KINGMAN - The Kingman High wrestlers have two more chances to improve their seeding before the Feb. 8 Division II, Section IV tournament.
The Bulldogs were at the Page Invitational Friday and Saturday, and they host the Colorado River Region duals at 10 a.m. Wednesday. Kingman will face Lee Williams, Parker, Lake Havasu, River Valley and Mohave that day.
Kingman entered the Page tournament having turned its season around. The Bulldogs were 3-5 through December but have posted a 14-7 record for January.
"We had a real successful January," said KHS coach Brandon Clor. "We're now building records for the section and state tournaments."
Kingman went 6-1 at the Joseph City Invitational Jan. 10-11 and 4-3 at the Mohave Invitational Jan. 17-18. On Wednesday, the Bulldogs beat Peoria and Independence at KHS.
To get a team turnaround like the Bulldogs have had in January, it takes a lot of individual effort in wrestling. Jared Brown, 152 pounds, has posted a 34-1 record so far this season, including his Mohave Invitational championship. He was named Most Outstanding Middleweight Wrestler for the tournament.
Clor is obviously pleased with Brown's record this year, but it is Brown's maturity that has the coach impressed.
"Jared is a true leader. Two years ago, I didn't expect to be saying this about him," the coach said. "There is no downside to him. He is a state champion quality wrestler. I'm real happy and proud of him."
Brown has his sights set on doing something no Bulldog wrestler has done since Victor Martel in 1983, and that's win a state championship for Kingman.
"I'm winning state," the grappler said. "Why do something if you can't be the best? We haven't had one since forever, and I want to be the one. I know I can do it."
To get that done, Brown is keeping his plan simple.
"I just got to do what I'm doing," the 152-pounder said. "I've got to stay humble and respect everyone."
C.J. Gore also won the Mohave Invitational for the Bulldogs. Gore won at 160 and is 34-6 on the year.
"He's really come on," Clor said. "He got rattled against Sunrise Mountain. He was forced to shave and got mad. He's been on ever since."
Gore said he forgot his razor and the referee told him he had to shave. He did a dry shave on the mat.
"I got cut up pretty bad," he said.
For Gore to go far for Kingman, he said it is all about confidence.
"It's all in my head," Gore said. "I've beaten everyone I'll be facing during offseason wrestling. I just get nervous when the season comes."
Gore calms his nerves like a lot of athletes do, listening to music.
"It's the only thing I've found," he said. "I like listening to Johnny Cash. I don't know why, but his music helps."
Most of the Bulldogs have winning records. Dalton Delong at 138 is 31-5, Cody Ricker (220) 29-5, Jake Tosh (145) 28-5, Russell Williams (182) 17-11, Conner Mahlmeister (195) 13-6, Tim Georges (Hvy) 11-5, Andrew Picard (220 and heavyweight) 10-5, Sheng Gao (heavyweight) 10-5, and Jake Harms (195) is 7-8.
What is going to happen on the mat in the near future doesn't worry Clor; it's things off the mat that has him anxious.
"I'm nervous about injuries, illnesses and grades," the coach said. "I'm real concerned about missing five days of school since we started back up again. We've got some kids struggling with their grades."