The Arizona Coaches Association All-Star wrestling dual meet will have a new venue at Grand Canyon University on Feb. 25. With the recent addition of collegiate wrestling to the GCU athletic program, the Arizona All-Star meet will be hosted by the university as part of its kickoff festivities.
Longhorn wrestling star Porter Wilbanks, a two-time state champion, was selected by the coaches association to be on this year's all-star team. The team represents the outstanding wrestlers from the 2007 graduating seniors, which will create some great grappling matchups for the avid fan.
This is often the opportunity for the small school athlete, like Porter Wilbanks, to go against the best 5A powers have to offer.
Prior to the actual dual meet, the athletes will be honored at a luncheon at the GCU student union beginning at noon. The guest speaker will be wrestling legend Dan Gable.
Gable was a three-time national champion for Iowa State University, and a year later won the Olympic gold medal in a contest where he did not allow an opponent to score even one point.
Gable later became the head wrestling coach at the University of Iowa, where he led the Hawkeyes to 10 consecutive national titles. It's an accomplishment that, in all likelihood, will never be repeated. His luncheon talk will be a great motivator to the All-Star athletes and their guests.
Tickets for the afternoon wrestling event can be purchased by contacting Head Wrestling Coach RC LaHaye at Grand Canyon University by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (602) 639-6052. Tickets are $25 for the luncheon, the Gable talk, and the All-Star wrestling dual meet -- a real deal for a showcase event.
More about Porter Wilbanks ...
This year's Payson Longhorn wrestling team is led by senior Porter Wilbanks who holds down the 145-pound weight class.
As a junior, he was a conference champion and won the state title in his weight class at 140 pounds.
After graduation, Porter hopes to earn a scholarship and continue wrestling at the collegiate level. With the new program at Grand Canyon University starting in 2007, it is possible he could be wrestling for former Longhorn wrestler R.C. LaHaye, who is their new head coach. With Porter's hard work and determination, he should have the opportunity to wrestle at the next level.
When not on the mat, Porter enjoys the outdoors, fishing and hunting with his brothers.