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2014-15 Wrestling Capsule Previews


Head coach: Rusty Marchello, first season

Returning lettermen: Nine

Top wrestlers: Tyler Ramos (Sr.), Lawrence Vigil (So.), Westyn Hamilton (Sr.), Alexander Espinosa (Jr.), Destry Talledo (Jr.), Ryder Marchello (Fr.), Dawson Downing (Fr.), Tyler Roper (Fr.), Tyler Adams (So.), Matthew Alejandro (So.)

Outlook: Ramos placed fourth in the Division I state meet at 120 pounds last year and is expected to wrestle either at 120 or 126.

Vigil (120/126), Hamilton (132/138) and Espinosa (195/220) also were state qualifiers and return to lead a team that brings back nine lettermen.

“We want to improve on the six state qualifiers we had last year,” coach Marchello said. “We hope to crown our first individual state champion and compete for a Sunset Region title.”

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Head coach: Max Quezada, second season

Returning lettermen: Nine

Top wrestlers: Johnathan Barajas (Sr.), Julian Leos (Sr.), Stevenson Williams (Jr.)

Outlook: The Pioneers found a lot of motivation late last season when Roosevelt Smith won the school’s first state wrestling individual title, placing first at 182 pounds.

Smith graduated, but the Pioneers hope to continue building.

“We are looking to use that momentum and have a couple more state champs this season,” Quezada said. “Also, with a motivated and dedicated freshman and sophomore class, we are looking to be a top team in the next couple of seasons.”

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Head coach: Steven Wike, sixth season

Returning lettermen: Ten

Top wrestlers: Hunter Brown (Sr.), John Lessner (Sr.), Roger Alvarado (Sr.)

Outlook: Brown was the Division I state champion at 195 pounds last season and is expected to wrestle in the same weight class this year.

Lessner (160) was the Sunset Region runnerup at 152 pounds last year, as was Alvarado (220) at 220 pounds.

“Being led by returning state champion Hunter Brown and a host of senior wrestlers the Bulldogs are coming off a great offseason,” Wike said. “We have some really good returning wrestlers who are hungry to compete with the state’s best.

“We have a primarily senior lineup, but don’t forget about our very capable younger wrestlers like junior Ryan Pierce, sophomore Tucker Edwards and freshman Nico Antuna. Bulldog wrestling is stronger than it has ever been and ready to make its mark this season.”

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Head coaches: Mike Garcia, 22nd season, and Andrew Tomaso, second season

Returning lettermen: Nine

Top wrestlers: Paul Bagnoli (Sr.), Jose Bonifaz (Sr.), Jesse Saavedra (Jr.)

Outlook: Bagnoli, who is expected to wrestle at 132 pounds, was a state runnerup last year.

Bonifaz (120) was a Sunset Region runnerup, and Saavedra (126) finished third in the region meet.

“We have a relatively inexperienced group of wrestlers and are very young,” Garcia said. “The work ethic and commitment by our kids is excellent. Early season practices have been great, and we expect to progress rapidly.

“Several sophomores and juniors should have a big impact by season end.”

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Head coach: Matt Nighswonger, second season

Returning lettermen: Four

Top wrestlers: Bishop Spaur (Sr.), Tim Cuamba (So.), Ryan Knipp (Jr.)

Outlook: The Diamondbacks return just four lettermen this season.

“We are looking to build our program and be competitive with the teams around the city and state,” Nighswonger said. “We want to become a respected program.”

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Head coach: Joseph Stelletello, third season

Returning lettermen: Four

Top wrestlers: Eric Awa-Moppert (Jr.), Jorge Magana (Sr.)

Outlook: The Jaguars have just four lettermen back, but Awa-Moppert (expect to wrestle at 152 pounds and Magana (182) both were state qualifiers last year.

“Our team runs on the belief that actions speak louder than words,” Stelletello said.

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Head coach: Jason Basso, first season

Returning lettermen: Eight

Top wrestlers: Daniel Caswell (Sr.), Anthony Catalfamo (Sr.), Victor Ramirez (Jr.), Brisean Cunningham (Fr.), Donzae Jones (So.), Michael Anderson (Sr.)

Outlook: Basso takes over a program that returns eight lettermen and is hoping for success.

“Our goal is to get better each day and to be competitive,” Basso said. “We must create an atmosphere of mental and physical toughness to build our program.”

