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Wrestling takes 1st place at sectional meet

Photo by Cory Wyman ’16 – Hunter Talbo ’16 and Archie Garcia ’19 face off at wrestling practice. The wrestling team won 1st place at their sectional meet.

By Henry Erlandson ’16

The varsity wrestling team grabbed the first place spot in the Division 1 Wrestling Championships at Boulder Creek High School Feb. 6 and had two wrestlers place fifth in the state tournament.

The top four wrestlers in each weight class of sectionals advance to state.

Brophy had 10 wrestlers travel to the state tournament Feb. 11 and 12 after defeating the defending-champ Mountain Ridge at the sectional meet by a margin of seven points.

“Coach Catan focused heavily on getting the team into shape and it showed during the matches,” said Brogan Smith ’18. “We were more athletic than a majority of the other teams, and as the match wore on our grapplers kept fighting while their opponents tuckered out.”

Captains Val Hernandez ’16 and Anthony Brady ’16 earned all-state honors competing in the semi-finals of the state championship in Prescott.

“At the state meet they had a sense of urgency and they came to wrestle,” said head coach Mr. Wayne Catan. “When those two guys as talented as they are, when they come to wrestle there’s no stopping them.”

Brady wrestled at 138-pounds after beating his opponent from a technical fall and Hernandez wrestled at the 120-pound slot.

Junior Brian Olmedo was 20 seconds away from being all-state on the second day of the state tournament. Mr. Catan said it was heart-breaking to see him lose, but looks forward to seeing Olmedo place high in state next year.

Smith, who finished first in his weight class at sectionals, attributed the successful season to Mr. Catan’s coaching style and the senior leadership.

“The fact that he was an Olympic level wrestler adds to his credibility and captures the respect of not only our wrestlers, but other teams as well,” he said. “He brought a high level training regimen and knowledge of the sport with him.”

Mr. Catan said the future is bright for his team after finishing up his first year of coaching at Brophy and looks forward to getting right back to work soon with off-season tournaments in the freestyle and spring seasons.