Athlete of the week: Max Mejia - The Chandler 103-pound freshman won the first four matches of his much-anticipated high school career by pin, helping the Wolves to wins against Mesa Desert Ridge, Surprise Valley Vista, Laveen Cesar Chavez and Phoenix Pinnacle.
Beyond the box score
Old school scoring: They will be keeping team scores again at the 5A individual state meets after two years without it. The belief was that, somehow it would detract from the team championship, now decided by elimination dual meets.
But some coaches still tracked the score on the side.
Instead of using power points from dual meets to determine the field for the state team tournament, the top 16 team finishers from each division’s individual tournament will be used — and will be seeded according to that finish.
“Let’s just say it will be interesting to see how it works out,’’ Mesa Mountain View coach Bob Callison said.
The drawback to this system compared with power points is that some teams are better in tournaments than duals.
Here’s an extreme example. Let’s say you have a team with six wrestlers who take individual state championships and no other wrestlers on the squad. Such a team would likely finish first — or at least come close — in the individual tournament’s team scoring. But the same team would lose every dual meet in which the opponent fielded a full team.
Under the new system it is theoretically possible to have a No. 1 seed in the state team tournament that couldn’t possibly win a dual meet against a full lineup. But it’s unlikely.
Mesa Red Mountain coach David DiDomenico totaled it up and the top team scorers in the individual tournament last season were the top four seeds in the dual tournament.
As for the top team from the individual tournament overshadowing the top team from the duels, two-time defending 5A-I state champion Mesa coach Bobby Williams said: “The team winner gets the trophy, so there’s no argument.”
Some states crown a state champion from each format, but Williams likes the new system. Without power points, there’s less pressure to have “your lineup perfect every night,” he said.
Sneak peak: Tempe Corona del Sol hosts Mesa and Gilbert Highland on Wednesday. Corona is one of a few teams that could mount a challenge to Mesa for the 5A-I state title.
Contact Tom Gibbons: (480) 898-5904 (Ext. 1) or firstname.lastname@example.org