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Head coach: Tim Jeffries, third season

Returning lettermen: Fourteen

Top wrestlers: Owen Lawrie (Sr.), Billy Bigelow (Sr.), Cameron Cox (Jr.), Justin Juntilla (Sr.), A.J. Scott (Sr.), Trenton May (Jr.), Bryce Raymond (So.), Steven Tarno (So.)

Outlook: Lawrie was the Division I-A state champion at 126 pounds last year and is expected to wrestle at 138 this year. He leads a list of 14 returnees.

“Although this year’s team is young, expectations continue to grow,” Jeffries said. “Faith returns three varsity seniors and adds transfer Billy Bigelow.

“For the team to challenge for the top position in league, the young wrestlers will have to step up and deliver early.”

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Head coach: Ryan English, third season

Returning lettermen: Eleven

Top wrestlers: Josh Ozuna (Sr.), Wyatt English (Fr.), Kaden Lizares (Jr.), Jacob Chavez (Jr.), Damian Ortega (Sr.), Bobby Merritt (Sr.), Charles Atkerson (Sr.)

Outlook: Ozuna, who likely will wrestle at 220 pounds this season, was a Sunrise Region champion and placed third in the state meet last year.

The Falcons also return region runnersup in Chavez (126) and Atkerson (195) and third-place finishers in the region meet in Lizares (113), Ortega (138) and Merritt (170).

“We want to place in the top two at regionals and top five in the state,” coach English said. “We have three possible state champions.”

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Head coach: Jon Ferry, 11th season

Returning lettermen: Thirteen

Top wrestlers: Wallace Zernich (So.), Jesse Gabriel (Jr.), Sean Cannon (Sr.), Nick Klanian (Sr.), Adrian Ojeda (Jr.), Giulian Nakamatsu (So.), Jiar Meagher (Jr.), Robert Razo (So.)

Outlook: The defending Division I state champions have plenty of experience returning.

Cannon, who likely will wrestle at 132 pounds this year, won state titles as a freshman and sophomore. Zernich (126) and Gabriel (120) both were Sunrise Region champions last year, and Klanian (138), Meagher (160) and Razo (170) advanced to the state meet last year.

“Our team’s success will be based on team unity,” Ferry said. “If they are able to come together as one, we will give ourselves the opportunity to be successful as a team and as individuals.

“Expectations for this group are that they meet the tough challenges from everyone and rise to the occasion the last two weekends of the season.”

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Head coach: David Oliver, third season

Returning lettermen: Two

Top wrestlers: Cody Snider (Sr.), Ryan Frank (Jr.)

Outlook: The Thunderbirds have just two returning lettermen in Snider, who likely will wreste at 195 pounds) and Frank (170), and are focusing on individual improvement.

“We are excited to have freshman Andrew Layton on the team and look forward to an exciting season,” Oliver said.

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Head coach: Zach Hocker, third season

Returning lettermen: Nine

Top wrestlers: Antonio Saldate (Fr.), Jaesen Caday (So.), Jacob Littlefield (Sr.), Jorge Gutierrez (Sr.), Robbie Kaempfer (So.)

Outlook: The Wildcats generally are in the hunt for the Sunrise Region title and hope that will be the case again this year.

“We hope to continue to be competitive both on the mat and in the classroom,” Hocker said. “We would like to improve our stats from last year.”

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Head coach: Douglas Fry, fourth season

Returning lettermen: Ten

Top wrestlers: Colyn Kruse (Sr.), Brandon Chamberlin (Sr.), Giovanni Del Quadro (Sr.)

Outlook: Kruse, who is expected to wrestle at 220 pounds, placed second in the state meet last year. Chamberlin (152) was third at state, and Del Quadro (113) placed fifth.

“A good number of returning lettermen for our school means the outlook looks really positive for Laughlin wrestling,” Fry said. “We should have every weight filled and will be solid at many of them.”

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Head coach: Brad Loveday, 13th season

Returning lettermen: Five

Top wrestlers: Mateo Linares (Jr.), Oscar Heredia (Jr.), Austin Horrocks (Sr.)

Outlook: Linares, who is expected to wrestle at 220 pounds, was the Southern Region champion and finished fourth in the Division III state meet last year.

Heredia (126) placed third in the region last year.

They lead a group of five returning lettermen for the Panthers.

