Dave Gonzalez knew that his Desert Vista wrestlers were special and could compete for a state title. They came close last weekend, taking second place in the Division I state championships at Prescott Valley.
“I knew that they were going to do some special things based on how much they fought for everything they’ve wanted,” said Gonzalez, the Thunder coach. “That’s the legacy left behind with this group, to just keep pushing.”
Four Desert Vista wrestlers won state championships in their weight classes. Alfonso Martinez is state champ at 145-pounds, Preston Cameau at 160, Justice Smith, who didn’t compete until the seventh meet of the season due to an ankle injury, at 170, and Brett Johnson, a California signee in football, at 285.
“They push each other to make sure the best product is put out there all the time,” Gonzalez said. “They didn’t let minor setbacks get to them. They knew where they wanted to be and they didn’t stop until they got to the top.”
The Thunder went undefeated in dual matches. In the sectional tournament, a dozen wrestlers qualified for state.
“We settled for second but that’s not what we wanted,” Gonzalez said. “Even though these guys are gone it doesn’t end here. All of the guys that we have back are going to keep pushing and make another run.”
Ahwatukee wrestlers at state
126 pounds: Tariq Hornbuckle, Desert Vista, 3rd. 132: Mourece Ramirez, DV, 6th. 145: Alfonso Martinez, DV, 1st. 160: Preston Cameau, DV, 1st. 170: Justice Smith, DV, 1st. 195: Armando Delgado, DV, 5th. 220: David Polosika, Mountain Pointe, 3rd. 285: Brett Johnson, DV, 1st.