2016-17 Wrestling Team Capsules


Head coach: Rusty Marchello, fourth season

Returning lettermen: Ten

Top wrestlers: Peyton Prussin (So.), Tristian Gallagher (Jr.), Micky Marchello (Fr.), Dawson Downing (Jr.), Lawrence Vigil (Sr.), Ryder Marchello (Jr.), Coby Tucker (So.), David Ornelas (Sr.), Matthew Alejandro (Sr.), Donovan Sutton (Sr.), Canyon Rivers (Jr.)

Outlook: Downing, who probably will wrestle at 126 pounds, was a Division I state champion last year. Ryder Marchello (138) placed fourth in the state meet, and Gallagher (113) and Ornelas (152) were state qualifiers. Alejandro (160) won a state title in 2015, and Vigil is a two-time state qualifier.

In short, the Aggies have plenty of talent and experience.

“Arbor View wrestling intends on contending for a state title having finished third in the state in 2016,” Rusty Marchello said. “We will also attempt to repeat our performance as the Northwest League and Sunset Region champions.”

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co-Head coaches: Zack Brewer, first season, and Joe LaRocco, fifth season

Returning lettermen: Eight

Top wrestlers: Ivan Espinoza (So.)

Outlook: Espinoza, who probably will wrestle at 170 pounds, placed fourth in the Sunrise Region meet last year. He leads a group of eight returnees for the Wolves.

“The team will be improved from a near .500 finish last year,” LaRocco said.

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Head coach: Travis Delaney, first season

Returning lettermen: Zero

Top wrestlers: Cesar Soto (Fr.), Nikole Delaney (Jr.), Azzario Sepulveda (Fr.), Tanner Reber (So.), Michael Leach (Fr.)

Outlook: The Diamondbacks are making their debut as a varsity team this season and hope to improve as they go.

“It’s a new team, starting from scratch,” Travis Delaney said. “We have determined athletes, looking to make an impression on the sport.”

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Head coach: Michelle Muscato, second season

Returning lettermen: Nine

Top wrestlers: Elias Aguilar (Sr.), Ruben Hernandez

Outlook: Aguilar, who probably will wrestle at 220 pounds, won the Division I state title at 220 last year. Hernandez (145) was a fourth-place finisher at the state meet.

“It was a successful year last year,” Muscato said. “This year has started stronger and with more aggressiveness. When the parents are asked, they wish their seniors could have had the coaching staff when their child was in ninth and 10th grade.”

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Head coach: Steven Wike, eighth season

Returning lettermen: Eleven

Top wrestlers: Nico Antuna (Jr.), Arath Rangel (Sr.), Tucker Edwards (Sr.)

Outlook: Antuna, who probably will wrestle at 132 pounds, placed at the state meet in each of his first two seasons, including a fourth-place showing last year.

Rangel (285) finished fourth at the state meet last year, and Edwards (152) was a state-meet qualifier.

“This will be another young season for the Bulldogs, with only four seniors in the lineup,” Wike said. “But as a result of last year’s young season, our young men are fairly experienced.

“We will be wrestling a very talent-rich Northwest League, and I anticipate we will fare well.”

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Head coach: Bill Smales, second season

Returning lettermen: Six

Top wrestlers: Jesus Ruiz (Sr.), Adam Overbay (Sr.), Francisco Escoto (Jr.), Mark Gonzalez (So,), John Patriarca (So.)

Outlook: Six lettermen return for the Cowboys, who hope to continue to make progress this season.

“We’re looking to continue rebuilding the Chaparral program with a few seniors and several underclassmen who put in time in the offseason to get better,” Smales said. “While still another year away from being a solid dual meet team, we should be able to do better in individual bracket tournaments.”

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Head coach: Mike Abrams, 20th season

Returning lettermen: Nine

Top wrestlers: Cajuin Jackson (Sr.), Shonomon Lewis (Sr.), Tyler Buchanan (Sr.), Isaiah Stinson (Sr.)

Outlook: Nine lettermen return for the Desert Shields.

“A good blend of young and seasoned wrestlers are back this season,” Abrams said. “We expect them to compete at a high level this year. Our goal every year is to qualify enough wrestlers to win our conference and then to challenge for the state title.”

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Head coach: Mike Garcia, 24th season

Returning lettermen: Nine

Top wrestlers: Stanton Peay (Sr.), Daniel Rodriguez (So.), Nathaniel Rodriguez (So.)

Outlook: Among the nine lettermen returning for the Spartans are three state-meet qualifiers.

Peay, who probably will wrestle at 152 pounds, and Daniel Rodriguez (132) both finished third in the state meet, and Nathaniel Rodriguez was a Sunset Region meet runner-up.

“Cimarron-Memorial looks to be competitive this season with three returning state qualifiers and several returning letter winners,” Garcia said. “There are a lot of new faces, but we are excited about their potential and look forward to a great season.”

