Brian Brady has all the confidence in his son, Dalton, and the latter credited his father for developing him into one of the best wrestlers the state of Arizona has ever seen.
But they were at odds heading into the state tournament.
Dalton made an unselfish decision to bump up two weight classes in order to allow the Wolves to have its most potent lineup.
Brian wasn’t sure about the decision because he knew Dalton could be giving up a chance — as slight as it might have been — at history.
“I would not have done that,” Brian said. “It’s pretty cool that he did, but there is no way I’d do that. It is asking a lot.”
It turned out the elder Brady was right to be hesitant when it came to facing Cesar Chavez’s Dajour Reece in the 138-pound finals. Reece, a former state champion, stood nearly 6 feet and had about 5 inches on Dalton.
Leverage in wrestling, which lankiness provides, can be everything. It is easier to fight off attacks and the wingspan can make all the difference in winning a scramble.
Brady and Reece were tied heading into the third period before Brady finally secured the winning takedown to become the state’s 28th four-time champion and the Tribune’s Wrestler of the Year.
“It was tough until I figured out to drop my elevation,” Brady said afterward. “I was like, thank God.”
Even the unselfish decision to help the team in one more individual sport didn’t payoff, as the Wolves finished second to Sunnyside, Brady was still confident he made the right choice.
“I was confident,” he said. “I just knew I could handle it and took it upon myself to do it. I wanted to win my fourth, but I also wanted to win our second team title just as much.”
After going 156-1 in his high school career, it is time to re-establish himself at the national and possibly international level.
Brady has big goals ahead with Fila Junior this summer, a scholarship to Utah Valley, and a possible return to the Olympic Training Center in the months to come.
He lost in the quarterfinals of last year’s Fila Juniors, his first year at that age group (17 to 20), with hopes of taking the next step and qualifying for the Fila Junior World Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria.
The team trials June 20-23 in Stillwater, Okla., give him a chance to compete against the nation’s best.
“It’s the ultimate goal,” Brady said. “Winning four state titles was a goal for a long time, but I’ve always had bigger goals out there.”
• Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN.
All-Tribune First Team
Wt. Name Yr. School Comment
106 Alex Carrillo Fr. Corona del Sol Highest finisher in Division I and finished with a 35-12 record
113 Ted Rico So. Combs Wins first state title with hopes of becoming a three-timer
120 Arch Ratliff Sr. Perry Won sectional by beating Sunnyside state champ Miranda, then finished fourth in DI
126 Tristan Moran Soph. Chandler If he ends up winning three state titles, will also wonder if rub injury kept from four
132 Glenn Farina Jr. Corona del Sol Was a scoring machine at the end, won controversial DI title, three-time placer.
138 Dalton Brady Sr. Chandler Took a little risk by wrestling two classes but still became 28th four-time champ
145 Curt Done Sr. Highland Former state champion gave up early lead in DI finals to finish as runner-up and 4x placer
152 Seth Monty Sr. Mountain View Toros’ most decorated wrestler (2x champ, 3x finalist, 4x placer) headed to Arizona State
160 Ethan Tursini Jr. Corona del Sol Undefeated season and rarely challenged as 32 of 44 wins earned bonus points on the way to title
170 Trey Ronayne Jr. Basha Missed last year with elbow surgery but returned with undefeated (42-0) state title run
182 Alex Bambic Sr. Desert Vista Three state titles, four-time placer finished wasn’t challenged by in-state competition
195 Dylan Kronborg Soph. Corona del Sol Very few sophomore can find the podium at a higher weight class, but he did by finishing 4th in DI
220 Ben Andrew Sr. Mesa Never challenged as all 42 wins earned bonus points including 33 pins as he won 2nd state DI title
HVY Keyley Ellis Sr. Gilbert Won his last 17 matches including a 5-3 DI title victory over Schrock to avenge one of four losses
Wrestler of the Year: Dalton Brady, Chandler
Coach of the Year: Mike Garcia, Basha: While other area coaches finished higher than seventh in the state standings no one did more with unknowns as Basha’s two finalists missed last year with injuries and had two other high placers.
