Area wrestlers prepare for state

HEBER, Ariz.

Navajo Times | Terry Bowman
Monument Valley wrestler Keola Yazzie gets Luis Avalos of San Pasqual in an arm bar during the 28th annual Wrestling Invitation in Heber, Arizona. Yazzie pinned Hadley Schmidt of Pima High School in the first 15 seconds in the 195-pound finals.

The 28th annual Mogollon Invitational served as the last pit stop for some of the area wrestlers to fine-tune their techniques for the upcoming sectional meet.

The two-day event featured 23 teams, as all the wrestlers that participated will be vying for a state tournament berth later this week.

Winslow High School will host the Division IV, Section IV on Saturday. Also on Saturday, Payson will entertain the Division III, Section IV meet with the top four wrestlers in each division advancing into the Arizona state wrestling tournament, which is scheduled for Feb. 9-10 in Prescott Valley.

“I think we have a good chance of qualifying a few of our guys,” Monument Valley coach Jacob Collins said. “I would like to see eight, nine of our guys make state.”

Collins has good reason to believe that he’ll get that many wrestlers qualified for state after their recent outing at the Mogollon tournament.

The Mustangs placed eighth overall with 119.50 points as they had six wrestlers make the podium.

MV had two wrestlers make the championship round last Saturday with senior Keola Yazzie winning the 195-pound weight class.

Yazzie pinned Hadley Schmidt of Pima High School in the first 15 seconds of the match. That feat earned Yazzie outstanding wrestler for the meet.

“What he did for a championship round is real impressive,” Collins said of Yazzie. “He just dominated the match and earned a pin fall right off the back.”

The Mustangs also had Myron Crank make the finals as he lost by a fall to Ganado’s Preston Betoney in the 120-pound weight class.

“This win brings up my motivation,” Betoney said. “I am feeling confident about this weekend. I’ve been wrestling real smart.”

As a team, Ganado finished one spot behind Monument Valley with 105 points as the Hornets had four wrestlers place.

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Categories: Wrestling

About Author

Quentin Jodie

Quentin Jodie is the Sports Editor for the Navajo Times. He started working for the Navajo Times in February 2010 and was promoted to the Sports Editor position at the end of summer in 2012. Previously, he wrote for the Gallup Independent. Reach him at