Wrestling: Sunnyside wins 32nd title; Liberty wins in D-I

February 9, 2019 by Andy Morales, AZPreps365

Liberty (Andy Morales/AZPreps365.com)

(Visit Paynterpics.com on Wednesday for all action shots)


Liberty beat Desert Vista 181 to 158 to claim the Division I championship Saturday in Prescott Valley and Sunnyside beat Mountain View Marana 241- 127 to win the D-II team title and, along the way, the Blue Devils came close to setting a few scoring records and the Lions proved they belonged with the big boys.

Sunnyside won the D-I title last year and Liberty took second in D-II competition but both teams found themselves switched after their division placements were reclassified over the summer. The move to D-II may have played a small role the margin of victory for the Blue Devils but that is unlikely since the squad sent 13 to state to compete in the 14 weight classes, as did Liberty. Sure, things may have been a bit tighter, but a loaded team is hard to beat.

The 241 points scored by the Blue Devils is the most scored by a big school since Mingus Union scored 243.5 points in 2008 and the 114-point margin of victory is the sixth most ever with Camp Verde beating Benson by 157 in 2007, Sunnyside beating Mesa Mountain View by 131.5 points in 1984, Sunnyside beating Mesa by 127 points in 1983, Mingus Union beating Buckeye by 125.5 in 2007 and Safford beating Payson by 114.5 in 2010.

But through it all, it was the 32nd state championship in program history.

“We expected to get better each time out and I will remember the adversity and all the injuries and issues our kids had to overcome this year,” said head coach Anthony Leon. “You say this was a dominant performance but my heart goes out to the guys who didn’t get what they wanted this year. You make a team by individual success and what they can do as individuals but not everyone reached the level they wanted to.”

Of the 13 Blue Devils who qualified for state, 10 made it to the final six, eight battled in the championship round and five won gold medals.

Mountain View Marana standout Marcus Castillo (58-0) won the gold in the 132-pound class to finish his career with three straight championships.

(Marcus Castillo/Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)


Queen Creek won the D-II title last year over Liberty but the Bulldogs took 11th this year with senior standout Denen Fernandez (45-1) winning his third straight championship.

Queen Creek Denen Fernandez talks three in a row #AZPreps365 pic.twitter.com/fz370Y5bLV

— Andy Morales (@AZPreps365Andy) February 10, 2019

Liberty won its second title in program history with the first coming in 2016 under head coach Eric Brenton. As mentioned before, the Lions brought 13 wrestlers to state with 11 making to the final six and three making it to the finals. Even without an individual champion, the Lions all pulled together for a common goal.

“The leadership on this team is the difference,” Brenton said. “They stated a goal at the beginning of the year and today proved it took everybody to make it come true. Moving to Division I was not a concern because we knew we had to wrestle to best teams and we do that during the season. Our team didn’t skip a beat.”

Desert Vista pulled through with four individual titles but the numbers just weren’t there as a team to stop Liberty.


D-I Team Scores

1 Liberty 181.0

2 Desert Vista 158.0

3 Mountain View Mesa 130.0

4 Hamilton 104.5

5 Chandler 100.0

6 Cibola 95.0

7 Cesar Chavez 91.0

8 Basha 86.0

9 Boulder Creek 75.5

10 Kofa 70.5

11 Queen Creek 64.0

12 Mesa 62.0

12 Perry 62.0

14 Corona Del Sol 57.0

15 Westwood 50.0

16 Red Mountain 49.0

17 Tucson 41.0

18 Sandra Day O`Connor 34.5

19 Brophy Prep 32.0

20 Mountain Pointe 25.0

21 Valley Vista 24.5

22 Highland 24.0

23 Desert Ridge 23.0

23 Skyline 23.0

25 Pinnacle 22.0

26 Mountain Ridge 14.0

27 Chaparral 13.0

27 Copper Canyon 13.0

29 San Luis 12.0

30 Dobson 4.0

30 La Joya Community 4.0

32 Trevor G. Browne 3.0

33 Shadow Ridge 2.0

34 Alhambra 1.0

35 North 0.0

35 Westview 0.0





1st Place Match

Charles Boyle (Westwood) 38-2, Sr. over Zander Phaturos (Liberty) 44-6, Fr. (SV-1 8-6)

