DV's Ernie Del Rio gave up the first takedown but controlled most of the match against MP's Keegan Arthur.

Cheryl Haselhorst

When the wrestling stops and the Desert Vista wrestlers are kicking back in the hotel, they just might run into one of their own.

The Thunder are headed to Wisconsin this weekend for the Cheesehead Invitational in Kaukauna. It is one of the top tournaments in the Midwest; if not the country.

By the time Saturday night comes around they will be dragging butt after the weekend’s work and head back to the team hotel in Appleton, but not before another team arrives at the same hotel.

The New York Giants are in town for a NFC first-round playoff game against the Packers. One of the Giants' top linebackers is Desert Vista graduate Devon Kennard, who Thunder wrestling coach David Gonzales had in class during his sophomore year.

“We will see if we can make it happen,” Gonzales said. “He has meetings and things to do, but hopefully it works out.”

Gonzales is also hopeful the wrestlers are ready for the competition ahead as the Cheesehead is littered with top talent from around the country.

“We will see where we really are,” he said. “Maybe I bit off more than I can chew, but they have to experience it. When I get there it won’t be about the experience, we are there to compete, but we will be able to look back on it and say we wrestled in one of the best tournaments in the country.

“We have a lot of seniors that have put in the time and deserve a trip like this, and the young guys will get a taste, too.”

Undefeated and defending state champion Chad Porter is geared up and ready to go. Porter is seeded fourth at 19-0 at 195 pounds and would most likely have to face Patrick Brucki, who is committed to Princeton and ranked as high as No. 2 in the country, in the semifinals.

“I’m just going out there confident because of my training, doing some extra work with my Dad,” said Porter, whose closest matches in Arizona so far have been by major decision. “I’m just going to go out there and keep doing to do what I’ve been doing. There are some kids who will challenge me in Arizona but not like this. I can’t wait to see where I stand with them.”

Contact Jason Skoda at (480) 898-7915 or jskoda@ahwatukee.com. Follow him on Twitter @JasonPSkoda

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