Young wrestlers compete at USA Freestyle State Championships

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2014 Freestyle State Placers

All five Community Schools Wrestling Teams

San Manuel Miner

Wrestlers from Hayden, Oracle, Mammoth, and San Manuel competed at the USA Wrestling Freestyle State Championships last weekend at Highland High School in Gilbert, Arizona.

Six MSM Community Schools wrestlers placed at last weekend’s tournament. The wrestlers continued to practice and prepare for the event after their regular season ended. Their hard work is what makes the wrestling programs in the area so strong.

“Competing against the top wrestling clubs in the state, our wrestlers were able to win big matches and dominate,” San Manuel wrestling head coach Daniel Najera said. “The MSM Community Schools Wrestling season is the best youth wrestling feeder program in the state. Our goal is to continue growing our programs and increase participation to these USA Wrestling Tournaments. Our boys have done a great job.”

Najera added that many of the wrestlers are competing at a high level and credited USA wrestling for helping “our kids” advance to the next level.

Results from the State Championships are as follows: Samico Salazar (60 lbs) – State Champion, Jacob Tafoya (75 lbs) – Runner-up State Champion, Daniel Najera (50 lbs) – Runner-up State Champion, Darren Smith (40 lbs) – 3rd Place, Charles Croci (65 lbs) – 4th Place, Andrew Gutierrez (50lbs) – 4th Place.

Najera wished to thank everyone who volunteered and helped make this wrestling season a success.

Andy Luberda (322 Posts)

Andy Luberda began writing for Copper Area News Publishers (CANP) in February 2013 after working15 years in Healthcare Financial Management. Andy covers sports for eight high schools. His stories are published in the Southeast Valley Ledger, Copper Basin News, San Manuel Miner and Superior Sun. Additionally, he has written human interest stories and business profiles. In May 2012, he earned an AAS in Sports Management at Central Arizona College. Andy is currently earning a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from ASU’s Hugh Downs School of Communication. Andy is scheduled to complete his degree December 2014. He was born and raised in Des Plaines, Ill. In 1992, he relocated to Arizona. After a short return to Des Plaines in 1997, he returned to the Phoenix area two years later. He and his wife, Kelli, have three sons – AJ, Kyle, and Kade.


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