Younger members of the Longhorn varsity wrestling team travel today, Dec. 3, to the Southwest Duals tournament near Albuquerque, N.M. buoyed by the experience gained at a junior varsity clash held Nov. 27 at Perry High School in Gilbert.
Because Perry tournament rules allowed wrestlers in the freshman through junior classes who had not placed in last year’s state tournament to participate, a handful of those younger Longhorns could be seeing varsity mat time, possibly in the Southwest Duals.
“I feel like this group has a lot of potential to do well over the next few years,” said coach Casey Woodall.
“As a whole, I was pleased. We need to be more physical and more aggressive, particularly on our feet, but all in all it was a solid performance.”
Individually, the coach singled out Zac Wilson and Tanner Savage saying both “looked dominant.”
The pair finished 3-0 during the tournament in which the format allowed each wrestler to compete in three matches.
As a team, Payson finished 22-8.
Also going 3-0 was Daily Carnes.
Compiling 2-1 records were Austin Armstead, Dakota Harold, Tanner Purtill, Travis Bix, Conner Anderson and Kyle Brown. Gabe Martinez was 1-2.
In the Southwest Duals tournament, several returning letter winners including Ben Lee, Jacob Cluff, Colton Ludtke, Matt Schreur, Jacob Spear and Hilton MacNab will lead the Horns.
The tournament, which is a premier prep event in New Mexico, will host 24 teams representing a six-state area.
Host Rio Rancho High School is the defending tournament champions.