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Head coach: Kendel Chrysler, third season

Returning lettermen: Nine

Top wrestlers: Victor Torres-Parra (Sr.), Khyri Ellis (Sr.), Javier Arroyo (Sr.), Francis Bangayan (Sr.)

Outlook: Torres-Parra, who probably will wrestle at 182 pounds, was a state champion last year and leads a group of nine returnees for the Dragons.

“The Dragons look to kick it into high gear with more returners than ever before,” Chrysler said. “A deep roster in the upper weights and experienced lower weight returners create a well-balanced team. Look for the Dragons to make a push at the end of the season to upset some top-ranked opponents.”

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Head coach: Sean McNulty, first season

Returning lettermen: Seven

Top wrestlers: Xavier Gonzalez (So.), Alex Pastrana (Sr.), A.J. Santiago (Sr.), Josh Moran (Sr.)

Outlook: McNulty takes over a team that brings back seven lettermen, including region meet placers in Pastrana (113 pounds), Gonzalez (120), Moran (138) and Santiago (170).

“The team looks very young with a lot of new faces in the wrestling room,” McNulty said.

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Head coach: Tim Jeffries, fifth season

Returning lettermen: Nine

Top wrestlers: Peter Enos (Jr.), Dominic Paulos (Sr.), Cameron Cox (Sr.), Conner Bourne (So.)

Outlook: Enos, who probably will wrestle at 145 pounds, was a Division I-A state champion last year and leads a group of nine returnees.

Paulos (170) placed third in the state meet. Bourne (182) was a Southern Region champion, and Cox (195) placed second in the region meet last year.

Jeffries said this year’s team is the most experienced he has had since taking over the Faith Lutheran program.

“Expectations will be high for younger wrestlers to improve and place at regionals and state,” Jeffries said.

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Head coach: Ryan English, sixth season

Returning lettermen: Eight

Top wrestlers: Kohl Velado (Jr.), Wyatt English (Jr.)

Outlook: The Falcons return eight lettermen, including two who had big postseasons last year.

Wyatt English was a runner-up at the state meet, and Velado also qualified for the state meet.

“We are a young, determined team with a good foundation,” Ryan English said. “I expect this team to be very competitive this season.”

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Head coach: Jon Ferry, 13th season

Returning lettermen: Nine

Top wrestlers: Robert Razo (Sr.), Desmond Bowers (So.), Giullian Nakamatsu (Sr.), Dylan Warr (Sr.), Cade Vanorden (Sr.), Anthony Valenti (Sr.), Steele Dias (So.), Wallace Zernich (Sr.)

Outlook: The Gators return nine lettermen after securing their fifth consecutive state title last year.

Razo, who probably will wrestle at 195 pounds, was a Division I state champion.

Valenti (285) was second, Bowers (138) third, and Warr (170 or 182) and Vanorden (220) both fourth in last year’s state meet.

Nakamatsu (160) won a Sunrise Region title last year.

Green Valley also will benefit from the return of Wallace Zernich (145), who finished third at Iowa’s state meet last year after wrestling for Green Valley as a sophomore.

“We have high expectations of our program year after year,” Ferry said. “I’m hoping this group will respond to the high expectations and perform at a high level every time we compete.”

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Head coach: Zach Hocker, fifth season

Returning lettermen: Sixteen

Top wrestlers: Antonio Saldate (Jr.), Robby Kaempfer (Sr.), Nick Sablan (Sr.), Sergio Ballesteros (Sr), Mauricio Jimenez (Jr.)

Outlook: Saldate, who probably will wrestle at 126 pounds this year, finished 51-3 and won a state title last year.

Kaempfer (285) and Sablan (152) both finished second in the Sunrise Region meet. Ballesteros (182) finished third and Jimenez (220) fourth in the region meet.

“We are looking to build off of last year’s successes,” Hocker said. “Our guys are gritty and like to work hard, which is just how we like them. We only ever expect our wrestlers to give their best. If that happens, we are happy.”

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Head coach: Tyson Houston, second season

Returning lettermen: Five

Top wrestlers: Trevor Van Vliet (Sr.), Christian Riordan (Sr.), Gavin Henrie (Jr.)

Outlook: Van Vliet, who probably will wrestle at 170 pounds, was a third-place finisher in the Division I-A state meet last year. He is one of only five returning lettermen for the Pirates, who start the season with only 17 wrestlers on the roster.

“In the second year of our new coaching system, we look to improve on our performance from last year,” Houston said. “We lost a lot of experience in the upper weight classes. On the upside, we have a large freshman influx this year and quite a few younger wrestlers. We are looking forward to finding out which of those younger wrestlers is going to step up and take on leadership roles.

“Trevor Van Vliet has put a lot of work in during the offseason, and we look forward to seeing what he can accomplish this year.”

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Head coach: Brad Burton, second season

Returning lettermen: Eight

Top wrestlers: Don Phillips (Sr.), Dominic Mota (Jr.), Michael Childs (Sr.)

Outlook: Phillips was the Division I-A state champion at 220 pounds last year and probably will wrestle at the same weight this year.

