By Eric Villanueva ’11
Senior wrestler Tadeo Ruelas ’10 became Brophy wrestling’s first state champion in his 130-pound weight class at the state wrestling championships at Arizona State University Feb. 17.
“It couldn’t happen to a better kid,” said Coach Mr. Matt Gaimari. “He’s really worked hard and deserves everything he has accomplished.”
In the championship match, Ruelas beat an opponent he had lost to twice already this year, adding another state title after placing fifth as both a sophomore and junior.
Ruelas shared the podium with co-captain Paul Looper ’10, who lost to a three-time state champion in the last two seconds of the overtime match, but placed second in the 140-pound weight class. It was only his second loss of the season.
“We’re so proud of both of them, and they have a lot to be proud of,” Mr. Gaimari said.
Mr. Gaimari said he expects Looper to wrestle in college.
Looper told The Roundup that he had college opportunites at ASU, the University of Dubuque, Embry-Riddle University and the University of Central Oklahoma.
Overall, Brophy placed fifth in the state for the second consecutive year.
Besides Ruelas and Looper, three underclassmen wrestlers placed in the top five in their weight classes.
Junior Kevin Molloy ’11, newly transferred this year from Pinnacle High School, placed sixth in the 145-pound weight class. Fellow junior Paul Wirth ’11 and freshman Marshall Varner ’13 both took fifth at 171 pounds and 140 pounds respectfully.
“As a team, they definitely exceeded our expectations,” Mr. Gaimari said.
The last practice of the season was Feb. 19.
Brophy’s placement at the state championship qualified Brophy for the Team Dual Meet Playoffs against Mesquite High School at Tempe High School on Saturday, Feb. 20.
Looking forward, Mr. Gaimari said that the team would try to build next year’s season around this year’s offseason.
The plan is to encourage younger wrestlers to “try to follow in the footsteps of Tadeo and Paul, who have been such great examples and role models for our younger guys showing them what it takes to be champions,” Mr. Gaimari said.
“We have a lot of good, young talent. They just have to put in the time,” Mr. Gaimari said looking forward to the next season.
Roundup reporter Ian Beck ’12 contributed to this report.