The Sand Devils wrestling team gave an impressive performance at last Saturday’s sectional tournament in Payson. They placed second as a team with 118 points, behind Show Low who took first place with 164.5 points.
Snowflake finished in third place with 96 points, Prescott placed fourth with 92 and Chino Valley and Coconino tied for fifth place with 61 points per team.
Equally as important as the team’s second place finish, they qualified eleven players to compete in this weekend’s state wrestling tournament, which will be held Friday and Saturday in Prescott Valley.
The Sand Devils wrestling team has performed well all season and they continue to improve their mat skills.
“The guys wrestled the best they have all season,” said wrestling head coach Kyran Keisling regarding his team’s performance at the sectional tournament. “Everyone on our team wrestled hard and gave a great performance. We didn’t embarrass ourselves.
“We had a lot of really close matches and won more of them than we lost, but we also lost a couple very close matches that were heartbreaking.
Kamron Whitewater placed first at sectionals. Zachary Ruiz took third, Kaleb June took second, Carson Stansfield took fourth, Christian Penrod took third, Hayden Gracia took second, Dorian Daw took second, Kimball Begay took third, Myron Bryant took third, Taylor Nez took second and Levi Telshaw took fourth.
All of the above players will compete in the state tournament which begins this Friday in Prescott Valley.
The Sand Devils haven’t sent 11 wrestlers to the state tournament in at least 17 years.
“This is the most important week of the season,” said Coach Keisling. “I’m not going to take my foot off the gas now. We’re not going to have any fun in the wrestling room this week.
“We’re not going to smile until this is over Saturday night.”