12/14/2012 6:00:00 AM Kingman Bulldogs wrestling their way toward solid season
Kingman High’s Andrew Leyva tries to pin Prescott Valley’s Russ Dodge in his 170-pound match during the Bulldogs’ dual meet Wednesday. Leyva won the match with a 19-6 decision, and the Bulldogs won the dual 52-24.
Kingman’s C.J. Gore goes up against Bradshaw Mountain’s David Snell.
KINGMAN - Down 9-4 in his 195-pound match with Prescott Valley Bradshaw Mountain's Pete Hodan, Kingman High's Cody Ricker looked at his coach, Brandon Clor, who told him to take his head out of it and put his heart into it.
Ricker responded to his coach's challenge by scoring five unanswered points in the third and final period to tie the match at 9-9. Then he got a two-point takedown in overtime to win an 11-9 decision.
"When he takes his head out of it and puts his heart into it, he's very successful," Clor said. "He starts to overthink things and that's when he struggles. It's like riding a bike. When you think of riding a bike, you fall off. When you think about wrestling, you struggle."
Ricker's win was one of 10 by the Bulldogs en route to a 52-24 dual victory on Wednesday.
"I think our guys came out and performed," Clor said. "We had a good day today and we are looking forward to Ironwood and Goldwater."
KHS closed out the first half of the season with a meet Thursday in Glendale against Ironwood and Phoenix Goldwater.
The Bulldogs won't be in action again until Jan. 4, when they travel to the Joseph City Invitational. However, the break is welcome news as it will give them a chance to rest for what's expected to be a busy January - KHS will have meets every week leading up to the sectional.
"Christmas is always a huge distraction," Clor said. "We have some guys that are looking at getting their weight down and are looking at making some cuts. Joe Rubbelke is looking at coming down to challenge for the 195 spot, and we have a couple of guys working on some minor injures."
KHS is 7-4 and entered Wednesday's match on the heels of placing third at the Agua Fria Invitational in Avondale last weekend.
The Bulldogs have been led by Richard Williams, who improved to 9-0 after pinning John Trout in 1:39 to win his 220-pound match. Last year's state qualifiers Andrew Leyva (170) and Matt Waite (145) and heavyweight Jesus Baraza have all contributed as well.
But while the middle and upper weights have helped carry the Bulldogs this year, it's the presence of the lower weights that have made a difference, especially Dominic Lynch (106) and Christian Barrios (113).
"Dominic and Christian are both pretty young and new," Clor said. "Their job is to get experience and learn and help the varsity squad. They're going to be the future and they're doing just fine."
Lynch lost his match when Brian Stolz pinned him in 3:38, but his mere presence at 106 has helped KHS tremendously. Last year, teams would automatically go up by 12 points because the Bulldogs would have to forfeit the 106 and 113 classes. On Wednesday, KHS actually benefited from this when Barrios won his match by forfeit.
"Anybody that wrestled us automatically got six points if they had a little guy, and that's true for a lot of teams," Clor said.
"More importantly, the guys that are wrestling are looking really good. Leyva looks strong and is working hard and getting ready for state. He is working toward the takedown record."