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Andy Morales
Staff Writer, AZPreps365.com
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WRESTLING: D-II State Preview

Feb.10-11 at the Prescott Valley Event Center

Liberty took home the Division II state championship last year with a team score of 164 and Seton Catholic took second with 159 while Marana Mountain View came in third with a score of 122.

The five-point difference between the top two teams will be difficult to repeat this year with Seton Catholic moving to D-III but there should still be plenty of excitement.

We have five returning individual champions from last year: Desert Edge senior Brandon Courtney, Liberty junior Atilano Escobar, McClintock Jr. Gator Groves, McClintock Jr. Marco Groves and Liberty Jr. Miles Nuessel.  All five are wrestling in a higher weight class this year.

Queen Creek sophomore Denen Fernandez took second place at the 126 class last year and Deer Valley Sr. Carlos Vargas was a third-place medalist in the 106 class. Cactus Shadows Sr. Tyler Collins took third place in the heavy weight class last year. Finally, Paradise Valley Sr. Trayvin Cato placed fourth in the 170 class last year.

Bradshaw Mountain Sr. Jacob Kidd took fourth place in D-III last year in the 160 weight class. He is the top seed in the 220 class this year.

Queen Creek Jr. Xavier Rico, Sahuaro Sr. Armando Valencia, Lake Havasu So. Rob Samsue and Bradshaw Mountain Sr. Olijay Sally did not place in the top six last year but each has earned a top-seed this year.

Here are the top seeds in each weight class:

106 Carlos Vargas, Sr.: Deer Valley (51-1) (Returning Third Place: 106)
113 Xavier Rico, Jr.: Queen Creek (27-1)
120 Armando Valencia, Sr.: Sahuaro (35-4)
126 Brandon Courtney, Sr.: Desert Edge (36-0) (Returning Champion: 120)
132 Atilano Escobar, Jr.: Liberty (37-4) (Returning Champion: 113)
138 Denen Fernandez, So.: Queen Creek (42-1) (Returning Second Place: 126)
145 Gator Groves, Jr.: McClintock (49-0) (Returning Champion: 126)
152 Rob Samsue, So.: Lake Havasu (48-3)
160 Marco Groves, Jr. McClintock (48-0) (Returning Champion: 132)
170 Trayvin Cato, Sr.: Paradise Valley (48-0) (Returning Fourth Place: 170)
182 Olijay Sally, Sr.: Bradshaw Mountain (49-4)
195 Miles Nuessel, Jr.: Liberty (19-2) (Returning Champion: 182)
220 Jacob Kidd, Sr.: Bradshaw Mountain (54-2) (D3 Fourth Place: 160)
285 Tyler Collins, Sr. Cactus Shadows (50-0) (Returning Third Place: 285)

Marana Mountain View won the Section I Tournament 233 to 192 for Cienega. Ironwood Ridge took third with 113.5 points.

Liberty won the Section II Tournament 248 to 119.5 for Deer Valley while Centennial took third with 117 points.

Desert Edge won the Section III Tournament with a score of 204. Gila Ridge took second with 148.5 and Shadow Ridge came in third with 118.5 points.

Queen Creek won the Section IV Tournament with 256 points and Williams Field took second with 219 points. Campo Verde scored 144 points to take third

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