3rd Place Match

Cesar Avelar (Brophy Prep) 47-9, Fr. over Demarko Gomez (Cibola) 33-10, Fr. (Dec 6-0)

5th Place Match

John Jarman (Mesa) 51-7, So. over Janthony Vega (San Luis) 17-8, So. (Fall 0:40)


1st Place Match

Zach Espalin (Chandler) 37-2, So. over Carson Coy (Liberty) 40-4, Fr. (Dec 6-3)

3rd Place Match

Juan Sierra (Cibola) 36-4, So. over Hunter Richards (Mountain View Mesa) 47-9, Sr. (Fall 4:13)

5th Place Match

Michael Llamas (Copper Canyon) 43-8, Sr. over Anthony Gonzales (Corona Del Sol) 43-9, Jr. (Dec 7-6)


1st Place Match

Andres Avelar (Cesar Chavez) 20-1, Jr. over Zack Kvavle (Corona Del Sol) 46-4, Sr. (Fall 0:22)

3rd Place Match

Jonathon Rogers (Liberty) 23-7, Fr. over Caleb Pool (Tucson) 36-7, So. (Dec 5-4)

5th Place Match

Everett Gomez (Desert Ridge) 46-11, . over Jaxon Rohde (Boulder Creek) 45-15, Jr. (Dec 2-0)


1st Place Match

Alex J Rodriquez (Basha) 32-9, Sr. over Isaiah Valenzuela (Hamilton) 22-5, Jr. (Dec 5-4)

3rd Place Match

Tariq Hornbuckle (Desert Vista) 44-8, Sr. over Isai Alonso (Kofa) 35-10, Sr. (Dec 7-6)

5th Place Match

Tyler Sauter (Liberty) 44-12, Fr. over Bradley Basgall (Mountain View Mesa) 51-10, Sr. (SV-1 9-7)


1st Place Match

Bowen Doolen (Mountain View Mesa) 49-3, Sr. over Jonah Muhammad (Hamilton) 40-8, So. (Fall 3:51)

3rd Place Match

Jarrett Christofferson (Boulder Creek) 51-10, Sr. over Ibrahim Saudi (Tucson) 38-11, Sr. (Fall 4:48)

5th Place Match

Andrrew Correa (Liberty) 36-10, Jr. over Mourece Ramirez (Desert Vista) 33-13, So. (Dec 3-2)


1st Place Match

Steven Jarman (Mesa) 56-1, Sr. over Dylan Quinn (Basha) 37-12, Sr. (Dec 9-7)

3rd Place Match

Thomas Bigelow (Chandler) 31-5, Sr. over Seth Fernandez (Queen Creek) 30-5, So. (Dec 9-5)

5th Place Match

Cody Foote (Red Mountain) 37-8, Sr. over Edgar Delgado (Liberty) 32-13, Jr. (Dec 3-2)


1st Place Match

Alfonso Martinez (Desert Vista) 43-1, Jr. over Collin McCorkle (Liberty) 45-8, So. (Dec 4-2)

3rd Place Match

Gio Meza (Cesar Chavez) 23-5, Jr. over Connor Blakeman (Red Mountain) 43-9, Jr. (MD 12-4)

5th Place Match

Daniel Rios Morales (Kofa) 34-11, Sr. over Matt Andonov (Sandra Day O`Connor) 40-12, Jr. (Dec 7-1)


1st Place Match

Denen Fernandez (Queen Creek) 45-1, Sr. over Zeke Guerrero (Cibola) 47-5, Jr. (TB-1 5-3)

