Corona del Sol’s defending Division I state championship wrestling team spent the second
half of the season competing in three tournaments to gain valuable match experience for the upcoming sectionals which ultimately will determine which wrestlers qualify to wrestle in the state tournament Feb. 8-9.
During the holiday break, the Aztecs gained confidence by winning the Moon Valley Invitational, taking first place out of 35 other schools and scoring 514 points.
Winning individual championships were juniors Zack Kvavle (120-pound weight classification) and Bryce Nickel (138-pound classification). Other Corona medalists scoring
points for the team win included seniors Ryan Chancellor (182-pound weight classification) and Jacob Santa Cruz (195-pound) taking third place, junior Roan Kelleher (160-pound) and sophomore Tanner Mendoza (170-pound) placing fourth, senior Bradley Buchholz
(132-pound) fifth place and seniors Armando Arellano (145-pound) and Santiago Pesquiera (220-pound) taking seventh.
On Jan. 5-6, the Aztecs competed at the 50th annual Peoria Tournament of Champions, where the team finished fifth out of 35 teams from Arizona, California, Nevada and Colorado. No. 2 seeded Kvavle lost to the No. 1 seed Jesse Ybarra from Sunnyside to
place second in the 113-pound weight class.
Nickel, the No. 2 seed, defeated Amado Castellon from Cimarron-Memorial to take third place while Mendoza lost to the No. 2 seed Joe Carey from Basha to take fourth place.
Corona sophomore, Anthony Gonzalez, wrestling in the 106-pound weight category, placed sixth after being defeated by the No. 4 ranked Bobby Pinto from Northview.
Buchholz and Kelleher also earned sixth place medals at the Peoria Tournament of Champions.
The Aztecs had 11 wrestlers compete at the 10th Annual Battle for the Belt on Jan. 12-13 at Temecula, Calif.
Corona finished 19th out of 77 teams, scoring 55.5 points. Corona’s top finisher was Kvavle, who made it all the way to the semifinals before being defeated by Jason Miranda of Poway, Calif., to take third place, scoring 24 points toward the team score.
Although none of the other 10 Corona wrestlers received a medal, several earned points toward the team total, including 9.5 points earned by Nickel, six by Gonzales, five by Santa
Cruz and four each by Buchholz, Arellano, Kelleher and Chancellor.
Michael Orr earned four points for Corona, wrestling in the 126-pound weight category; Mendoza earned two points. Logan Miley competed for the Aztecs in the 152-pound weight class.
Other members of Corona’s varsity wrestling team include senior Hayleigh Farrington (112-
pound weight class), sophomore Matt Gable (120-pound), senior Stephano Linares (135-pound), senior Brandon Juvera (160-pound), senior Jacob Garcia (166-pound), senior Aaron Arenas (187-pound), Miles Simmons (198-pounds) and junior Kevin Beltran (212-pounds).
The Corona del Sol wrestling team honored Dave Vibber on Jan. 17 at the Aztecs’ last home match of the 2017-2018 season. During his 30 years as head wrestling coach, Vibber amassed 403 career wins, including winning the 5A state championship individual and team
tournament his last season in 2008-09 by defeating three-time defending state champion Mesa High School.
Vibber’s team placed second at the 5A state championship the year before in 2008 after winning the individual championship.
The Aztecs had one more regular season dual against Central and Horizon on Jan. 24 before they were scheduled to compete at the Division I Section IV sectionals Feb. 3 at Chandler High School.
Marcos de Niza Wrestling The Padres competed at the Moon Valley Invitational held Dec. 22-23, beating out 33 other teams to take third place for 447 points, with wrestlers placing in seven weight categories including four seniors who won first place medals.
Seniors Hamza Manassra, Trequan Johnson, Andrew Torres and Alex Torres were the top four finishers for Marcos. Manassra took home a first-place medal in the 220-pound weight category by defeating Jonathan Matuzak of Queen Creek in a 7-2 decision. Johnson also left the gym with a first-place medal after pinning Brock Locnikar of Notre Dame Prep in the 182-pound weight category.
Andrew Torres defeated Stevie Maddox from Tempe High School with a 9-6 decision in the 170-pound weight category to take home the Padres’ third first place medal.
Not to be outdone by twin brother Alex Torres, Andrew defeated Manuel Nikolas of Queen Creek in the 160-pound weight category for an additional championship medal for Marcos.
Three other wrestlers placed in the top seven to earn points for the Padres team. Malik Shuaibe-Jones placed fourth in the 126-pound weight class. Rafael Cabrera took home
a sixth-place medal in the 132-pound weight class while Jacob Navarrette earned a seventh-place medal in the 138-pound weight class for the Padres.
Marcos will be competing in the Division III Section II sectionals Feb. 3 at Florence High School.
The Division III state tournament is Feb. 9-10 at the Prescott Valley Event Center in Prescott Valley.
Tempe H.S. Wrestling
The Buffaloes had two wrestlers place in the top seven spots at the Moon Valley Invitational. Stevie Maddox was the top finisher with a second-place finish in the 170-pound weight category while Jaxen Davis placed sixth in the 106-pound weight classification.
Tempe High School competes in Division II and is in Section IV. The Buffaloes will take part in the sectionals Feb. 3 at Campo Verde High School and in the Division II state tournament Feb. 8-9 at the Prescott Valley Event Center.
Tempe H.S. Boys Soccer
The No. 9 Arizona-ranked and No. 1 Division 4A ranked Buffaloes finished the regular season undefeated, at 12-0, 4-0 (region) and are by far the best soccer team Tempe High School has had in quite some time.
For instance, Tempe defeated Marcos de Niza 15-0 on Jan. 18 which was their eighth shutout of the season.
The Buffaloes defeated Coconino 8-0, Peoria 5-0, Casa Grande 4-0, Coronado 3-0, Apache Junction 5-0, Saguaro 2-0 and Seton Catholic 6-0 before their Marcos 15-0 win.
In 12 regular season matches, the Buffaloes have outscored their opponents 58 to 4. The only teams that have been able to score against Tempe’s team are Washington (two points), McClintock (one point) and Cactus Shadows (one point).
The leading goal scorer for Tempe is junior Rigo Zamudio who had scored 14 goals or an average of 1.8 goals a game through the first eight matches. He is also credited with 33 points or 4.1 points a game with five assists in the same eight matches.
Senior Hector Govea had scored nine goals, 21 points, with three assists in seven matches while sophomore Jonathan Rodriguez, through seven matches, was the third leading scorer with seven goals, four assists and 18 points
Senior Bravo Johnny was credited with six goals and 12 points in only four matches but altogether the Buffaloes show 13 players scoring at least one goal in the first eight matches.
Seniors Manny Cervantes, Jonathan Dominguez, Andres Hernandez and Omar Bello, along with juniors Angel Valadez and Mariano Leon and sophomore Jeo Villalobos, are credited with at least one goal each on the stat sheet.
Additional players who contribute to the team’s success on and off the field include seniors Ezedine Eze E Kargougou and Omar Carranza, juniors Amiel Suanez, Gilberto Fuentes, Manny Torres and Jesus Acosta, plus freshman Victor Cruz.
The 2018 4A Boys Soccer Conference Play-In Tournament for the ninth through 24th ranked teams will be Jan. 25.
The top eight ranked 4A teams get an automatic spot in the state tournament with the first round being played at the higher seed on Jan. 31 at 6 p.m.
The Buffaloes should be the No. 1 seed and play at home the first round on Jan. 31 and the quarterfinals scheduled Feb. 3.