By Greg Perkins
Twenty-one teams were scheduled to compete at the 2012 Pat Kenny Wrestling Invitational held in Holbrook on Friday and Saturday. Mountain Ridge and Basha, two Division I schools from the Valley, battled it out for the team title, with Mountain Ridge claiming a 5.5-point margin to win with 200.5 points. Basha placed second with 195. Both those schools are coached by former Holbrook High School students, Cory and David Whitten, respec-tively.
Round Valley was the highest placing small school, finishing in third place with 140 points. Holbrook placed fourth with 129, followed by Winslow with 95, Mesquite, coached by Jeff Koury, also of Holbrook, 91, Joseph City, 77, Tuba City, 50, Chinle, 42, Valley Sanders, 38, Canyon State, 33, Hopi, 30, Alchesay, 21, and Ganado, 6.
Ethan Workman from Round Valley was selected as the Most Outstanding Lightweight (106-132 lbs.). Michael Suwyn from Mountain Ridge was the Most Outstanding Middleweight (138-152), and Shem Bowman of Holbrook was named the Most Outstanding Upperweight wrestler (170-285).
Holbrook wrestlers placed in the top six in all but three of the 14 weight classes, led by Theron Johns at 113 and Shem Bowman in the 195 class, both of whom earned first place in their divisions.
In the 106 class, Sam Plumb finished sixth. Theron Johns defeated Kyler Crosby of Joseph City in the finals of the 113 class. Levi McClellan finished fourth in the 120 class. Caleb McClellan placed fourth in the 126-pound class. James Ramirez made it to the finals, where he lost out to Danny McCurdy of Basha to finish second in the 132 class. Michael McMonigal placed fourth in the 138-pound class. Clayton Hunt placed fourth in the 152-pound class. Kevin Self finished fourth in the 170-pound class. At 182, Nikko Ferniza placed fifth. At 195, Shem Bow-man finished first, defeating Matt Hutica of Mountain Ridge in the finals. In the 285-pound division, Mathew Gishi finished in sixth place.
“This was one of the hardest Pat Kenny tournaments we have had,” said Holbrook Coach John Bokker. “There were some hard fought matches, some we won and some we lost. We had some young guys step it up and veterans who took care of business.
“Theron Johns is 17-0 right now and has beaten some tough guys who actually beat him last year. Shem Bow-man had a great tournament! He had eight pins, seven in the first period, and earned outstanding wrestler for the tournament. Kevin Self and Nikko Ferniza both had some exciting overtime matches where they showed heart and won. Freshmen James Ramirez and Levi McClellan both wrestled tough matches and helped the team out greatly. Seniors Caleb McClellan and Michael McMonigal lost and won some close matches that could have gone either way. Clayton Hunt, Mathew Gishi, Jedde Bowman, Logan Tsiniginne, and CJ and Samuel Plumb contributed with wins as well.
“There are several things we need to work on, but overall I was happy with our performance,” said the coach.
The Joseph City Wildcats had a good showing at the tournament, too, placing seventh out of 21 teams as the only small school in the event. The Wildcats finished with 77 team points.
The Cats had two individual champions, with Colton Spurlock defeating Ryan Kuhn from Basha in the title match of the 126-pound class. Josh Burt defeated Frankie Begay from Tuba City in the title match of the 138-pound class. Kyler Crosby reached the championship round of the 113-pound class, where he lost to Theron Johns of Holbrook. Chance Bray placed fourth in the 160-pound weight class.
By Greg Perkins