3rd Place Match

Kamyn Stonebraker (Liberty) 37-8, Jr. over Anthony Morales (Kofa) 34-15, Jr. (Dec 7-2)

5th Place Match

Ali Hansen (Mesa) 44-10, Sr. over Samuel Hernandez (Cesar Chavez) 22-6, Sr. (Dec 10-9)


1st Place Match

Preston Cameau (Desert Vista) 40-7, Jr. over Sheldon Cole (Boulder Creek) 54-1, Sr. (Dec 4-3)

3rd Place Match

Freddy Latu (Hamilton) 43-9, Jr. over Carlos Urias (Kofa) 40-12, Sr. (Dec 7-4)

5th Place Match

Elijah Garcia (Highland) 31-8, Sr. over Gage Beaton (Liberty) 18-13, Jr. (Dec 8-4)


1st Place Match

Justice Smith (Desert Vista) 31-5, Sr. over Roan Kelleher (Corona Del Sol) 39-8, Sr. (Dec 9-2)

3rd Place Match

Matthew Stevenson (Liberty) 42-5, Jr. over Justin Prigge (Queen Creek) 43-12, Jr. (Fall 3:09)

5th Place Match

Colin Mosbarger (Chaparral) 44-11, Sr. over Connor Boyd (Perry) 30-11, Sr. (Dec 7-4)


1st Place Match

Joe Carey (Basha) 40-4, Sr. over Liam Hoffmeyer (Cibola) 36-10, So. (Dec 10-4)

3rd Place Match

Donovan Corn (Hamilton) 44-2, Sr. over Makai Obregon (Valley Vista) 36-5, Jr. (MD 13-0)

5th Place Match

Thomas Derr (Brophy Prep) 42-14, Jr. over Wayne Dunn (Mountain View Mesa) 45-13, Jr. (Dec 8-1)


1st Place Match

Jermiah Hollen (Mountain View Mesa) 48-0, Sr. over Travis Calloway (Perry) 39-2, Sr. (Fall 0:53)

3rd Place Match

Elijah Sobas (Chandler) 19-6, So. over Eric Orozco (Cesar Chavez) 23-6, Sr. (Dec 7-1)

5th Place Match

Armando Delgado (Desert Vista) 35-10, Sr. over Luke Pauga (Liberty) 21-14, Sr. (Fall 2:19)


1st Place Match

Nathaniel Deasey (Chandler) 42-4, So. over Luke Padwe (Pinnacle) 44-3, Jr. (Dec 5-3)

3rd Place Match

David Palosika (Mountain Pointe) 54-2, Jr. over Alex Neiderhaus (Sandra Day O`Connor) 40-13, Sr. (MD 13-1)

5th Place Match

Marcos Meza (Cibola) 30-14, Jr. over Bobby Brookins (Red Mountain) 27-26, Jr. (Dec 7-3)


1st Place Match

Brett Johnson (Desert Vista) 44-1, Sr. over Mathew Eager (Westwood) 38-3, Sr. (Inj. 2:33)

3rd Place Match

Jeremiah Katt (Mountain View Mesa) 51-3, Sr. over Justin Clatterbuck (Perry) 38-5, Sr. (Dec 2-1)

5th Place Match

Noah Barta (Skyline) 26-10, Sr. over Jacob Moore (Boulder Creek) 52-8, So. (Fall 2:59)


