Aztec overcomes sluggish start, tops Bloomfield 49-25 in District 1-4A wrestling duals

Matt Hollinshead, mhollinshead@daily-times.com

BLOOMFIELD — Aztec didn’t fret over its sluggish start on the wrestling mat, knowing that the backbone of its lineup would handle business and quickly turn the tables.

And that group, comprised of Garrett Birzer, Bode Wooley and Zane Chapman, delivered yet again, propelling the Tigers to a 49-25 District 1-4A duals win tonight at Bloomfield.

“As soon as we started getting those pins, I knew we had the momentum… the rest of the team just caught on,” Birzer said. “We knew we had to get it done.”

The Bobcats won two of the opening three duals on the night, courtesy of Matthias DeHerrera’s second-period pin and Jacob Benedict’s 9-4 decision. That’s when the urgency to finish the night on a strong note heightened for Aztec.

Aztec's Sammy Minton tries to gain control against Bloomfield's Jacob Benedict in the 132-pound division during Thursday's District 1-4A wrestling duals at Bobcat Gym in Bloomfield.

Birzer (138 pounds), Wooley (145) and Chapman (152) secured consecutive victories via second-period pins, and the Tigers didn’t look back.

“That was the feeling when Garrett tied (the duals) up and the other two solidified the lead,” Aztec coach Monte Maxwell said.

Time after time, that particular part of the lineup comes through with some key victories and allows the Tigers to pull ahead for good.

“It was a really nice finish. The kids came through and battled,” Maxwell said.

The District 1-4A wrestling championship duals will be held Saturday at Kirtland Central.

Aztec's Bode Wooley grabs hold of Bloomfield's J. Gutierrez in the 145-pound division during Thursday's District 1-4A wrestling duals at Bobcat Gym in Bloomfield.

Matt Hollinshead covers sports for the Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577 and on Twitter at @MattH_717.