Last weekend Camp Verde High wrestling shined at the Firebird Invitational at Chaparral High School in Scottsdale.
Although undermanned, the Cowboys finished sixth out of 20 teams.
“It is always a great experience to compete with some of the largest schools from all over the state of Arizona,” CV head coach Larry Allred said. “Coming from a small school and only having 11 wrestlers we are always out numbered normally giving up three weight classes before the duals even begins. As a team we pride ourselves on overcoming this disadvantage with heart and determination defeating teams with full rosters. This never say die attitude has enabled our Camp Verde Wrestling team to place sixth out of twenty teams most having full 14 man rosters.”
Division IV Camp Verde competed against Division I schools like Chaparral, Glendale Copper Canyon, Avondale Westview and Phoenix Trevor G. Browne.
“It went pretty good, I think we had a third placer and a few other kids placed and I took first,” senior Anthony Tinghitella said.
Out of their 11 wrestlers, six made it to the medal rounds.
- 132lb - first Place - Anthony Tinghitella
- 285lb - second Place - Damian Wathogoma
- 113lb - fourth Place - Dade Woodard
- 145lb - fourth Place - Jared Gorda
- 126lb - fifth Place - Benjamin Perez
- 120lb - fifth Place – Ismael Gonzalez
Tinghitella went 8-0 and won the outstanding wrestler of the tournament award. The defending state champion went 39-0 in the regular season.
“It feels good, especially when you see kids that have pretty high records and then you go in and you think that’s going to be a tough match and then you tech them,” Tinghitella said. “It’s a good feeling, hard work’s paying off.”
He said he’s focused on each match rather than his perfect record.
“Just match by match, try to go into every match with the same mentality, go in and think through my moves and stay focused,” Tinghitella said.
He transferred to Camp Verde from Oro Valley Ironwood Ridge, which is in the Tucson area.
“It’s been a great experience,” Tinghitella said. “Everything’s been awesome, coaches have been awesome, teammates have been awesome.”
He said it hasn’t been a hard transition.
“I got in with a better crowd of people and stopped doing certain things, started doing certain things, started working harder and more focused on school,” Tinghitella said.
The Cowboys next action is Sectionals at Bourgade Catholic in Phoenix on Feb. 2.
Townsend shines in Tucson
Further south, freshman Caylee Townsend finished second at the Flowing Wells tournament.
Townsend prepared for Sectionals at the Flowing Wells Girls Wrestling Open in Tucson, a tournament that featured wrestlers from 25 schools, including ones from New Mexico and Texas.
“Caylee had a great tournament taking second place in the very tough 106 pound weight class,” Allred said.
Girls wrestling Sectionals are this weekend at Winslow.
Uhler finishes third at State
Racer Uhler represented Camp Verde Middle School at State, taking third.
The younger Cowboys competed at the Open club state championship in Tempe.