Ba’ag Wrestling Club Finishes in Top 3 in Piestewa Games
Almost 150 Native American wrestlers competed in the wrestling portion of the Lori Piestewa National Native American Games in the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.
Ba’ag Wrestling Club, a team composed of Salt River athletes, finished third in the nine-team field, and each member placed in individual weight classes. The Salt River Community Building hosted the two-day tournament on July 29 and 30, a week after the opening of the popular Piestewa Games.
O’odham Wrestling Club, a strong team from the Tohono O’odham nation, repeated as the overall champs. A Navajo team from New Mexico, Rez Wrestling, placed second.
Six wrestlers from Salt River, ages 6 to 13, competed in the event’s three different wrestling styles. They were Clayton Fulwilder, Adrian Lopez, Christian Lopez, Curtis Lopez, Garrett Miguel and Avilio Hernandez-Vigueras.
Salt River Community member Hosteen Smith and Salt River High School coach Na Humma coached the Ba’ag team. Smith led the coaching staff at the games for the second year in a row. Na Humma was co-director of the tournament, along with his dad, Rupert Lopez, who coaches the O’odham Wrestling Club and the Tohono O’odham High School team. The father-son combo split days running the tournament.
Smith was also the Salt River junior high coach. Smith is heading to Kansas to wrestle for Cloud County Community College in Concordia.
Two-time Canyon Athletic Association state champion and recent SRHS graduate Jason James helped referee. Denton Miguel, another recent SRHS graduate, helped with event setup and mat side operations.
“We had a great time. The kids did really well; some went in without a ton of practice,” Humma said. “Having ‘Hos’ (Smith) around has been a huge help.”
For more Piestewa Games wrestling results, visit azsportsent.com/event/wrestling.