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Down but never out; Criminal grapplers leave it all on the mats

Yuma Criminals wrestling teams win season opening tri-meet with Lee Williams and Estrella Foothills

YUMA, Ariz. ( KYMA, KECY-TV ) - On Monday, November 21st, the Yuma Criminal wrestling teams opened the new season hosting a tri-meet with Lee Williams and Estrella Foothills.

"We are few but mighty," Criminals head coach Jose Cazares said. "We don't have a full team lineup like I'd like. We have a couple gaps and I'm trying to get that filled."

The boys varsity team is currently strapped by missing four spots, meaning the criminals start each and every match down 24 points.

"So, because of that, the highest we can score is 42 points if we all pin," Cazares said. "I told the guys we all gotta dig deep and all pin to get the 42 points. If that happens the score should be 42-24 but you can never predict the future."

Cazares, now in his second year as head coach of the Criminals says he is seeing is team grow and show more confidence this year.

"Last year, with me coming in as a new coach, they were a little unsure of me," Cazares said. "We've bonded over the summer. We're starting to bond as a whole now, it doesn't feel as divided and I think we're really going to come together."

Besides success on the wrestling mat, Cazares says he has higher expectations for his grapplers.

"I hope we get some college scholarships," Cazares said. "I really want those kids to take it to the next level because I really see them wrestling to that level and using their abilities at the college level. They have good grades. Two guys on the team have 4.0 GPA's. I see them wrestling at college."

The varsity boys wrestling team won both matches on Monday, defeating Estrella Foothills 40-39 and Lee Williams 39-30.

Divina Rios, Jayden Anderson, Sabian Russell, Axcel Garcia and Joseph Bowen all won via pin for the Criminals against Estrella Foothills. Anderson, Garcia, Raymond Nunez and Alexander Villalobos all won via pin versus Lee Williams.

The Criminal girl's team also swept to start the season 2-0.

Isabela Flores, Divina Diaz-Rios and Ashley Bugarin all recorded pins and had solid performances at the meet.

"Last year we only had four girls on the team," Cazares said. "This year we now have seven girls on the team so it is only growing from here."

The Criminals next travel to Prescott on November 30th for a tri-meet with Deer Valley and Prescott.

Article Topic Follows: High School Sports
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Scott Gross

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