Wrestling in Division 4: Redskin Matmen play local sports with Yuma Catholic in a long state

The St. John’s wrestling team competed against Yuma Catholic in the team’s final competition on Thursday, before the state tournament begins on March 16-17 at Florence Poston Butte High School.

Despite two and a half months of training, the Redskins are only 11-2 in doubles games without tournaments before the state finals in this shortened season, which is all due to a second increase in COVID-19 cases between November and January.

Head Coach Brandon Crosby says the big challenge this time of year is getting his wrestlers enough experience to survive in the state. Much of the team’s schedule was directed against larger Division 3 programs.

“We are all terminally ill because of the restrictions,” said the coach. “It’s been a long season but these guys came in and just went to work every day. We would have typically had more than 50 games by now and it will be extremely difficult to repeat that experience. “

With 12 wrestlers winning all records, St. Johns should be on the lookout for a national title again along with perennial powers Eloy Santa Cruz and Morenci and two emerging challengers, Heber Mogollon and Yuma Catholic. Mogollon’s 10 wrestlers are extremely strong, possibly strong enough to overcome the lack of three overweights in the team standings.

“It’s the team race,” said coach Crosby. “Mogollon, Yuma Catholic and Morenci will all be very hard to beat at the state tournament. All three are die-hard and experienced. Santa Cruz, who has won the last two titles, has been decimated by transfers but still has some very tough individuals.

The Redskins are led by James Thomas (170 pounds), who is 13-0 this season, Ren Crosby (12-1) at 152 pounds, Kyson Price (12-1) at 220 pounds, Wes Scarbrough (11-1, 132), Slade Nevins (11-1, 195) and Nicholas Patterson (11-1, 285). Jacob Skousen is 3-1 in limited action and Ryan Lewis (182) is 5-2. JT Richardson (145) is 9-3 and the other three on the team – Dion Perry (126), Peter Casey (138) and Jace Chlarson (160) – each have four losses.

The state finals will consist of the 16 best wrestlers in the country in a two-day double elimination tournament.

The adjusted season means that all of the state’s teams face inexperience. That makes it difficult to predict this year’s tournament.

“We have no idea what to expect from our individuals other than that they do their best and represent Redskin wrestling as always,” said the coach. “We should have a lot of podium places (top 6).”

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