PRIMM — Josh Temple made the ultimate sacrifice for the Green Valley wrestling team before the Sunrise Region tournament, cutting down to 120 pounds.
His unselfishness was rewarded on Saturday.
Temple won his second consecutive state title, topping Mason Campbell of Bishop Gorman 8-5 at the Division I tournament at Star of the Desert Arena.
Temple was one of two individual champions for the Gators, who scored 97 points to secure their third straight team championship. Cimarron-Memorial and Spring Valley tied for second with 76 points, and Shadow Ridge was fourth with 69.
“It feels really good, especially knowing everyone on the team contributed,” Temple said. “Everybody did what they’re supposed to do.”
Temple competed at 126 for most of the season, but the senior moved down a weight class as Green Valley was forced to shuffle its lineup with two regulars suspended for the region tournament. Temple’s effort helped the Gators win the team title by two points over Foothill, though he was upset in the final by Liberty’s Jaylon Bates.
“All week I thought to myself I’m not going to lose state,” said Temple, who won state last year at 120 pounds. “I didn’t want to fail myself or my team. That was my mindset, and I gave everything I had.”
Temple scored a three-point near fall at the end of the first period against Campbell to go up 5-0. A takedown midway through the second period put Temple on top 8-0, and he coasted the rest of the way.
“I don’t know that I’ve come across an athlete who has done the things he’s done for Green Valley,” Gators coach Jon Ferry said. “He’s in it for everyone and takes pride in that. It’s just a unique quality for a human being, let alone a young adult.”
Donovan Peek was the Gators’ other state champion as the senior, who recently made an oral commitment to Army, scored a late takedown to seal a 7-3 decision over Andrew Berreyesa of Reno at 160 pounds. Peek finished second at state the past two seasons.
Cimarron’s Angel Laurente edged Green Valley’s Jared Brathor 3-1 at 132 pounds in the final installment of their rivalry. Brathor tied the score 1-1 on an escape with 19 seconds remaining in the third period, but Laurente scored a takedown with five seconds left to win his second straight state title.
Laurente topped Brathor in the state semifinals last year at 126 and lost to the Green Valley senior twice this season.
“I wanted it here,” Laurente said. “He beats me up all the time. … I wrestled my hardest where I knew it would hurt him and took away his glory.”
Spring Valley also had two individual champions in Eduardo Penha (138) and Silvano Villanueva (285). Penha scored a reversal and two-point near fall early in the third period on the way to a 10-4 win over Randle Crowley of Coronado, and Villanueva pinned Foothill’s Dylan Weasa 38 seconds into the second period.
Las Vegas High’s Antonio Jauregui, who missed all of last season with a torn knee ligament, had three takedowns in the third period and rolled to a 12-4 decision over Nolan Shine of Carson at 152 pounds.
“I always had a vision of being in the state final and winning,” Jauregui said. “It’s just a great feeling knowing how much work I put in and knowing it actually pays off.”
Roosevelt Smith became the first wrestler from Canyon Springs to win a state title, as he reversed Elvin Cruz of Shadow Ridge with 10 seconds left and held on for a 6-5 victory.
Liberty’s Storm Roper scored a two-point near fall at the end of the second period and went on to a 7-2 win over Carson’s Brady O’Keefe at 145. Also, Centennial’s Hunter Brown took the title at 195 by pinning Sullivan Cauley of Reno with 15 seconds remaining.
In Division I-A, Owen Lawrie of Faith Lutheran pinned Churchill County’s Anthony Sabatino in 43 seconds at 126, and Clark’s Michael Hervis topped Tytin Johnson of Lowry 4-3 at 195. Virgin Valley had two individual champions in Jacob Baird (106) and Juan Dominguez (120).
Virgin Valley and Pahrump tied for third with 87 points, as Lowry won its sixth straight title with 117.5 points.
Contact reporter David Schoen at email@example.com or 702-387-5203. Follow him on Twitter @DavidSchoenLVRJ.