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SLAM Academy boys dominate for 3rd straight 5A state wrestling title

Updated February 17, 2024 - 6:29 pm

SLAM Academy cruised to its third straight Class 5A wrestling state team championship, scoring 252.5 points at the state meet late Friday at Anderson Auto Group Fieldhouse in Bullhead City, Arizona.

Seven SLAM Academy wrestlers won individual titles: Josiah Maestas (113-pound weight class), Nataani Prado (120), Brenden Jorden Agcaoili (126), Drake Hooiman (132), Manuel Saldate (138), Isaac Balden (150) and Gabriel Delgado (165).

Maestas and Saldate claimed their third straight titles. Hooiman, Agcaoili and Delgado also won last season.

“Winning our third straight state title (Friday) was earned through their countless hours of grinding on and off the mat,” SLAM Academy co-coach Zach Hocker said in a text message. “We try to preach that if you want to win when everybody is watching, you have to push yourself hardest when no one is. Our team does that daily.”

Spanish Springs finished second with 153.5 points, and McQueen was third (100.5). Green Valley came in fourth (98.5), and Bishop Gorman was fifth (86).

Five other Southern Nevada wrestlers won individual titles: Centennial’s Deacon Pickett (157), Shadow Ridge’s Aaron Coverdell (175), Green Valley’s Gavin Blondeaux (190), Liberty’s Melvin Whitehead (215) and Bishop Gorman’s Jacob Norcross (285).

Whitehead’s title was his third in a row. Coverdell and Blondeaux also won last season.

Girls invitational

SLAM Academy added another team title, claiming the girls state invitational crown with 113 points and four wrestlers winning individual titles. Centennial finished second with 87.5 points, and Reed was third (82).

It’s the second year of the girls wrestling state invitational, which includes all classifications.

Co-coach Jake Rollans “and I consider it an absolutely amazing achievement to have both the girls and boys each earn state titles in the same year,” Hocker said. “Our two teams, although separate, root for each other and respect one another immensely. … The ladies also rose to the occasion and went four for four in the state finals.”

Emma Albanese (114), Noelani Lutz (120), Mika Yoffee (126) and Billie Bonwell (165) won individual titles for the Bulls, who finished second in the state invitational last season. Albanese and Bonwell won individual titles last season.

Five other Southern Nevada wrestlers claimed individual titles: Sierra Vista’s Kayli Rhodes (100), Bishop Gorman’s Chloe Mead (132), Shadow Ridge’s Danielle Franco (138), Centennial’s Sandilynn Paopao (145) and Cimarron-Memorial’s Addison Canja (152).

Western finished fourth with 50 points, and Sierra Vista was fifth (49).

Class 4A boys

Sierra Vista cruised to the team title with 174.5 points despite not having an individual champion. Coronado finished second with 113.5 points, and Silverado was third (106.5)

The Mountain Lions had five wrestlers who were runners-up in their state title matches.

Silverado’s Zyon Trujillo won at 165 pounds for his second straight title.

Cheyenne’s Mikael Vela (106), Western’s Colby Sulliban (113), Cheyenne’s Matthew Salvador-Agabin (120), Coronado’s Ashish Dhillon (126), Faith Lutheran’s Caden Cook (132), Western’s Kingston Smith (138), Chaparral’s Centrel Farmer (144), Legacy’s Noah Avila (150), Desert Oasis’ Gabriel Williams (157), Rancho’s Jesus Rivera (175), Coronado’s Wynn Philippi (190), Desert Oasis’ Benjamin Young (215) and Rancho’s Hudson Lile (285) also won individual titles.

Rancho was fourth with 96 points, and Faith Lutheran finished fifth (85).

Class 3A boys

Three Moapa Valley wrestlers won individual titles, but Elko won the team title with 187 points. Moapa Valley was second with 125.

Morris Wolfley (113), Shandon Matheson (165) and Gavyn Frederick (215) each won individual titles for the Pirates.

Four other Southern Nevada wrestlers won individual titles: The Meadows’ Nikolas Gallardo (144), Virgin Valley’s Gunner Cortez (150), Pahrump Valley’s Brennen Benedict (157) and Canyon Springs’ Oxbert Ezeigbebe (285).

It’s the third straight title for Cortez. Benedict also won last season.

Fernley finished third with 79.5 points. Lowry was fourth (75), and Pahrump Valley finished fifth (57).

Class 2A boys

Four Lake Mead Academy wrestlers won individual titles to help the Eagles roll the team title with 173 points over Battle Mountain and White Pine (114 points each).

Dylan Rider (106), Levi Schmidt (165), Gage Calton (190) and Vance Maheu (285) all won individual titles for Lake Mead Academy. Calton and Maheu also won last season.

Pahranagat Valley’s Alec Thornton won his second straight title at 175 pounds.

Contact Alex Wright at awright@reviewjournal.com. Follow @AlexWright1028 on X.

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