D-II Team Scores

1 Sunnyside 241.0

2 Mountain View Marana 127.0

3 Cienega 116.5

4 Ironwood Ridge 111.5

5 Campo Verde 101.5

6 Ironwood 95.0

7 Horizon 86.0

8 Raymond Kellis 84.0

9 Casteel 73.0

10 Williams Field 72.0

11 Apollo 59.0

11 Sunrise Mountain 59.0

13 Willow Canyon 53.0

14 Millennium 47.5

15 Higley 45.0

16 Centennial 38.0

17 Desert View 37.0

18 Buena 36.0

19 Notre Dame Prep 33.0

19 Paradise Valley 33.0

21 Cactus Shadows 30.0

22 Sierra Linda 26.0

23 Barry Goldwater 24.0

24 Maricopa 20.5

25 Independence 18.5

26 Camelback 18.0

27 Desert Mountain 12.0

28 Central 11.0

29 Carl Hayden 10.0

30 North Canyon 7.0

30 Verrado 7.0

32 Flowing Wells 5.0

33 Gilbert 4.0

34 Agua Fria 3.0

34 Empire 3.0

34 Nogales 3.0

37 Betty Fairfax 0.0

37 South Mountain 0.0

37 Sunnyslope 0.0





1st Place Match

Luis Pastoriza (Sierra Linda) 49-4, So. over Eathon Rider (Millennium) 57-4, Jr. (Fall 6:44)

3rd Place Match

Victor Lopez (Sunnyside) 39-11, So. over Will Effinger (Casteel) 31-14, Fr. (Dec 7-5)

5th Place Match

Joey Lopez (Paradise Valley) 24-11, Jr. over Parker Cirone (Horizon) 21-15, Fr. (Inj. 0:00)


1st Place Match

James Brown (Sunnyside) 43-1, So. over Daunte Cartwright (Camelback) 34-2, Sr. (Fall 3:15)

3rd Place Match

Troy Ramirez (Sunrise Mountain) 39-4, Jr. over Brandon Paredes (Mountain View Marana) 52-8, So. (Dec 4-0)

5th Place Match

Jovan Garcia (Independence) 9-4, Sr. over Conner Wren (Millennium) 38-11, Jr. (MD 16-4)


1st Place Match

Jaime Rivera (Sunnyside) 37-5, Fr. over Chris Lopez (Mountain View Marana) 34-5, So. (Dec 10-8)

3rd Place Match

Jake Dunham (Campo Verde) 30-14, So. over Kyle Ramirez (Sunrise Mountain) 34-9, Jr. (SV-1 4-2)

5th Place Match

Cole Hickey (Cienega) 32-13, So. over Sergio Ochotorena (Desert View) 43-19, Sr. (Dec 9-3)


1st Place Match

Bobby Tellez (Cienega) 49-3, Sr. over Jesse Ybarra (Sunnyside) 40-3, Jr. (Dec 9-3)

3rd Place Match

Seth Legros (Mountain View Marana) 21-8, So. over Antonio Lopez (Desert View) 50-13, So. (Dec 4-1)

5th Place Match

Jonathan Childers (Maricopa) 35-8, Sr. over Omar Arteaga (Centennial) 25-9, Jr. (MD 8-0)


1st Place Match

Marcus Castillo (Mountain View Marana) 58-0, Sr. over Tyler Rokop (Ironwood Ridge) 37-9, Jr. (Fall 4:31)

3rd Place Match

Nathan Smith (Williams Field) 47-6, Sr. over George Galaz (Ironwood) 37-4, Sr. (Dec 8-3)

5th Place Match

Benny Madrid (Desert Mountain) 36-9, So. over Alex Maxson (Horizon) 26-10, Sr. (Dec 9-3)


1st Place Match

Rico Robles (Sunnyside) 23-6, Sr. over Anthony Garcia (Raymond Kellis) 37-11, Sr. (Dec 3-2)

3rd Place Match

Jared LeBaron (Ironwood) 52-5, Sr. over Tristan Danis (Willow Canyon) 46-9, Jr. (Dec 6-2)

5th Place Match

Alec Delafield (Paradise Valley) 32-12, Sr. over Jason Hill (Cienega) 40-14, Jr. (Fall 1:38)


1st Place Match

Josh Cruz (Raymond Kellis) 46-6, Sr. over Carlo Castagnaro (Cienega) 36-5, Jr. (Dec 7-5)

