A determined crew of nine aspiring grapplers are set to represent the Rim country in the Arizona State Junior High School Wrestling Championships.
The tournament, which annually marks the conclusion of the state's junior high/middle school wrestling season, is tomorrow (Saturday) at Tempe Marcos de Niza High School. Competition begins at 7 a.m. and continues throughout the day. Admission is $10 per person.
On hand to represent Rim Country Middle School in the tournament will be Taylor Byers (73), Dan McGee (93), Oshay Chovanek (98), Porter Wilbanks (104), Nick Goodman (104), Zack Rodgers (118), Mark McCarty (125), Steel Armstrong (167) and B.J. Welsh (180).
McCarty is the most acclaimed of the Maverick crew, having twice finished fourth in the state tournament. McCarty is also a three-time White Mountain League weight division champion.
Wilbanks advances to state as WML weight class runner-up. Welsh and Rodgers were league tournament third-place finishers.
Chovanek and Byers take to the state finale fourth-place WML showings last season.
The team will be coached at state by RCMS wrestling coaches David Daniels and Homer Sanders.
The top six individual wrestlers in each weight class and the top three schools receive awards. Four outstanding wrestlers also will be named in a voting of coaches.
At state, competition is fierce because club teams are eligible to compete with the school squads.