By Nathaniel A. Lopez
On Saturday, Aug. 6, seven wrestlers from the Tri-Community traveled to Scottsdale to compete in the Grand Canyon Wrestling Championships which were held at WestWorld of Scottsdale. Wrestling under San Manuel’s Comet Wrestling Club were Sean McDermott, Angel Renteria, Fernando Aragon, Aedon Hawkins, Johnny Arbizo, and Raymond Garcia, being coached by Vince Majalca, and wrestling unattached was D.J. Small. The Comet wrestlers wore singlets previously used by the University of Arizona’s wrestling club.
“They came to this tournament with the understanding that, this is the first step to becoming better competitors for this upcoming regular season,” commented coach Vince Majalca.
Out of 100 teams, from as far as California, New Mexico and Nevada, Comet Wrestling Club placed 33rd. Placing fifth place in the 147 lb. weight class for 15U was Sean McDermott. D.J. Small placed second in the 115 lb. weight class for 15U. Wrestling heavyweight for 18U was Fernando Aragon, placing third, and Aedon Hawkins, who placed second. Placing sixth in the 162 lb. weight class was Johnny Arbizo for 18U. Raymond Garcia placed fourth in the 115 lb. weight class for 18U.
“They did their community proud, and were even better sportsmen off the mat,” said Vince Majalca. “They shared their technique with other wrestlers, and Johnny Arbizo and his family went as far as to summon me to coach a wrestler in the children’s division that had no coach and had never competed before. They watched his matches and Johnny even shared wrestling tips with him. I am beyond proud of these young gentleman and how they performed in this tournament.”
As the saying goes, “Summer wrestling makes winter champions.”
Comet wrestling club. Not in photo: DJ Smalls, photo courtesy of Comet Wrestling Club.