Prep Wrestling: Vols rally, but fall to Chino Valley
KINGMAN – Not many squads find a way to regain momentum after falling into a 36-0 hole, but don’t tell that to the Lee Williams High School wrestling team.
The large deficit didn’t matter as the Vols tallied four straight pins to inch within 12 points before falling 42-33 to Chino Valley during a three-team dual meet Wednesday at LWHS.
“Chino is a very good team,” said Lee Williams senior Jimmy Wayman. “Once we got our second wind, we were doing really well against them. If we would have had that the whole time, I think we could have had a chance against them.”
Wayman was a big reason why the Vols found their second wind as he battled into the third period before pinning his Chino Valley opponent. The victory was just the beginning of a great comeback as Payton Wayman, Oscar Gamez and Christian Marzo each notched a pin to bring Lee Williams within 36-24.
“It definitely brought our spirit up,” Gamez said of Jimmy’s pin. “It’s tough when our team comes out flat. But we try to pick our team up and do our best.”
Unfortunately, the Vols couldn’t get any closer but Zach Allen did add a pin to account for the final tally.
“Chino is a very stacked team and they wrestle really well,” said Vols head coach Dan Ondrejka. “It shows how much heart we have, for us to come back and not give up, and to keep fighting, especially in the home gym. We don’t get a lot of home matches. It’s big for the guys to have this type of support and be under home lights.”
Lee Williams also battled Coconino and lost 46-27, but Ondrejka said it was a good learning experience and let the team know where it needs to be for sectionals.
The Wayman brothers and Gamez each notched wins against Coconino to finish the day a perfect 2-0.
“We always try our best and not give up,” Payton Wayman said. “We always fight to the whistle.”
And that is something Ondrejka preaches every day in the practice room.
“We didn’t go out that strong in the beginning, but we got that momentum going for us and we kept fighting the whole time through,” Ondrejka said of the match against Chino Valley. “That’s all we ever ask of these kids – is to fight. I don’t care if we lose a match, but if we lose a match we don’t fight through, then that bothers. But if our kids go out there and fight every single match and show me they gave me their all. That’s all I care about. That’s a win for me.”
The Vols travel to the Joseph City Invite Friday and then return home at 4 p.m. Wednesday to battle Mohave.