Time to end the season on the right note with some great wrestling this weekend.
Congrats to all those who have made it this far. Can't say I ever did that in my days in Ohio (of course the competition was a little different with 700 schools) so cherish every moment.
Anyway, here is my stab at what will happen. I don't get to see Division II very often so my predictions are not as in depth, but I took a shot anyway.
Champion: Danny Vega, Ironwood Ridge
Best quarterfinal match: Basha’s Jonathan Latin vs. Mesa Mountain View’s Kade Williams. Edge - Williams
Upset bid: Boulder Creek’s Stone Crooks vs. No. 2 Jacob Rios of Valley Vista. I don’t know the history here but anyone with the first name Stone has to be tough.
Champion: Alex Carrillo, Desert Vista.
Best quarterfinal match: Chandler’s Michael Reyes vs. Maryvale’s Alejandro Calderon. Edge - Reyes
Upset bid: The state title match comes in the semifinals in my opinion as Desert Vista’s Alex Carrillo and Mesa Mountain View’s Paden Mason should clash. They met in the Flowing Wells finals but Carrillo defaulted after they hit heads, but Mason was controlling the match. Carrillo has seemingly reached a new level.
Champion: Juaqin Olivas, Sunnyside
Best quarterfinal: The winner of the ridiculously tough first-round matchup of Desert Ridge’s Gary Smith and Chandler’s Quincy Reece will take on state champion Jacob Reyes of Valley Vista. Edge - Reyes.
Upset bid: Don’t see any in this weight class because it is loaded but Tucson wrestlers are reaping the benefits of Bobby DeBerry. If I had to pick one I’d say Matthew Pool of Tucson taking down Boulder Creek’s Cory Crooks, but don’t see it happening.
Champion: Williams Olivas, Sunnyside
Best quarterfinal match: Mesa Mountain View’s Jerod Booth vs. Ironwood Ridge’s Kyle Taylor. Edge - Taylor
Upset bid: The seeding process screwed up this weight class terribly. The best match comes in the first round as Corona del Sol’s Marc Farina takes on sectional champion Branson Tibbs of Boulder Creek. Farina wins this and then Horizon’s Travis Matt gets to the semis in the top half of the bracket.
Champion: Tyler Meraz, Dobson
Best quarterfinal match: Basha’s Kamden Krum vs. Mesa’s Brent Kasprzyk. Edge - Krum
Upset bid: The best matches happen way too early with the Krum and Kasprzyk match and Meraz vs. Chandler’s Joey Rico, also in the quartefinals. Those are both toss up matches so I don’t many other big matches.
Champion: Glenn Farina, Corona del Sol
Best quarterfinal match: Chandler’s Estevan Ulibarri vs. Mesa Mountain View’s Ryan Gallo. Edge - Ulibarri
Upset bid: This always seems to be one of the toughest weight classes and this no different. Tucson’s Chris Quiroz will advance to semifinals after beating Cesar Chavez’s Kyle Robbins, but I have a couple of other’s in mind as well.
Champion: Blake Monty, Mesa Mountain View
Best quarterfinal match: Bsaha’s Dallis Smith vs. Mesa Mountain View’s Blake Monty. Edge - Monty
Upset bid: Don’t be surprised if Gilbert’s Dylon Gillette will squeak past Boulder Creek’s Adam Garcia in the quarterfinals.
Champion: Dajour Reece, Chandler
Best quarterfinal match: Nothing jumps out. The first-round match of Dobson’s Jordan Sherwood and Fernando Mancilla is a little bit intriguing. Edge - Sherwood.
Upset bid: The only thing that matters in this weight class is the clash in the finals. Reece is so slick and Suwyn is a technician. My head tells me Suwyn, but my gut says Reece.
Champion: Ethan Tursini, Corona del Sol
Best quarterfinal match: Mesa Mountain View’s Weston Taylor vs. Westview Kordell Provchy. Edge - Taylor
Upset bid: Tucson’s Angel Ortiz looked over Sandra Day O’Connor’s Jonathan Turk.
Champion: Trey Ronayne, Basha
Best quarterfinal match: This weight class does nothing for me. Kind of blah. I want to say Buena’s Gabe Ortiz vs. Trevor Browne’s Isaias Ochoa, but not sure if either of them will get that far. Edge - Ortiz.
Upset bid: Dobson’s Christian Davis reaps the benefit of a tough schedule and has a chance to take down sectional champ Mason Maksudian of Desert Mountain in the first round.
