The significance of the Scottsdale City Wrestling Meet might pale when compared to the upcoming region tournaments and state championship. However, the tournament still offers something of importance: city bragging rights.
For the third consecutive year, Saguaro secured its spot as the top team in Scottsdale as the Sabercats swept the competition at the annual city meet Saturday at Saguaro High School.
“Winning city is always huge, it’s (against) all of our rival schools,” said Saguaro heavyweight Hunter Sims, who advanced his record to 33-1 by going 3-0 at the meet.
With the 4A East Sky Region tournament coming up Thursday, Saguaro coach Randy Bishop said he is mainly focused on preparing his team for the postseason. Yet Bishop recognized what the city championship means to his wrestlers.
“It’s important to the kids,” he said.
Desert Mountain’s 152-pounder, Zach Stombock, agreed. “It’s a grudge match. . . . For the kids, it’s pretty cool to say, ‘I’m a city champion and I beat everyone in Scottsdale.’ ” Stombock said.
For the second year in a row, the Sabercats faced Desert Mountain in a pivotal, winner-take-all bout in the last round. In last year’s city tournament, Saguaro downed the Wolves by three points in a battle that was determined in the final match.
This year’s showdown appeared to be headed to a similar conclusion. After Saguaro rolled out to a 30-12 lead, Desert Mountain rallied with victories by Mike Chu (145), Stombock and Dennis Voyoutskyy (160) to even the score at 30-all.
But Saguaro then went on a run of its own, sweeping the last four weight classes to wrap up the city title with a 51-30 win.
“It’s fun wrestling Desert Mountain because it always seems to come down to the last couple of matches,” Sims said.
The final-round contest between the Wolves and Sabercats moved at a breakneck pace, as all but one of the matches was determined by either pin or forfeit. Every match until the 160-pound weight class was concluded in the first period.
"We’ve got about three or four kids who could break the pin record at the school,” Bishop said.
Nine Saguaro wrestlers won all three of their matches on Saturday: Matt Pecora (103), Brandon Chasse (112), David Crabtree (130), Jett Heukensfeld (135), Chris Hawes (140), Justin Cooper (171), Jay Prigg (189), Ryan Vroom (215) and Sims.
John Roehm (119), Stombock and Voyoutskyy all finished as city champions for Desert Mountain.