By Greg Perkins
Competing with 30 other teams at the Moon Valley Invitational meet just prior to the Christmas break, seven Lobo wrestlers place at least seventh in the highly competitive meet.
Jacob Lucas was the highest Snowflake placer, finishing second overall in the 160-pound weight class. Lucas went 8-1 at the tournament, losing only the title match to Ethan Tursini from Corona Del Sol.
J.T. Bradley finished in third place, posting a 7-1 mark, losing out to Jared Krall of Coconino. He bounced back to defeat Nathan Eldridge of Boulder Creek in the consolation semifinal round, then won by pin over Anthony McBeth of Camp Verde in the third place match.
Cole Mortensen finished fourth in the 106-pound class. Mortensen went 8-2, losing to Wryder Richards of Blue Ridge in a tie breaker in the semifinal match. He then defeated Cory Crooks of Boulder Creek and fell to Matt Mejia of Camp Verde in the third and fourth place match.
Zane Owens placed fifth in the 132 class, also posting an overall record of 8-2. He lost in the semifinal round to Ryan Allred of Camp Verde, then fell in the consolation semifinal round to Tyler Moore of Dobson High. Owens came back to defeat Aaron Masterson of Desert Vista in the fifth place match.
Lane Whipple finished sixth in the 152 class. He went 7-3 with a loss in the semifinal round to Marcos Martinez of Verrado. He also fell to Alex Anzar from Camp Verde in the consolation semifinal round. He fell to Branden Russell of Centennial in the fifth place match.
Isiah Diaz finished in sixth place in the 138-pound weight class. His 6-3 record included losses to Anthony Celeya of Dobson High in the semifinal round. He also fell to Oliser Ward of Valley Vista in the consolation bracket and to Troy Vandall of Barry Goldwater in the fifth place match.
Wacey Wood finished seventh in the 113-pound division with an overall mark of 7-2. His first loss came in the sixth round against James Zuckerman of Kellis High School, and his second came in the second round of the consolation bracket to Brian Mitchell of Desert Vista. Wood defeated Branson Tibbs of Boulder Creek in the seventh place match due to an injury.
All of these wrestlers, along with the rest of the team, wrestled very well. With the exception of the Camp Verde team, which is always very good, the Lobos fell only to large school wrestlers, showing just how tough the Snowflake team will be in Division III as the new year gets underway.
Those wrestlers who did not place at the meet were Clayton Solomon, who went 4-2 in the 145-pound class; Kodie Bateman, 4-2 at 126 lbs.; Alex Foree, 4-3 at 170 lbs.; Zach Winder, 3-3 at 182 lbs.; Tyler Kelly, 3-4 at 120 lbs.; Eldon McCray, 2-4 at 195 lbs.; and Michael Spurlock, 2-5 at 220 lbs.
By Greg Perkins