

9-4 after 2

Salazar chooses down, Courtney makes it neutral

9-5

Courtney looks to get a double, takes Salazar to the mat, but Salazar scrambles for the 2

9-7

30 secs left Salazar on top after restart

Another stalling on Courtney makes it a 9-8 final, Courtney with the win

XXXX

106- Roman Bravo-Young (Sunnyside) vs. Isaiah De La Cerda (Alamosa)

de la Cerda was a state runner up in Colo, Bravo-Young is ranked No. 2 in the country.

BY with two quick two quick takedowns and then a arm bar for a 7-1 lead

Another arm bar and it is 10-1 after one

de la ceda riding him out for the first minute of the second period,. no change

BY stands up and shears inside for an escape after a restart. 11-1, and then gets the 2.

13-1 after two

BY choose neutral to start the third

takedown, kicks him out and takedown for the tech fall.

XXXXX

Its funny to see how the nervous energy gets progressively less as the weight classes get heavier.

What's even more intriguing is how each individual handles it.

I was a hands on the hips and kick each foot kind of guy. Rolled the neck a little bit.

What i should have done was stretch out the back because i was usually fighting my way off of it.

XXXX

Parade of champions is off to a very slow start. Guessing a 5:20 start at the earliest.

XXXX

A lot of out of state kids made the finals; not sure what to make of that.

Some good matchups, though, with 120 being a rematch of the Moon Valley finals as is 220.

XXXXX

Team standings (top 10 out of 33)

1. Servite 269; 2. Sunnyside 194; 3. Desert Vista 151; 4. Windsor 126.5; 5. Liberty 110; 6. Desert Edge 105.5; 7. Gila Ridge 103.5; 8. Cimarron Memorial, Moon Valley 102.5; 10. Alamosa, SDO 98.

XXXX

Championship matches

106- Roman Bravo-Young (Sunnyside) vs. Isaiah De La Cerda (Alamosa)

113 – Brandon Courtney (Desert Edge) vs. David Salazar (Sunnyside)

120 – Alex Carrillo (Desert Vista) vs. David Mendez (Moon Valley)

126 – Noah Blakely (Servite) vs. Josh Kramer (Desert Edge)

132 – Juaquin Olivas (Sunnyside) vs. Tel Kelley (Alamosa)

138 – Owen Lawrie (Faith Lutheran) vs. Taylor Rich (SDO)

145 – Matteo Ambriz (Windsor) vs. Jose Parra (Sunnyside)

152 – Jake Swift (Deer Valley) vs. Angel Cordova (Servite)

160 – Harold Johnson (C.Chavez) vs. Austin Moyer  (Westwood)

170 – Karl Halstead (Moon Valley) vs. Chad Porter (Desert Vista)

182 – Joe Keller (Windsor) vs. Michael Vazquez (Servite)

195 – Jeremiah Imonode (Desert Vista) vs. Parker Saltzman (Servite)

220 – Danny Reyes (Goldwater) vs. Davion Grey (Moon Valley)

HVY – VJ Leuta (Servite) vs. Grant Eagar (Westwood)

Consolation places

106 – Third – Liam Cronin (Servite) Jordan Martinez (DV). Fifth – Carlos Vargas (Deer Valley) Josh Herrea (Desert Edge).

113 – Third – Matt Rodriguez (Servite) Brady Schall (Hamilton). Fifth – Sam Zdenek (Windsor) Tommy Kaye (Peoria)

120 – Third - Jose Bonifaz (CM) Jonathan Latin (Basha); Fifth – Tanner Wright (Peoria) Skyler Score (Windsor).

126 – Third -Josh Villa (Windsor) Angel Laguna (Sunnyside). Fifth – Daniel Morris (MV) vs. Ty Love (Sunrise Mtn).

132 – Third - Paul Bagnoli (CM) Kyle Ford (Gila Ridge). Fifth – Wolfgang Bernal (Servite) Jake Armenta (Sun. Mtn)

138 – Third - Jordan Breeser (Mtn Ridge) Jimmy Dietz (Liberty). Fifth – Brian Mitchell (Des. Vista) Troy Madrigal (Servite).

145 – Third - Nico Braswell (Basha)  Kyle Robbins (C. Chavez); Fifth – Solon Reyes (Westwood)  JJ Reed (Servite)

152 – Third - Derek Tangap (Sunny) Franklin Makabe (Des. Vista); Fifth – Josh Vigh (Des. Edge)  Ryan Fischer (Mtn. Ridge).

160- Third - Marc Frias (Sunny) vs. Keven Vidal (Servite); Fifth – Adam Gallegos (Des. Edge) Nate Henry (Alamosa)

170 – Third - William King-Britt (G. Ridge) Gordon Livermore (Servite); Fifth – Dalton Hoffer (Hamilton) JJ Nelson (Lake Havasu).

182 – Third - Chris Davis (SDO) Jed Smith (Mater Dei); Fifth – Jesse Villegas (Sunny) vs. Nathan Garcia (CM).

195 – Third - Jarom Christensen (SDO) Rico Tipton (Hamilton); Fifth – Peyton Hume by default over Riley Hansen (Libert)

220 – Third - Lewis Arendall (Centennial)  Frankie Leal (Peoria) Fifth - Rafael Pacheco (Cholla)  Kayle Paterson (Servite).

HVY – Third - Roy Lopez (Mesquite) Aaron Blackwell (Liberty); Jerome Doss (Cholla) Mathew Hutka (Mountain Ridge).

XXXXX

XXXX

Top 5 heading into Day 2

1. Servite 161.5, 2. Sunnyside 105, Liberty 86.5, Desert Edge 82.5, Desert Vista 80

XXXX

Posted in Ahwatukee sports on Saturday, January 10, 2015 11:31 am. Updated: 7:57 pm. | Tags: Peoria Invitational , Desert Vista Wrestling , Peoria Wrestling , Deer Valley Wrestling , Sunrise Mountain Wrestling , Liberty Wrestling

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