It was Vince’s turn.
After teammates Coy Bowser and Daniel Rodriguez claimed the top medal awards for Wickenburg High School’s wrestling team at previous multi-team invitational tournaments, Vince Rodriguez grabbed that honor last weekend in Willcox.
The second-year sophomore wrestler climbed atop the medal podium after winning the 120-pound weight class at the 12-team Willcox Invitational and extended his season record to 15-3.
Previously, Bowser placed second at the Wrangler Invitational in his 170-pound weight class to lead the Wickenburg High wrestlers, and Daniel Rodriguez was the top Wrangler with his second-place finished at 132 pounds in the following Chandler Prep Titan Invitational tournament.
Vince Rodriguez earned his first-place medal by pinning his first opponent in the quarterfinals; winning by injury default in the semifinals; and then pinning Empire’s Omero Bustamante late in the first round of his championship match.
Daniel Rodriguez, Bowser and Michael Bowie snagged second-place medals for the Wranglers at the Willcox tournament.
Daniel Rodriguez, a junior who improved his season record to 13-7 at 132 pounds, pinned his first two opponents to reach the championship match but found himself pinned in the second period against Pima’s Damian Hoopes.
Bowser, bumping his season record to 16-3 as a freshman, drew byes in his first two rounds before scoring a major decision (9-0) against Cristian Pando of Willcox in the semifinals. He lost his title match in a 12-1 major decision against Thatcher’s Brayden Oliver.
Bowie, a sophomore with a season record of 12-11, made it to the championship match in the 182-pound weight class with a major decision and a pin. He ended up getting pinned by Thatcher’s Brik Skousen in that final showdown.
Four other Wranglers participated in the Willcox tournament. They included sophomore Justin Lara (fourth place in the 220-pound weight class), freshman Levi Bendle (fifth at 138), senior Caleb Dreher (fifth at 160), and sophomore Domitillo Esquivel (sixth at 195).
As a team the Wranglers finished fifth in the 12-team field with 137 points — behind host and champion Willcox (246 points), runner-up Empire (185), third-place Thatcher (173) and fourth-place Pima (165). The other teams in the tournament were San Manuel, Bisbee, Catalina, Douglas, Kingman, St. David and Nogales.
The Wranglers had previously placed eighth at the 28-team Chandler Prep Titan Invitational despite only entering six wrestlers in 14 weight classes.
“It’s hard enough to win anything with a full team, but to compete at that level with only six of a 14-man team is a testament to the devotion of the wrestlers who showed up,” noted Wranglers Coach Aaron Grote.
Besides Daniel Rodriguez placing second in that tournament, Vince Rodriguez grabbed a third-place medal and Bowser claimed fourth place. The other three Wranglers who competed in that tournament were Bowie (fifth place), Bendle (ninth) and freshman Zach Dalley (12th at 126 pounds).