Camp Verde High boys wrestling came up short of their lofty goal of qualifying all the wrestlers they sent to Sectionals for State but did enjoy a successful sectional tournament.
Last week at the Division IV Section I tournament at Bourgade Catholic in Phoenix six out of the 10 wrestlers that compete for the Cowboys qualified for State and half of the 10 made it to the finals.
“I was really happy, we had five in the finals and for a team that only took 10, to get five in the finals was a good accomplishment, it really was,” CV head coach Larry Allred. “They went in with a goal to all qualify and we fell a little short of that; some of them just a little too young, a little too green. We’re a young, green team, but to get five of them actually to the finals and to get six of them to qualify to go to State was awesome.”
Senior Anthony Tinghitella (43-0) and junior Benji Perez (40-4) won section championships. Sophomore Dade Woodward (35-14), junior Ismael Gonzalez (20-9) and sophomore Jared Gorda (30-12) finished second.
Junior Dylan Tressler (22-15) took third to also punch his ticket for State.
The Cowboys finished third out of the 14 teams at Sectionals.
Allred said Perez has improved drastically this season.
“Sectional champion, which is a big goal of his and it puts him in a good seeding spot at State and he’s ready to go and get a state title, that’s his goal,” Allred said. “He’s got a tough weight bracket, he really does but if Benji wrestles Benji’s matches and he goes in there and wrestles like he did at Sectionals, we might come home with two state champions, him and Anthony.”
CV will send six boys wrestlers to the state tournament:
- 113 pounds: Woodard
- 120 pounds: Gonzalez
- 126 pounds: Perez
- 132 pounds: Tinghitella
- 145 pounds: Gorda
- 152 pounds: Tressler
The second day of the state tournament is Friday, starting at 10 a.m. with the medal rounds starting at 7 p.m. The tournament is at the Findlay Toyota Center in Prescott Valley, it was formerly called Prescott Valley Events Center.
“I’d like to take them as all state champion but realistically I think two of them have a really good shot,” Allred said.
On the girls side, freshman Caylee Townsend (12-1) heads to the state tournament after winning Sectionals the week before. She is in the 101 pound weight class.
The girls tournament will be Friday starting at 9:45 a.m. with the medal rounds starting at 7:30 p.m. It is also at the Findlay Toyota Center.
“It’s less on their records, I mean that’s part of it, but it’s really how they did at Sectionals for how they’re seeded and fortunately Caylee won Sectionals,” Allred said about seeding for the inaugural girls tournament.
Allred said the Cowboys boys will be looking to pick up some upsets but that’s very possible at State.
“We got a few kids that are a little closer to the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds, so they have a little bit rougher road, but in wrestling it really comes down to who’s got the heart, who’s the aggressor, who takes it to the other guy and sometimes that No. 1 seed, that No. 2 seed, they go in over confident and a kid comes and has more heart than he does, he wants it more,” Allred said. “Upsets happen all the time at State and that’s what we’re looking for, a few upsets.”