Wrestlers Pin 22nd Regional Crown


With its 22nd regional championship nailed down by virtue of a 60-12 season-ending win over Snowflake, the Payson High wrestling team now has sights set on winning the East championship tournament Feb. 5 in Holbrook.

There, the all-important individual seeds to the state tournament Feb. 11 and 12 in Phoenix will be determined.

In addition to copping the regional tournament shoot out, the Horns will be looking for their fifth consecutive state championship and 10th overall.

The 48-point victory Jan. 26 in Wilson dome over Snowflake ended the campaign on a winning note for a Horn team that compiled a 6-0 regional mark.

Nary a team in the East could battle the Longhorns on even terms as most PHS wrestlers dominated individual matches. The dominance of the Horns was never more evident than against the Lobos. The Horns racked up 54 points on six pins and three forfeits.

Winning by falls were R.C. LaHaye (135), Dominic Palandri (140), Mike Wright (152), Doyle Van Horn (160), Rocky Beery (171) and Bryce River (215).

Zack Lee (112), Jimbo Armstrong (189) and Ingo Beck (Hwt.) were awarded forfeits.

Winning decisions were Justin Cline (119) and Aaron Bratholt (125). Both were victorious by 7-5 margins.

The only wrestlers to fall victim to their Lobo counterparts were Matt McCarty (103), Caleb Miller (145) and Jerry Baker (130).

McCarty lost 7-2, Miller 5-0 and Baker was pinned.

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