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3 wins for wrestlers

By: Alex Zener

January 26, 2008   

Corona del Sol High School’s wrestling team has won three major matchups in the second half of the season.

Corona wrestlers won the McClintock tournament over the holidays, with 10 competitors placing against 26 teams. Every wrestler in Corona’s line-up scored, amassing a cumulative 237 points against the next best team, Mesa Westwood, at 168 points.

CdS also won its own 16th Annual Aztec Duals wrestling tournament Jan. 11-12 at the home gym. The Aztecs hosted a nine-team tournament, winning 8-0 as a team to take the first-place trophy with eight of the CdS 14 team members on the all-tournament team.

Sophomore Mike Howard (191) won a championship medal and made the all-tournament team in his first year on the varsity squad. Other titlists and all-tournament members were defending state champions Trevor Stapp (heavyweight) and Ryan Miller (127).

Also included were state runner-ups from last year, Derek Felton (154), Luke Macchiaroli (217), Justin Cullins (105), David Hoover (137) and Travis Fulton (162).

Corona’s varsity squad also took first place in the Tim Van Horn Invitation Tournament Jan. 18-19, held in Payson.

CdS competed against Fountain Hills, Gilbert Higley, Coolidge, McClintock, Williams Field, Gilbert Highland and Chandler Seton Catholic squads to take home the championship.

At the start of the season, Coach Dan Vibber thought that his team was going to be extremely competitive, but winning three tournaments in a row has given the team an added incentive to try not only to win the Central Region title but to repeat 5-A state championships in several weight classes and be in the running to capture the state 5A-I team title.

Vibber has a good chance to meet those expectations because he has five returning state medalists from last year’s squad.

Junior Luke Macchiaroli, in the 215-pound weight class, was state runner-up last year and state champion the year before, and is off to a great start this year with a 25-0 record.

Another returning state medalist is senior Trevor Stapp (280), who was state champion and state tournament MVP last season. Sophomore Ryan Miller (125) was state champion in his weight class last year as a freshman.

The Aztecs received a lot of help in the consolation bracket from varsity wrestlers to help win the team tournaments.

Returning seniors Trey McAlister and Skyler Fish, along with juniors Jordin Pagel and David Hoover, have varsity experience and are expected to continue contributing to wins the rest of the season.

Varsity lineup newcomers, also expected to pin some opponents during this season, are freshman Ryan Cox; sophomores Justin Cullins, Blake Ortiz, Brad Spadafor and Mike Howard and juniors Kevin Etchells, Patrick Szajna and Sean Larsen.  

Vibber hopes to have established his best line-up for when the Central Region matches start in a dual meet Jan. 23, against Mountain Point and Desert Vista.

Feb. 7 will be the State Preliminary Individual Tournament at Desert Vista, with the full tournament taking place Feb. 8-9 at the Arena. State will be the next week, Feb. 11-16.

Vibber is expecting Desert Vista to be the team to beat, with several other teams, including Mesa, Dobson, Highland and Red Mountain, looking good in the preseason for the state matches.


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