TUCSON — On the first day of wrestling practice this season, Yuma Cibola senior Pierre Gaud took an inadvertent head-butt from a teammate, resulting in eight stitches and a battle scar on Gaud’s forehead.
He took another head-butt Saturday, but this one might sting a little less as it came with a victory in the 162-pound championship at the Flowing Wells Invitational.
“Last time it was just in practice,” Gaud said. “This time I got a championship and hopefully no stitches. But if it (does require stitches), then screw it, it’s another one of my trophies.”
Gaud was one of 14 individual champions in the tournament that is the last major tuneup before the state championships next month. Mesa Mountain View took the team title with 223.5 points, edging out Tucson Sunnyside (208.5) and Cibola (190.5).
Chandler Seton Catholic freshman Quentin Hovis was named the tournament’s outstanding wrestler after taking a 5-2 decision over Chandler sophomore Quincy Reece at 122 pounds.
Gaud was leading his match against Tempe Corona del Sol senior Ethan Tursini when the head-butt occurred in the third period.
Gaud’s coaches and trainers stopped the bleeding before bandaging up his head, and Gaud returned to win a 5-3 decision over Tursini.
“Me and him have been battling since the eighth grade,” Gaud said. “This might be one of the last times we wrestle each other in high school, so I’m just glad to win a rivalry match at a tournament like Flowing Wells.”
Chandler senior Dajour Reece and Mesa Mountain View junior Blake Monty engaged in one of the night’s more entertaining matches at 154 pounds.
Reece got a takedown to open the match and held a 3-1 lead entering the third period. Monty scored a one-point escape to open the period and trim Reece’s lead to 3-2, but Reece held Monty off for the rest of the match to take the victory.
“I wanted to score the first takedown and not give up any points,” Reece said. “In the third, I was just playing defense and trying not to get taken down.”
Other winners Saturday included: Danny Vega, So., Oro Valley Ironwood Ridge (108 pounds); Paden Mason, So., Mountain View (115); William Olivas, Sr., Sunnyside (128); Luis Nunez, Sr., Cibola (134); Estevan Ulibarri, Sr., Chandler (140); Jesse Nieto, Jr, Cleveland (N.M.) (147); Vicente Guerrero, Jr., Cibola, (172); Jro Byrd, Sr., Anthem Boulder Creek (197); Gabriel Gonzales, Sr., Sunnyside (197); Tristan Ezell, Sr., Phoenix Desert Vista (222); Jorge Felix, Sr., Tucson Flowing Wells (heavyweight).