The Rim Country Mavericks battled to a fourth-place finish at the Arizona State Junior High/Middle School wrestling tournament Jan. 31 at Mesa Dobson High School.
The Mavs scored 90 points to trail state champs Safford (175.5), runner-up Eloy (117) and bronze medalist Pueblo del Sol (95.5).
The state finish was the best ever turned in by a Maverick wrestling team.
Mark McCarty, who won the 133-pound weight division title, led the RCMS charge at state. In copping the crown, the 14-year-old finished with a 5-0 record.
Winning a state crown has long been a goal of McCarty. The past three seasons, he has finished fourth at state.
"It felt good to finally win one," he said.
Heavyweight Steel Armstrong, a seventh-grader, finished second with a 4-1 state tournament record. Armstrong lost to a Centennial wrestler who had not been defeated in the past two seasons.
In addition to McCarty and Armstrong's commendable state showings, the two finished as White Mountain League champions during the regular season.
In the 98-pound division, Daniel McGee managed a fourth-place finish. Taylor Byers (78 pounds) was also fourth. Nick Goodman took fifth in the 125-pound battles. Issac Cluff compiled a 2-2 record among the 104-pounders, but did not place. Oshay Chovanec was 4-2 during the tournament.
The state showdown marked the conclusion of the 2003-2004 wrestling season for the RCMS students.