KINGMAN – Paul Jones knew he made one wrong move and it cost him.
The Kingman High School senior didn’t let it happen again Wednesday and it paid dividends during the Bulldogs’ four-team dual meet.
Wrestling: Kingman High dual meet - Dec. 12, 2018
The Kingman High School wrestling team hosted Chino Valley, Mohave and River Valley on Wednesday. Photos by Beau Bearden.
“In my first match I was so focused on getting the pin that I fell out of it and he ended up winning that scramble,” Jones said. “In my second match, I didn’t let that mistake happen again. I worked what I knew and I pinned him.”
Jones dropped his opening match to River Valley’s Ray Hernandez, but bounced back with a pin of Chino Valley’s Garret Gustafson in a match that Jones dominated.
The 195-pound bout was also fueled by a lot of motivation after the frustrating loss to Hernandez.
“As a captain, I need to lead by example and not let my first match, my first loss get to me,” Jones said. “I have to show the rest of the team that even though you lose, you go onto the next match and work what you know.”
Jones’ self-composure is a trait he and first-year head coach Dan Napier have worked on and it proved to be a key part of the win.
However, Jones also showed that he can control his fury on the mat.
“In the second match Paul came out with vengeance like the Paul that he is,” Napier said of Jones. “He came out knowing what he had to do. He threw (the moves) he needed and he got it done. When he got out of position, he let it go, then worked back into position.”
Even with Jones’ pin, the Bulldogs dropped the match to the Cougars.
In Kingman’s opening bout with River Valley, Kenny Becker tallied the team’s lone points in a pin of Layne Vancil.
The senior may have picked up the win, but he knew he could have won sooner.
“Coach told me if I would not run ‘the butcher’ I would have pinned him in the first period,” Becker said.
Becker added that he prefers to pin his opponent right away, but it usually doesn’t happen that way.
Nevertheless, a win is a win and it came in front of his friends and family.
However, it’s not something he enjoys.
“It’s pretty cool that we have two home matches this early,” Becker said. “But I really don’t like them because of all the people that are here – makes me a little bit nervous.”
The Bulldogs don’t return to the mats until next year when they travel to Coconino High School on Jan. 9 to battle Bradshaw Mountain, Payson and Show Low.