PV tops Farmington 51-15 to win Panther Classic

Aztec improves six spots on last year's placement at Desert Storm Classic

Jake Newby
Farmington Daily Times
  • Piedra Vista boasted seven undefeated wrestlers en route to a gold-bracket final victory over Farmington.
  • Kirtland Central brushed off a slow start to finish third in the silver bracket.
  • Bloomfield lost its first two matches but recovered and won the bronze bracket.
  • Shiprock placed four wrestlers in the top six of their respective weight classes in Window Rock, Ariz.

FARMINGTON — After settling for second place in its home meet last year, the Piedra Vista wrestling team conquered the competition at this year's Panther Classic todayon Saturday, going 5-0 to win the gold bracket at the Jerry A. Conner Fieldhouse here. 

Piedra Vista's Haden Cox, top, tries to maintain control of Farmington's Rashaad Liggins in the 182-pound match of Saturday's Panther Classic final at the Jerry A. Conner Fieldhouse in Farmington.

"There was progression out of our backside, compared to last week in (Las) Cruces," Piedra Vista coach Michael Bejar said. "We had more production out of them this week." 

PV took care of Farmington 51-15 in the gold-bracket final after defeating Los Alamos, Dolores, Colo., Grand County, Utah, and St. Michael's. 

The Panthers were led by Diego Sanchez-Morales (106), Tyler Ramsted (113), Wes Rayburn (138), Nick Rino (145), Hosman Caraveo (160), Sergio Quintana (170) and Haden Cox (182), all of whom wrestled to undefeated records. 

Farmington earned second overall by defeating Grants, PV's junior varsity team, Ignacio, Colo., and Bayfield, Colo., before falling to the Scorpions' crosstown rival. 

FHS coach Jesus Mendoza said his wrestlers showed heart todayon Saturday

"The guys don't quit. They just kept going after them," Mendoza said. "They stuck together the entire time, and they showed no quit." 

Francisco Alvarez (152) was undefeated for the Scorps, as was Zach Valdez (120). Roman Hernandez only went 2-3 on the day, but his record didn't match his effort, according to Mendoza. 

"I want to make sure Roman Hernandez knows, his heart got him through the entire tournament," Mendoza said. "He was probably the most aggressive, most physical wrestler." 

Farmington's James Schryver, top, wrestles Piedra Vista's Jalon Martinez at 195 pounds during Saturday's Panther Classic final at the Jerry A. Conner Fieldhouse in Farmington.

Kirtland Central started slowly, but finished the day strong to win third place in the silver bracket, narrowly defeating Miyamura 42-37 in the third-place dual. 

KC came out flat and lost 39-36 to Los Alamos, but wrestled better and better as the meet went on. Jalen Platero didn't make weight at 138 pounds, coming in a half pound over before the meet, and that proved to be critical for KC, which had to forfeit the 138-pound match against Grand County and lost the dual 41-40. Platero defeated Grand County's 138-pounder in an exhibition match. 

But KC did defeat Miyamura, Pojoaque Valley and Mancos, Colo., for a 3-2 record. Cadyn Hartsfield, Cody Manuelito and Isaac Thomas, who impressed coach JJ Sandoval, went undefeated for the Broncos.

"He's been wrestling really well for us," Sandoval said of Thomas.

Bloomfield fell to Miyamura for the second time in as many weeks, but closed the gap on the Patriots at the Panther Classic, losing 41-25 instead of 63-18, as it did the last time the schools met.

Coach Greg Shoemaker's Bobcats were also ousted by Bayfield 45-24 before storming back to beat Pojoaque Valley 53-18, Grants 60-18 and Monument Valley, Utah, 63-12 to win the bronze bracket. 

"We got a lot of young kids wrestling, a lot of first-year guys," Shoemaker said. "Bayfield's got a good squad this year, and, you know, Miyamura's still wrestling strong, but I think we showed improvement over them from last time, so that was good."

Michael DeHerrera continued his undefeated streak to start the year. Drew Smith and Gerald Wiza also went unbeaten for Bloomfield. 

Aztec's Candelaria goes 11-0 at Desert Storm Classic 

The Tigers showed great improvement at this year's Desert Storm Classic in Utah compared to last year. 

In what coach Monte Maxwell called "the toughest tournament we'll come to all season," Aztec jumped up six spots from last year's finish to place sixth out of 22 schools. The Tigers amassed 152 points this weekend at the two-day event.

The Tigers got a first-place finish out of 126-pound sophomore Cody Candelaria, who Maxwell said can be a dangerous wrestler when he's as focused as he was todaySaturday.

"When Cody puts his mind to something, he gets it done," Maxwell said. "When he works for it, the kid's tough. Cody took care of business today." 

Junior Austin Littlefield (152) defeated Stanton Peay out of Cimarron Memorial, Nev., in the semifinal. Peay was 16-1 coming into the meet. Littlefield then fell to Brady Jones of Desert Hills out of St. George, Utah, in the final.

Littlefield, Josiah Griego (113) and Garrett Birzer (120) were Aztec's three second-place finishers at Desert Storm.

Charley a bright spot for Shiprock in Window Rock, Ariz. 

Shiprock didn't place at today'sSaturday's third annual Veteran's Memorial Invitational in Window Rock, Ariz., but it did have some high individual placers, including 195-pounder Logan Charley.

The Chieftains' Charley was the runner-up in his weight class, while Zephaniah Hadley (182) took fourth, Zelldan Clark (170) placed fifth and heavyweight Tyler Litzin was sixth. 

"Logan did really good," Shiprock assistant coach Sean Hayes said. "The first day was all seeding, and he went 4-0 on the first day and then was 4-1 today."

Hayes said the scorers of the meet didn't recognize any schools outside of the top four at the VMI. Seventeen schools wrestled in the two-day meet.

Jake Newby covers sports for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577.