“We are going to work hard and see what happens,” Loveday said.

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Head coach: Jesse Salas, eighth season

Top wrestlers: Julian Quezada (Sr.), Jason Ortiz (Sr.), Akram Reshad (Sr.), Jason Cebreros (Sr.), Mario DeAngelo (Sr.), Kwansi Cooper-Murray (Sr.)

Outlook: The Rams are excited to have a handful of fourth-year wrestlers and are hoping to lean on that experience.

“We will have depth and have many successful junior varsity kids making the jump to varsity this year,” Salas said.

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Head coach: Gus Gledhill, eighth season

Returning lettermen: Fourteen

Top wrestlers: John Scarpati (Sr.), A.J. Thai-Bautista (Sr.), Austin Jones (Sr.), Ethan Peterson (Jr.), Brendt Burleson (Jr.), Tyler Carter (Jr.), Uziel D’Mattus (Sr.), Lucas Washington (Sr.)

Outlook: Scarpati, who likely will wrestle at 182 pounds this year, placed third at last year’s state meet, and Peterson (138) took fourth at the state meet.

Thai-Bautista (106) and Jones (152) placed fourth in the Sunset Region meet and will help a Mustang team that has plenty of experience.

“We are looking to improve upon our fourth-place finish at state last year,” Gledhill said. “We get some key kids back at the 220 and heavyweight spots who were injured last year and feel this can be one of our better lineups since we have been here at Shadow Ridge.

“We are just trying to compete with the Green Valleys, Cimarron-Memorials and Spring Valleys, the great programs from Las Vegas.”

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Head coach: Vernon Schultz, first season

Returning lettermen: Six

Top wrestlers: Justin Miller (Sr.), Dean Doss (Jr.), R.J. Berdiago (Jr.), Garen Gonzalez (Jr.), Lawson Borla (Jr.), Drake Furlong-Hansen (So.), Anthony Canedo (So.)

Outlook: Schultz, who previously coached at Canyon Springs, inherits a team with six returning lettermen.

“Silverado will be a young team with lots of potential,” Schultz said. “We are hoping to develop all of our young wrestlers quickly, and we have some very athletic first-year upperclassman that could develop into solid wrestlers at the varsity level.

“We are hoping to rebuild the wrestling program into a powerhouse, and with the establishment of a new youth program, the future looks bright.”

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Head coach: Fred Meyer, 11th season

Returning lettermen: Eight

Top wrestlers: Dan Diaz (Sr.), Darrian Rodgers (Sr.), Juan Manco (Sr.), Zach Pakulak (Jr.)

Outlook: Diaz, who likely will wrestle at 113 pounds this season, was a state runnerup in Division I last year. Rodgers (152/160) placed third in the region.

They lead a list of eight returnees for the Grizzlies, who tied for second in last year’s state meet and should be a threat for the Division I-A title.

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Head coach: Skyler Woods, sixth season

Returning lettermen: Eight

Top wrestlers: Jacob Baird (So.), Juan Dominguez (Sr.), Cash Crandall (Sr.), Broc Smith (Sr.), Hector Garcia (Sr.)

Outlook: The Bulldogs return four wrestlers who placed in the top four in last year’s Division I-A state meet, including a pair of state champions in Baird (expected to wrestle at 113 pounds) and Dominguez (120).

Smith (160) was a state runnerup, and Crandall (126) placed fourth in the state.

Garcia (285) also should be among the leaders after finishing second in the Southern Region meet.

“We head into this season with very high expectations,” Woods said. “We have a very experienced group of core guys and some grant talent.

“We had a very good offseason getting in a large number of matches and hope to apply that experience this season.”

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Head coach: Mark Seglin, fifth season

Returning lettermen: Twelve

Top wrestlers: Alex Richardson (Sr.), Luis Lopez (Jr.), Randall Rivera (So.), Michael Gonzalez (Sr.), Santiago Elebario (Sr.), Jailene Hernandez (Sr.), Carl Trantham (Sr.)

Outlook: Richardson, who likely will wrestle at 138 pounds, and Trantham (182) both took third place at last year’s Division I-A state meet. Lopez (145) also was a state meet qualifier.

“I feel with the way Western wrestling is progressing that we are not far off from taking the division,” Seglin said. “We have been getting stronger each year and expect more improvement during a year of reloading.”

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