Mota, who probably will wrestle at 113 pounds, was fourth and Childs (126) fifth in the Southern Region meet last year.

In all, the Rattlers return eight lettermen and hope to be competitive in Class 3A this season.

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Head coach: Brad Loveday, 22nd season

Returning lettermen: Nine

Top wrestlers: Salvador Heredia (Jr.), Danny Heredia (Sr.), David Ingram (Sr.), Reese Thornton (Fr.)

Outlook: The Panthers bring back nine lettermen, including state qualifiers in Danny Heredia (145 pounds) and Ingram (152). Salvador Heredia (113) was a runner-up finisher in the 2014-15 state meet.

Thornton (170) joins the team after winning a middle school state title last year.

“We will work hard and be very competitive,” Loveday said.

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Head coach: Ian Summerville, first season

Returning lettermen: Five

Top wrestlers: Elvis Tlaxca (Sr.), Alex Arnone (Sr.), Leiana Nacapuy (Sr.),

Outlook: Summerville inherits a team that returns only five letter winners, but has plenty of promise.

Arnone (170 pounds) was a fourth-place finisher in last year’s state meet. Nacapuy (113) was a girls freestyle All-American last year. Summerville also expects big things from Tlaxca (132).

“Last season, we qualified four wrestlers for the state tournament,” Summerville said. “This year, we are striving to place in the top five at the region tournament while qualifying seven or more wrestlers for the state tournament this year.”

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Head coach: Gus Gledhill, 11th season

Returning lettermen: Twelve

Top wrestlers: Javier Zuniga (Sr.), Alika Villiatora (Sr.), Jamison Rand (Sr.), Nate Washington (Sr.), Jarret Gledhill (Sr.), Byron Kekahuna (Sr.), Luke Sadosky (Jr.)

Outlook: Villiatora, who probably will wrestle at 132 pounds, finished second in the state meet last year. He and Rand (145) both won Sunset Region titles last year, and Zuniga (106) joined them at the state meet.

“With the new teams added to the region and the toughest league in the state, we are just hoping to qualify a couple kids to the state tournament,” coach Gledhill said. “Although half of our lineup will be veterans, the other kids in our lineup will be really young.

“Our regional tournament is going to be a grinder, and it is going to come down to who is healthy and peaking at the right time.”

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Head coach: Vernon Schultz, third season

Returning lettermen: Three

Top wrestlers: Mike Diasio (Sr.), Rogers Estevez (Sr.), James Testa (Jr.)

Outlook: Testa, who probably will wrestle at 106 pounds this season, finished fourth in the Sunrise Region meet last year and is one of only three returning lettermen for the Skyhawks.

“We will be a very young team this season after graduating many seniors,” Schultz said. “We will hope to gain experience and continue to improve as the season progresses.”

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Head coach: Fred Meyer, 13th season

Returning lettermen: Eight

Top wrestlers: Tyler Nishi-Rivera (Sr.), Andres Garcia (So.), Michael Canada (So.), Brisean Cunningham (Jr.)

Outlook: Traditionally one of the state’s stronger programs, the Grizzlies bring back eight lettermen, including a handful with state-meet experience.

Nishi-Rivera, who probably will wrestle at 132 pounds, finished second in the 126-pound class in the Division I-A state meet last year.

Garcia (126) placed third in the state meet at 120, and Canada (120) and Cunningham (152) both were state-meet qualifiers last season.

“For reasons that I am unable to easily explain, the Sunset Region has 14 teams, while the Sunrise has only 11. This fact makes the Sunset a far more difficult path to go through,” Meyer said. “We have some very tough kids who are going to scrap this winter, though.”

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Head coach: Derek Lopez, fourth season

Returning lettermen: Three

Top wrestlers: Alex Herrera (Jr.)

Outlook: The Miners return just three lettermen this season and probably will have to rely on younger and inexperienced wrestlers.

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Head coach: Duffy Otteson, sixth season

Returning lettermen: Five

Top wrestlers: Tanner Otteson (Sr.)

Outlook: Tanner Otteson, who probably will wrestle at 145 pounds this season, was second at 132 pounds in last year’s Division III state meet.

He leads a group of five returnees for the Muckers, who remain young and have only four seniors and no juniors.

“We should be a competitive team in the South this season with 13 kids,” Duffy Otteson said. “We have some experience compared to last season.

“I have high expectations for these young men to compete at a higher level than we have in the past.”

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Head coach: Skyler Woods, eighth season

Returning lettermen: Eight

Top wrestlers: Ty Smith (Jr.), Jacob Baird (Sr.), Cresent Crandall, Cache Burnside

Outlook: Smith, who pro0bably will wrestle either at 113 or 120 pounds, and Baird (132 or 138) both are two-time state champions.

Crandall (170 or 182) and Burnside (182 or 195) both placed in last year’s state meet.

That quartet leads a group of eight returning lettermen for the Bulldogs.

“We will be looking to compete for a region championship and a state championship,” Woods said.

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