All-Tribune Second Team
Wt. Name Yr. School Comment
106 Travis Widmer Fr. Queen Creek Will be a force in Division II the next three years.
113 Kamden Krum Jr. Basha A year after missing out on state because of injury last season finished as DI runner-up
120 Branden Edwards Sr. A. Junction Wrestled tournament of his career to finish at DII state runner-up
126 Anthony Wokasch Frosh. Queen Creek Lost by one point in DII finals against longtime nemesis Jacob Swift of Deer Valley.
132 Jesse Morales Sr. Marcos de Niza Two-time state champ lost heartbreaker in DII finals to miss out on third
138 Robert Latin Jr. Basha Went 30-7 at 138 to finish fifth in DI after dropping from 145
145 Zach Walton Jr. Corona del Sol Ahwatukee resident finished third after taking second as a sophomore
152 Dalton Moran Sr. Chandler OT loss to Monty in state semis ended state title hopes, but finished strong
160 Christian Stadler Sr. Basha Colorado transfer finds AZ wrestling to his liking with fourth place DI finish
170 Hayden Moore Sr. Queen Creek Transformation from 220 pounds ends with DII state title with 55-3 record
182 Joe Miranda Sr. Chandler Helped Wolves to second-place with his runner-up finish in DI
195 Tristan Ezell Jr. Desert Vista Won the Moon Valley title in December and rode confidence to 5th place in DI
220 Derek Craig Sr. Marcos de Niza Toughest match of DII state title run was first-round 5-2 win before three bonus wins
HVY Robert Schrock Jr. Mesa Finished fourth at sectionals but battled his way to the DI title match
106: Paden Mason, frosh., Mesa Mountain View; Alex Wimbish, jr., Mesquite; Paul Gonzales, jr., Tempe, Dayton Dunham, soph., Campo Verde.
113: Gary Smith, jr., Desert Ridge; Brian Mitchell, soph., Desert Vista; Jerod Booth, frosh., Mountain View; Matt Saba, frosh., Queen Creek; Gabriel Cobb, jr., Williams Field.
120: Brett Kasprzyk, jr., Mesa; Daniel Ramirez, jr., Red Mountain; Zachary Sanchez, sr, Campo Verde.
126: Alex Vasquez, sr., Hamilton; Ryan Sondrup, soph., Marcos de Niza; Austin Doll, sr., Campo Verde.
132: Ronald Mason, sr., Mountain View; Joey Rico, soph., Chandler; Anthony Celaya, Sr., Dobson; Parker Hawk, soph., Campo Verde.
138: Ryan Gallo, jr., Mountain View; Rand Hawk, soph., Campo Verde; Richard Florez, jr., Marcos de Niza.
145: Estevan Ulibarri, jr., Chandler; Justin Prada, sr., Perry; Tucker Workman, Sr., Queen Creek; Chandler Follett, soph., Williams Field.
152: Colton Winstead, jr., Corona del Sol; Eric Stoppa, sr., Chaparral; Emanuel Pjetrushi, Notre Dame; Steve Stryker, jr., Campo Verde.
160: Mason Darveaux, sr., Highland; Logan Cole, sr., Mountain View; Sean Lambert, sr., Apache Junction.
170: Bridger Barker, frosh., Corona del Sol; Grant Huber, sr.; Alex Farrar, Seton Catholic.
182: Kazimierz Segal, sr., Mountain View; John Gorrie, sr., Highland; George Alaniz, sr., Canyon State.
195: Darien Hapner, jr., Skyline; Ryan Viker, jr., Valley Christian; Chase Frank, sr., Brophy.
220: Kaleb Mosier, sr., Brophy; Drew Lattner, sr., Chandler; Mike Kiel, sr., Pinnacle; Jake Lee, sr., San Tan Foothills;
HVY: Mike Keledjian, sr., Red Mountain; Drew Aho, jr., Higley; Finton Connolly, soph., Campo Verde.