In only its second tournament of the season Saturday, Dec. 11, the Camp Verde High School wrestling team looks to be in midseason form, taking first overall at the 17th annual Verde Duals Wrestling Tournament.
“The tournament was an impressive opening for a young aggressive Cowboys wrestling team,” longtime Camp Verde Head Coach Bob Weir said. “The boys gave everything they had and came out the champs.”
It is the 11th straight time Camp Verde has claimed the first-place prize at its own tournament.
The Verde Duals Wrestling Tournament is the biggest meet Camp Verde hosts every season and this year was no different with 16 teams competing over the weekend.
Camp Verde wrestlers went an impressive 89-31 in their matches during the two-day event and were 7-0 in duals against formidable opponents.
The Cowboys beat up on Tuba City High School to begin the tournament, 78-3, and went on to beat Copper Canyon [66-6], Sunnyslope [44-34], San Manuel [51-19], Cactus Shadows [70-12], River Valley [63-12] and Empire [37-36] high schools.
“Our returning wrestlers, and even our new wrestlers, have an attitude this season to bring back the respect to our program, on and off the mat,” Weir said.
Junior Michael Casillas, wrestling at 103 pounds this weekend, did just that, finishing a perfect 9-0 with four pins to claim first place overall.
Also taking home a first-place prize was 119-pound junior Derrick Brown, finishing 8-1 with five pins.
Brown received the Outstanding Wrestler Award for the tournament as well, according to Weir, something all the coaches vote on throughout the weekend.
Other top performances include 135-pound senior Roman Bux who finished third overall with an
8-1 record while 125-pound senior Daniel Dodge was 7-2 and also finished in third place.
Heath Carroll, a sophomore wrestling at 130 pounds for Camp Verde, took third overall with his 7-2 record and four pin falls while 140-pound sophomore Alex Anzar was 7-2 and took fifth overall.
Also finishing third overall was 215-pound junior Challen Richardson who had three pin falls and was 5-2 over the weekend.
“We weren’t predicted to win this thing,” Weir said laughing. “But our guys pulled together as a team and we came out on top.”
The Cowboys will hit the road over the next few weeks with three straight road meets scheduled to begin Friday, Dec. 17, at the Moon Valley Invitational Tournament.
It is the last meet before Christmas for the Cowboys who will travel to the Joseph City Tournament on Friday, Jan. 7, and Saturday, Jan. 8.
Camp Verde returns home to host a multiple meet Wednesday, Jan. 12.