Tucson High School Sports

CDO Wins Team Title, Empire Freshman Branden Peglow Most Outstanding Wrestler in Competitive William Bell Tournament


The annual William Bell Wrestling Tournament on Saturday night at Pueblo High School had strong and dramatic finishes, a good indication for how competitive high school wrestling will be in Tucson this season.

It included Canyon del Oro convincingly winning the team competition 57-21 over Empire with nine Dorados victorious by fall, but the Ravens had a thrill of their own with 145-pound freshman Branden Peglow capturing the Danny Villa Most Outstanding Wrestler honor following a dramatic win by fall in the last minute of his title match.

Down by one point in the waning seconds of his match against CDO’s Austin Pitts — who earlier in the day pinned Peglow at the 2:54 mark of the second period in the team competition — Peglow reversed out of a hold to go up by one and he pinned Pitts in the last second of the match to emerge the winner.

Empire freshman Branden Peglow named the Danny Villa Most Outstanding Wrestler of the William Bell Wrestling Tournament. Villa, a former Pueblo standout wrestler, was killed in an automobile accident in 1973. Pictured with Peglow are Danny’s brothers Victor and Andy are pictured with their mother (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

“I saw the girl (who alerts the referee the match is about to end) walking up behind me and I was like, ‘Oh crap, I’ve gotta get something right now,'” Peglow said. “That’s when I got the reversal. … I was so happy. I didn’t expect that to happen in a varsity tournament.

“I took from it that I should never give up and fight until the end. You never know what could happen. I didn’t expect (the pin) because last time I wrestled, he pinned me, so I was not expecting it all. I got up and I was like, ‘Yes! I won!'”

His teammates swarmed around him as he walked off the mat.

Empire’s Branden Peglow is swarmed by his teammates in celebration of his 145-pound title at the William Bell Wrestling Tournament (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

“We’re a good team … lots of friends,” Peglow said.

Empire, an emerging wrestling program, emphatically accepted the runner-up trophy, looking as if it won the competition.

That title was earned by the Dorados, who have been together so long, they took pride in winning the championship but they took it in stride.

“Some of these boys have been wrestling together for years, all the way since they were in middle school so it was really cool to see them get on top of the podium and achieve some success,” CDO coach David Sholes said.

CDO crowned champion of the William Bell Wrestling Tournament (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

Seven Dorados registered first period pins against Empire in the team championship competition: Romeo Avalos (113 pounds), Mylei Seigla (120), Trey Trejo (126), Rene Garcia (132), Shane Buda (170), Andrik Valdez (195) and Julian Moreno (220).

Pitts and 132-pound wrestler Mason Comer won by fall in the second periods.

Avalos, Trejo and 160-pound wrestler Zane McKissick captured individual titles representing the Dorados.

“It feels great to be a champion,” Trejo said. “Our team has been working really hard for this. It’s nice to see that our hard work has paid off these last couple of years and we’re finally back up on top.”

The following are videos and images from Saturday’s competition:

VIDEO INTERVIEWS OF CDO COACH DAVID SHOLES AND INDIVIDUAL TITLISTS

EMPIRE ECSTATIC OVER RUNNER-UP HONOR

Empire celebrates its runner-up finish in the William Bell Wrestling Tournament (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

106-POUND CHAMPION MATTHEW O’BRIEN OF SAHUARO

The 106-pound champion of the William Bell Wrestling Tournament — Sahuaro’s Matthew O’Brien (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

113-POUND CHAMPION ROMEO AVALOS OF CDO

The 113-pound champion of the William Bell Wrestling Tournament — CDO’s Romeo Avalos (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

CDO’s 113-pound wrestler Romeo Avalos being coached to the title by CDO coach David Sholes and assistant Cody Comer (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

120-POUND CHAMPION GILBERT RODRIGUEZ OF SAN MANUEL

The 120-pound champion of the William Bell Wrestling Tournament — San Manuel’s Gilbert Rodriguez (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

San Manuel’s Gilbert Rodriguez after winning the 120-pound title of the William Bell Wrestling Tournament (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

126-POUND CHAMPION TREY TREJO OF CDO

The 126-pound champion of the William Bell Wrestling Tournament — CDO’s Trey Trejo (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

CDO’s Trey Trejo on his way to the 126-pound title of the William Bell Wrestling Tournament (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

132-POUND CHAMPION IBRAHIM SADI OF TUCSON

The 132-pound champion of the William Bell Wrestling Tournament — Tucson’s Ibrahim Sadi (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

138-POUND CHAMPION ROBERTO SANTA MARIA OF TUCSON

The 138-pound champion of the William Bell Wrestling Tournament — Tucson’s Roberto Santa Maria (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

Tucson High School’s 138-pound wrestler Roberto Santa Maria goes against CDO’s Rene Garcia in the William Bell Wrestling Tournament at Pueblo High School (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

145-POUND CHAMPION BRANDEN PEGLOW OF EMPIRE

The 145-pound champion of the William Bell Wrestling Tournament — Empire’s Branden Peglow (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

152-POUND CHAMPION JONATHAN LOPEZ OF DESERT VIEW

The 152-pound champion of the William Bell Wrestling Tournament — Desert View’s Jonathan Lopez (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

Desert View’s Jonathan Lopez topped Tucson’s Chayce Edwards in the 152-pound final of the William Bell Wrestling Tournament (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

Sunnyside wrestling legend Sam Portillo (standing) coached the Desert View wrestlers in the William Bell Tournament along with Raul Padilla (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

160-POUND CHAMPION ZANE MCKISSICK OF CDO

The 160-pound champion of the William Bell Wrestling Tournament — CDO’s Zane McKissick (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

170-POUND CHAMPION YOUSEF SADI OF TUCSON

The 170-pound champion of the William Bell Wrestling Tournament — Tucson’s Yousef Sadi (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

182-POUND CHAMPION CHARLES HINDLEY OF PUEBLO

The 182-pound champion of the William Bell Wrestling Tournament — Pueblo’s Charles Hindley (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

Pueblo’s Charles Hindley was the 182-pound champion of the William Bell Wrestling Tournament (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

195-POUND CHAMPION BREXTON THOMAS OF SAHUARO

The 195-pound champion of the William Bell Wrestling Tournament — Sahuaro’s Brexton Thomas (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

Sahuaro’s Brexton Thomas won the 195-pound title of the William Bell Wrestling Tournament (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

220-POUND CHAMPION OMAR IBANEZ OF PUEBLO

The 220-pound champion of the William Bell Wrestling Tournament — Pueblo’s Omar Ibanez (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

285-POUND CHAMPION ISAIAH SIERRA OF EMPIRE

The 285-pound champion of the William Bell Wrestling Tournament — Empire’s Isaiah Sierra (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

Empire’s Isaiah Sierra reacts after pinning Nogales’ Hernan Ortiz in the 285-pound final of the William Bell Wrestling Tournament at Pueblo (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)


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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.

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