KINGMAN – The Lee Williams High School wrestling team kicked off the new year with a good showing at the Joseph City Wrestling Tournament over the weekend. The Volunteers finished with a 5-1 dual record to take seventh out of 24 teams.
“I’m really happy with the growth the kids have shown over winter break,” said Lee Williams head coach Dan Ondrejka. “We had good numbers showing up to practice and the kids have really picked up the pace in the practice room.”
The Vols defeated Valley Christian 72-12, Holbrook 60-24, Joseph City 48-24, Antelope 54-28, and Hopi 65-18. The only loss of the weekend came in the very last match against Northwest Christian, 38-36.
“That was a fun dual and very close,” Ondrejka said. “The kids fought through every single match and never gave up. Even after the match was over, the kids held their heads high. You could definitely tell it was a positive learning experience for them.”
Lee Williams finished out day two of the tournament with seven individuals placing, led by Jimmy Wayman in first place (145 pounds). Other finishers included Dylan Shaffer in second (170), Zach Dixon in fourth (113), John Montoya in fifth (160), Michael Mazon in fifth (152), Wyatt Parker in seventh (120) and Morgan Mazon in eighth (132).
“To have half the team place individually coming out of winter break speaks volumes to how hard these kids have been working,” Ondrejka said. “We have a month left until state and every match is important.”
There was also intrigue in the 145-pound bout as Wayman defeated Kingman High’s Ramon Chavez in the finals by a score of 6-2 to take home the title.
“Jimmy and Ramon wrestled well all weekend long,” Ondrejka said. “To have two Kingman schools be represented in the finals against each other was very exciting. They were going to see each other at some point – so why not a finals match? They are from rival schools, but after the match they were friends again that have been wrestling with each other for years. I was very proud of both of them and how they handled themselves on and off the mat.”
The Vols travel to Peoria Wednesday, while Kingman is at Shadow Mountain. Both squads then wrestle at the Mohave Invitational this weekend.