Champion: Jro Byrd, Boulder Creek
Best quarterfinal match: Desert Vista’s Jeremiah Imonode vs. Hamilton’s Derek Andresen. Edge - Andresen
Upset bid: Ironwood Ridge’s Tristan Mordecai probably feel like he as a second life after having his ejection from sectionals reversed. He’ll get to the semifinals after beating sectional champion Adrian Salazar of Millennium.
Champion: Gabriel Gonzalez, Sunnyside
Best quarterfinal match: Mountain Ridge’s Jimmy House vs. Sunnyside’s Gabriel Gonzalez. Edge - Gonzalez
Upset bid: Perry’s Jeffrey Arredondo impressed me last week even though he lost 9-3 to Gonzalez in the finals of sectionals. I can see him getting another shot Gonzalez by getting past Boulder Creek’s Jordan Erickson in the quarterfinals and Mesa Mountain View’s Phoenix Hollen in the semifinals.
Champion: Cesar Chavez’s Bradley Burston.
Best quarterfinal match: Desert Vista’s Tristan Ezell vs. Mesa Mountain View’s McKay Huber. Edge - Ezell
Upset bid: This is one weight class that is wide open in my mind. I’ve seen Ezell wrestle the most and if he is on, he will win it like he did in Flowing Wells. Or he could wrestle like did at Peoria and struggle to make the podium. Sandra Day O’Connor’s Preston Poisall beat Burston after trailing 4-0. Centennial’s Lewis Arendall pinned Huber at Flowing Wells. Ezell and Marana’s Travis Howard split a pair of matches. Poisall beat Ezell in conso semifinals at state last year. It’s anybody’s to win.
Champion: Robert Schrock, Mesa
Best quarterfinal match: Corona de Sol’s Darius Ryan vs. Boulder Creek’s Nathan Eldridge. Edge - Ryan
Upset bid: Mesa Mountain View’s Alex Garcia will get to the semifinals (and maybe the finals) with Chandler’s Thomas Chisholm in the quarterfinals.
Team race: Mesa Mountain View will get their first state title since 2000 by volume of competitors. The Toros had a great weekend last week in getting eight champions. They’ll be strong again, but not without a fight from Sunnyside who should have at least three individual champions.
Champion: Brandon Courtney, Desert Edge
Best match (before finals): Queen Creek's Travis Widmer vs. Gila Ridge's Nathan Mendivil. Edge - Mendivil.
Champion: Alexander Juarez, Cibola
Best match (before finals): Cholla's David Martinez vs. Campo Verde's Alex Dunham.
Champion: Josh Kramer, Desert Edge
Best match (before finals): Queen Creek's Ryan Van Hyning vs. Ironwood's Andrew Deneke.
Champion: Kyle Ford, Gila Ridge
Best match (before finals): Ironwood's Joey Laturno vs. Gila Ridge's Kyle Ford.
Champion: Luis Nunez, Cibola
Best match (before finals): Marcos de Niza's Ryan Soundrup vs. Ironwood's Jonathan Reynoso.
Champion: Jacob Swift, Deer Valley
Best match (before finals): Catalina Foothills's Zach Ford vs. Queen Creek's Anthony Wokasch. Edge - Wokasch.
Champion: Troy Vandall, Barry Goldwater
Best match (before finals): Maricopa's Michael Nelson vs. Sunrise Mountain's Antonio Perez. Edge - Perez
Champion: Richard Florez, Marcos de Niza
Best match (before finals): Kingman's Jared Brown vs. Queen Creek's Dallin Miller. Edge - Brown
Champion: Pierre Gaud, Cibola
Best match (before finals): Cholla's Danny Roberts vs. Prescott's Dakota Vaughan. Edge - Roberts.
Champion: Vicente Guerrero, Cibola
Best match (before finals): Deer Valley's Jacob Burden vs. McClintock's Elijah Halim. Edge - Halim
Champion: Michael Spencer, Poston Butte
Best match (before finals): Apollo's Nicholas Bayless vs. Marcos de Niza's Brandon Dowland. Edge - Dowland.
Champion: Andrew Vera, CinengaBest match (before finals): no clue
Champion: Danny Reyes, Barry Goldwater
Best match (before finals): Vista Grande's Sam Reeves vs. Shadow Mountain's Damian Baca. Edge - Reeves.
Champion: Kyle Jividen, Sahuaro
Best match (before finals): Higley's Drew Aho vs. Prescott's David Rupp. Edge - Aho.
Team race: Cibola replaces Ironwood Ridge as the runaway favorites.