Williams Field High School has been around for just three years, but the Black Hawks’ wrestling program has had three coaches.
The program has never lacked for talent, just stability. First-year Williams Field coach Jason Ford worked hard to provide a stable leader and just let the talent do the rest.
“I saw a very respectable group, very coachable,” said Ford of the team he inherited. “I knew I had a good nucleus to work with and we had six returning seniors, so I just tried to create that stability. The kids did all the work.”
On Saturday at Tempe High School, the Black Hawks qualified 11 wrestlers for the 4A-II state tournament and ran away with the team championship at the East Sky Region tournament.
The region title was the first in school history.
“It feels amazing because we’ve never had this many good people, only one or two,” said Williams Field 105-pound senior Ivan Ruiz. “It means a lot.”
Williams Field won with 167 points, well ahead of runner-up Coronado’s 134. Tempe was close back with 128.5 and Higley was fourth with 106. The top three in each weight class automatically advance to the 4A-II state meet, which is Thursday in Friday at Tim’s Toyota Center in Prescott.
In the opening weight class (105), Ruiz got the championship round started right for Williams Field, pinning Coronado’s Wyatt Richardson in just 52 seconds to win the first of five individual championships for the Black Hawks.
“I feel like if I win it kind of makes the next person want to win even more,” said Ruiz, who was the runner-up in 4A-II last year. “It pushes them a little extra so everybody just pulls together.”
Other champions for the Black Hawks were Caleb Cobb at 132, Parker Skidmore at 154, Heath Boers at 162 and Colbe Smelser at 191.
“I think our team has always bonded well, but the missing piece was the coach,” said Boers, who was also a state runner-up last year. “Once we got a good coaching staff, it made everyone want to do better.”
Coronado had four individual champions and advanced eight wrestlers to the state meet. Brothers Andrew Patino (114) and Adam Patino (121) went back-to-back and teammate Kaleb Cisneros (127) followed with another title.
The other Dons winner was Shawn Thompson, who had the quickest pin of the finals, beating Seton’s John Gonzalez in 47 seconds.
Tempe had two individual champions and six state qualifiers. Sean Taylor won a see-saw battle with Williams Fields’ Rhett Scheurn at 173. Ahead 11-10 with just seconds left in the match, Scheurn was whistled for an illegal hold and penalized a point, sending the match to sudden-death overtime. Taylor got the takedown and came away with the 13-11 win. Tempe’s other winner was Juan Castro at 217.
Seton also had two champions (Matt Kathe at 137 and Kevin McDonald at heavyweight) and will send five to the state meet.
Higley had just one individual champion, Emmanuel Del Castillo who won all three of his matches at 147 by pin.
The Knights have seven state qualifiers.
Desert Sky Region
105 – Steven Soto (McClintock) dec. Sheldon Soloman (Queen Creek) 14-4
114 – Truongson Nguyen (McClintock) pinned Tucker Workman (Queen Creek) 1:22
121 – James Arthur (McClintock) pinned Dallon Bush (Apache Junction) 4:31
127 – Brigg Soloman (Queen Creek) dec. Chase Converse (Apache Junction) 3-2
132 – Trent McMinn (Apache Junction) pinned Tyler Fullerton (Queen Creek) 1:44
