Sunnyside places 7 in finals, runs away with team crown

Sunnyside places 7 in finals, runs away with team crown


Sunnyside places 7 in finals, runs away with team crown


The coach’s chair near the championship mat might as well have had a name tag that read: “Anthony Leon, Tucson Sunnyside.”

That’s how often Leon found himself in the chair Saturday, watching several of his wrestlers battle for an individual championship. Sunnyside put finalists in seven of 14 weight classes to dominate the 35-team Peoria Wrestling Invitational “Tournament of Champions” at Peoria High.

Sophomore Juaqin Olivas (113 pounds), senior Sergio Miranda (120), junior William Olivas (126), senior Raul Moraga (138), senior Aaron Steinebach (145) and junior Gabriel Gonzalez (195) all won titles, while senior Ricky Villegas (heavyweight) took runner-up.

Sunnyside scored 264 points to win the team championship. Yuma Gila Ridge and Las Vegas Cimarron Memorial tied for second with 145.5.

Leon, as is his custom, downplayed the win.

“It’s never good enough until you got 14 (wrestlers) high up on the medal stand,” he said. “We’re doing a good job but it’s a small, small victory. A battle compared to a war.”

Moraga was named one of three outstanding wrestlers of the tournament along with Chandler Basha junior Trey Ronayne, who won at 170 pounds, and Anaheim Servite senior Johnny Beltran, who took home the 182-pound title.

Laveen Cesar Chavez junior Bradley Burston and Peoria Liberty senior Sam Subia engaged in perhaps the match of the evening, at 220 pounds. Burston went into the third period up 6-2, but Subia scored five points to pull ahead 7-6. After regaining the advantage, Burston was able to pin Subia with 37.3 seconds remaining.

“It’s been a long time since I won a championship,” said Burston, whose last individual title came last season at sectionals. “I can’t remember much of the moves. All I know is I saw an opening, and I took it, tried to get him on his back and pin him.”

Other individual champions included: Tel Kelley, Alamosa (Colo.) (106 pounds); Ryan Vandall, Phoenix Moon Valley (132 pounds); Richard Miranda III, Avondale Westview (152); Kordell Provchy, Westview (160); Austin Sinyard, Cimarron (heavyweight).


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