Lee Williams wrestling earns respect

Verville, Williams and Penny lead Vols to 14 points at state

Nick Verville

Nick Verville

KINGMAN - When all five of the Lee Williams High wresters were eliminated at the AIA Division III State Wrestling Tournament in Prescott Valley Friday-Saturday, the Volunteers' 14 points and 44th place appeared to be a fairly decent showing.

Lee Williams was nine wrestlers short of a full team and was comprised of freshmen and sophomores. Still, the Volunteers made some noise at their first state tournament in school history.

In the championship bracket, Nick Verville at 120 pounds reached the quarterfinals for Lee Williams. Verville won in sudden victory in his first match of the tournament after he took down Rio Rico's Areana Villaescusa in extra time. Verville advanced to the quarterfinals when he exacted revenge on Thunderbird's Alex Jones with a 10-3 decision. Jones had pinned Verville earlier in the season.

In the quarters, Verville was knocked into the consolation round by the No. 2 seed, Collin Anderson of Coconino, by major decision, 10-0. Verville entered the tournament as the No. 7 seed.

It was back-to-back losses for Verville when unseeded Christian Felix of Pueblo beat him, 7-2. Verville finished the season at 33-9.

Heavyweight Kip Penny (11-17) won his first match of the tournament, pinning Monument Valley's Julian Begay in 3 minutes, 4 seconds. Penny was pinned by No. 2 seed Daniel Cox of Shadow Ridge in 23 seconds in the second round. He was then eliminated from the tournament by Moon Valley's C.J. Lockwood by a 4:27 pin.

Tiberius Williams, 182 pounds, led the Volunteers with six points. He went 2-2 for the tournament and finished 11-14 on the season. Williams faced No. 8-seed Allen Cowan of Thunderbird in the first round and lost by technical fall, 15-0. Williams won his next two matches in the consolation bracket, pinning Jerry Sohn of Cortez in 1:29 and Lee Danny of Chinle in 3:42. Williams was eliminated by No. 2-seed Willie Wyatt of Show Low, getting pinned in 3:21.

Jeremiah Graffius (11-17) went 0-2 at 160 pounds, as did Kyle Wegner (8-12) at 195.