137 – Ben Barr (Cactus Shadows) dec. Rand Hawk (Campo Verde) 12-1
142 – Airam Moreno (Queen Creek) dec. Thomas Eckhardt (Apache Junction) 11-6
147 – Kolton Lock (Queen Creek) pinned Michael White (Saguaro) 5:41
154 – Vlademir Dewys (Queen Creek) tech. fall Chris Freed (Apache Junction) 15-0
162 – Zach Sexton (Cactus Shadows) dec. Alex Braden (Campo Verde) 4-3
173 – Trace Bowman (Queen Creek) pinned Connar Etsitty (McClintock) 3:06
191 – Wes Moore (Queen Creek) pinned Gunnar Collier (Cactus Shadows) :54
217 – Brandon Dudley (Apache Junction) dec. Daniel Bowman (Queen Creek) 6-4
Hwt – Dylan Munyon (Apache Junction) pinned Sean Little (Combs) 1:39
105 – Zach Sanchez (Campo Verde) dec. Marc Uehling (Apache Junction) 11-3
114 – Austin Doll (Campo Verde) dec. Will Richards (Poston Butte) 10-4
121 – Michael Uribe (Queen Creek) pinned Andrew Kassir (Cactus Shadows) 4:45
127 – Alejandro Estadillo (McClintock) dec. Angel Sanchez (Combs) 15-12
132 – Tino Morales (Cactus Shadows) pinned Aaron Munoz (Poston Butte) 4:05
137 – Bo Chapman (Queen Creek) pinned Anthony Nieves (Apache Junction) 1:48
142 – Tyler Neal (McClintock) pinned Shayne Preston (Campo Verde) 4:45
147 – Dillon Flickinger (Cactus Shadows) dec. Andrew Finn (McClintock) 12-7
154 – Ahmed Khalil (McClintock) pinned Clayton Brunette (Saguaro) :56
162 – Derek Craig (Apache Junction) pinned Richard Zemayfski (Queen Creek) 2:08
173 – Matt Sokhy (Campo Verde) dec. Myles Crothers (Apache Junction) 9-1
191 – Michael Cionni (Campo Verde) pinned Muhamad Al-Khafaji (McClintock) 2:25
217 – Bridger Rodoni (Campo Verde) pinned Adam Sanchez (Apache Junction) 4:44
Hwt – Dallin Davis (Queen Creek) dec. Bryce Puffy (Campo Verde) 8-5
East Sky Region
Team scores: 1. Williams Field 167; 2. Coronado 134; 3. Tempe 128.5; 4. Higley 106; 5. Seton Catholic 71; 6. Maricopa 54; 7. Notre Dame 12.5
105 – Ivan Ruiz (WF) pinned Wyatt Richardson (Cor) :52
114 – Andrew Patino (Cor) dec. James Sanchez (Tem) 4-2
121 – Adam Patino (Cor) pinned Tim Leavy (SC) 2:49
127 – Kaleb Cisneors (Cor) dec. Nadhi Kedir (Tem) 10-5
132 – Caleb Cobb (WF) dec. Broc Sargent (Hig) 6-0
137 – Matt Kathe (SC) dec. Miles Manley (Cor) 3-1
142 – Shawn Thompson (Cor) pinned John Gonzalez (SC) :47
147 – Emmanuel Del Castillo (Hig) pinned Adolfo Franco (Mar) 1:48
154 – Parker Skidmore (WF) dec. Aaron Evans (SC) 7-2
162 – Heath Boers (WF) dec. Marcus Rochna (Hig) 9-2
173 – Sean Taylor (Tem) dec. Rhett Schuern (WF) 13-11 (OT)
191 – Colbe Smelser (WF) pinned Zack Yazzie (Hig) 1:05
217 – Juan Castro (Tem) pinned Randy Deal (WF) 1:54
Hwt – Kevin McDonald (SC) pinned Cameron Lucero (Tem) 1:31
105 – Marcus Begay (Hig) dec. Danny Navaro (Tem) 8-0
114 – Seth Masterson (Mar) dec. Conrad Sullivan (SC) 15-7
121 – Tyrell Barnett (WF) dec. Justin Olmstead (Hig) 10-5
127 – Huter Rojas (Hig) pinned Marcus Read (WF) 4:51
132 – Anthony Haechler (ND) dec. Parker Keime (Mar) 8-3
137 – Kyle Land (WF) pinned Marco Salgado (Tem) 2:54
142 – Brett Wager (WF) pinned Marco Cobos (Hig) 3:24
147 – Thomas Vale (Tem) pinned Kenny Davidson (WF) 1:50
154 – Blaze Kikeman (Cor) pinned Logan Norris (Hig) 3:30
162 – Joe Breese (Cor) pinned Ibsa Gerado (Tem) 3:40
173 – Joey Kelly (Mar) dec. Josue Sanchez (Hig) 4-2 (OT)
191 – Charlie Ledesma (Tem) pinned Aldrich Dabu (Mar) 2:26
217 – Josh Graston (Hig) dec. Sean Dodge (Mar) 3-0
Hwt – Marvin Martinez (WF) dec. Adrian Parra (Cor) 5-1