Camp Verde High School wrestlers Skyler Pike and Hayden Uhler were recently named to the Arizona Republic’s All-Arizona Wrestling Team for 2017.
Only one wrestler from each weight class in the entire state is selected, making the honor that much more valuable. Additionally, Uhler was a finalist for the Wrestler of the Year award, which was presented at the publication’s second annual Sports Awards on April 30.
“I was pretty excited, every accomplishment I make is exciting,” Uhler said. “It makes me feel pretty good about myself.”
Uhler, a senior, won his fourth individual state title and rounded out the season with a 45-0 record. Uhler only ever lost two matches in four seasons, both his freshman year, to finish with a career record of 167-2.
Each of his titles came in a different weight class, and he was a part of two team titles, in 2014 and 2015. After his junior season he was named to the Republic’s 2016 All-Wrestling Team.
Uhler is also the second ever Cowboys wrestler to have won four individual state titles [106, 113, 126, 135]. 2015 graduate Ryan Allred is the other.
“It’s pretty rare to do when you see a four-timer with only two losses on their whole high school [career],” Uhler said. “Again you can’t do that without God but you’ve got to put in the effort.”
But what satisfied Uhler most about his senior season was not titles or accolades, but rather being able to share the experience with his family.
“My happiest moment was taking state with my brother [Korben]. We’ve never been able to be at the same school or wrestle at the same state [competition],” Uhler said. “And seeing my family happy and proud of their son to achieve what he’s always dreamed of.”
Pike, a junior, pinned all four of his opponents en route to the 113-pound title at the Arizona Interscholastic Association Division IV State Championship, held on Feb. 11. He finished the season with an overall record of 47-1 to claim his first high school state title.
“I was surprised because we’re a Division IV school, we’re a little school, but as far as recognition not really,” Pike said. “To me it means that I could compete with basically anyone in the state, it doesn’t matter if we’re from a little school or not.”
The Cowboys have a long history of success on the mats; both wrestlers acknowledge their coaches and God as the strongest influences in their accomplishments.
“It’s technique overall, the coaching that we have,” Pike said. “We have a lot of spiritual support behind the team, we have a prayer group after practice. A lot of it was because of God and because of the coaches we have.”
“It’s a lot of heart, you’ve got to have a lot heart, too,” Uhler said.
Camp Verde was one of two schools to have multiple selections to the All-Wrestling Team, the other being Tempe’s McClintock High School.
Uhler will not wrestle in college, but is thinking of beginning to do mixed martial arts while attending Yavapai College in pursuit of his next goal, to become a registered nurse.