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D3 Wrestling: Sahuarita takes Second Place

Sahuarita (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson)

The Safford Bulldogs came into the Division III state tournament as the favorite based on the program’s victory over Sahuarita in the Section III tournament held last week in Florence. Safford held Sahuarita off 204 to 183 that day but the Mustangs put in some work Thursday and the Bulldogs found themselves up by a very slim margin of 94 to 92.5 entering the final few rounds of state competition held at Poston Butte High School.

Safford put together a strong showing down the stretch and the team came away with a more comfortable 124 to 109.5 margin over Sahuarita to bring home the ninth team championship for the school and the first since 2016.

Sahuarita did not produce an individual champion this year but the Mustangs sent 11 wrestlers to state and six brought home medals including a couple of runner-up finishers in Gabriel Elias at 145 and sophomore Chris Lopez at 126.

The Mustangs also took second place last winter.

LINK: FULL RESULTS HERE

TEAM SCORES
2: Sahuarita 109.5
18: Walden Grove 46.5
23: Empire 34
26: Canyon del Oro 16
31: Rio Rico 7
32: Amphitheater 4

INDIVIDUAL MEDALISTS

106 WEIGHT CLASS
5: Fr. Zachary Bates (Walden Grove) 15-4
6: Jr. Jayden Rael (Sahuarita) 14-2

113 WEIGHT CLASS
3: So. Justin Fox (Sahuarita) 17-1
6: So. Channing Porter (Walden Grove) 14-6

120 WEIGHT CLASS
5: Sr. Tony Howard (Sahuarita) 13-3

126 WEIGHT CLASS
2: So. Christian Lopez (Sahuarita) 13-1

145 WEIGHT CLASS
2: Sr. Gabriel Elias (Sahuarita) 17-2
4: So. Charles Croci (Canyon Del Oro) 12-4, So

160 WEIGHT CLASS
5: Jr. Braden Peglow (Empire) 16-1

170 WEIGHT CLASS
4: So. Julian Prieto (Sahuarita) 9-3

182 WEIGHT CLASS
5: Sr. Hector Mendoza (Walden Grove) 10-4

220 WEIGHT CLASS
3: Jr. Jacob Lambert (Empire) 14-1
6: Jr. Levi Pannell (Sahuarita) 13-4

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Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014, he was awarded the Ray McNally Award in 2017, a 2019 AZ Education News award winner and he has been a youth, high school and college coach for over 30 years. He was the first in Arizona to write about high school beach volleyball and high school girls wrestling. His own children have won multiple state high school championships and were named to all-state teams. Competing in hockey, basketball, baseball and track & field in high school, his unique perspective can only be found here and on AZPreps365.com. Andy is the Southern Arizona voting member of the Ed Doherty Award, recognizing the top football player in Arizona, and he was named a Local Hero by the Tucson Weekly for 2016. Andy was named an Honorary Flowing Wells Caballero in 2019 and he is a member of the Amphi COVID-19 Blue Ribbon Committee. Contact Andy Morales at amoralesmytucson@yahoo.com

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