3rd Place Match

Shamar Hawkins (Williams Field) 48-8, Sr. over Jacob Muniz (Cactus Shadows) 28-8, Jr. (Dec 7-5)

5th Place Match

Timothy Mayhew (Casteel) 33-13, Sr. over Harrison Easby (Mountain View Marana) 48-13, Sr. (Dec 9-5)


1st Place Match

Anthony Echemendia (Sunnyside) 22-0, Sr. over Payton Billings (Ironwood Ridge) 41-4, Sr. (Dec 7-4)

3rd Place Match

DILLON GREENE (Sunrise Mountain) 22-11, Sr. over Phoenix Pough (Willow Canyon) 54-8, Sr. (Dec 1-0)

5th Place Match

Cole Nelson (Ironwood) 34-8, Sr. over Andrew (AJ) Valle (Casteel) 33-9, Fr. (Dec 1-0)


1st Place Match

Scott Kellenberger (Horizon) 42-2, Sr. over Fernando Villaescusa (Sunnyside) 37-14, Fr. (Fall 3:14)

3rd Place Match

Gabe Levy (Cienega) 45-15, So. over Avery Parker (Ironwood Ridge) 34-7, Jr. (Dec 5-3)

5th Place Match

Jesse Kovacs (Apollo) 40-13, Jr. over Todd Prince (Williams Field) 39-15, So. (Fall 2:00)


1st Place Match

Ty Ryan (Raymond Kellis) 51-4, Jr. over Jose Beltran (Ironwood Ridge) 40-3, Jr. (Dec 8-7)

3rd Place Match

Dominique Johnson (Cienega) 33-4, Sr. over Steel Jobe (Campo Verde) 26-4, Sr. (Dec 9-4)

5th Place Match

Noah Sweilem (Barry Goldwater) 37-7, Sr. over Allyn Tuey (Williams Field) 42-14, So. (Inj. 0:00)


1st Place Match

Elijah Wyatt (Sunnyside) 42-3, Sr. over Chance Sasser (Ironwood Ridge) 38-5, Sr. (Fall 5:35)

3rd Place Match

Mason Hulme (Higley) 45-7, So. over Jeremiah Voliva (Apollo) 43-11, Sr. (Dec 13-8)

5th Place Match

Jayden Fletcher (Campo Verde) 36-9, Jr. over Abel Guillen (Central) 17-7, Sr. (Fall 4:59)


1st Place Match

Stone Aguirre (Ironwood) 57-2, Sr. over Brock Locnikar (Notre Dame Prep) 19-1, Jr. (UTB 6-5)

3rd Place Match

Eric Purvin (Mountain View Marana) 48-8, Sr. over Diego Torres (Casteel) 41-9, Sr. (Fall 2:50)

5th Place Match

James Soto (Sunnyside) 38-8, Sr. over Dev`yon Johnson (Buena) 27-17, Sr. (Dec 10-3)


1st Place Match

Tarik Sutkovic (Ironwood) 52-1, Sr. over James Thompson (Apollo) 48-7, Sr. (MD 11-2)

3rd Place Match

Rafael Masella (Horizon) 33-6, Jr. over Spencer Roy (Notre Dame Prep) 26-6, Jr. (Dec 6-0)

5th Place Match

Mario Lopez (Buena) 23-10, Fr. over Christopher Gomez (Ironwood Ridge) 29-14, Jr. (Fall 1:51)


1st Place Match

Trevor Kauer (Campo Verde) 37-1, Sr. over Adrian Monveal (Sunnyside) 35-5, Sr. (TB-1 5-1)

3rd Place Match

George Roeder (Centennial) 28-9, Jr. over Jackson Solomon (Higley) 39-8, Jr. (Fall 1:36)

5th Place Match

Matthew McClure (Willow Canyon) 39-7, Sr. over Ervyn Rivuis (Desert View) 43-10, Sr. (Fall 1:20)