Six eighth-graders from the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community are members of the Stapley Junior High wrestling team this season: Miliano Acosta, Jacob Charlie, Isaac Chiago, Michael Dallas, Brody Webster and Omani Zyberi. On Wednesday, September 25, the wrestlers had the opportunity to perform in a meet against the Rhodes Junior High wrestling team. The first match of the meet was for the competitive teams, and the second match was for developmental wresters.
Acosta, the son of Pauline Wilson-Acosta, wrestles in the 154-pound weight class. After his matches he explained that he was looking forward to the City Wrestling Meet.
Charlie is the son of Al and Alicia Charlie and is in the 125-pound weight class. He lost his first match against the Rhodes wrestler, but won his second. Before joining the wrestling team this year at Stapley, Charlie participated in other sports at his previous schools in South Carolina. He said he joined the wrestling team this year because he wanted something to do and his dad said he should keep up with sports.
“I am 8-4 this season,” said Charlie. “It feels good to be on the team. This is my first time I did wrestling. I hope to do well in the championships on Saturday.” (Charlie was referring to the City Wrestling Meet held at Mesa High School on September 28; see sidebar for details.)
Chiago is the son of Angel and Boyd Chiago III and is in the 98-pound weight division. During the meet on September 25, Chiago did not have an opponent in his first match. In his second match, he had a good lead, but his opponent dominated in the last round and won the match.
“The best part of wrestling is getting to slam someone down on the mat,” said Chiago. “This is a sport I would like to continue to do as I move on to high school.”
At the end of his match, Chiago expressed that he was looking forward to winning first place at the City Wrestling Meet.
“I would like to thank my coaches and my families for their support,” said Chiago.
Dallas is the son of Michael Dallas and Berlene Dallas. He wrestles in the heavyweight division (up to 240 pounds) and joined the wrestling team because his dad was a wrestler.
“I am 3-1 this season,” said Dallas. “I look forward to participating in the City Wrestling Meet. I would also like to thank my family for their support while I participate in this sport.”
Wrestling in the 180-pound weight class, Brody Webster is the son of Benrita Ortiz and Donald Webster Jr. Other than wrestling, Webster has played baseball and basketball, both at Stapley Junior High and in Salt River.
“I thought it was fun, so I came out and tried it,” said Webster, explaining why he decided to join the wrestling team. “I did it before, when I was seven, so I wanted to get back into it.”
Zyberi is the son of Gale Zyberi and is in the 167-pound weight class. “I weigh 156, but they put me in the 167 class,” said Zyberi. “So, I wrestle guys bigger than me, and surprisingly, I beat half of them. So far I’ve won two matches and lost two matches.”
In high school next year, Zyberi plans to continue wrestling and possibly try other sports as well.
“I would like to thank Coach Dobson and Coach Tony, and all the people who have been helping me,” said Zyberi.
City Wrestling Meet
On Saturday, September 28, the junior high wrestling teams from Mesa Public Schools participated in the City Wrestling Meet held at Mesa High School. Stapley wrestlers included Jacob Charlie, Isaac Chiago, Michael Dallas and Brody Webster. Chiago and Dallas both won first place in their weight divisions. Webster placed fourth in his division, and unfortunately Charlie did not place. Overall, the Stapley team finished in second place for the meet, losing to Fremont Junior High by only 6 points.