Sports & Health
Junior high wrestling team Back Row: Demetrius Garcia (eighth grade), Coach Hosteen Smith, Coach Alondra Chase, Alex Enas (eighth grade), Jakeb Pacheco (sixth grade). Front Row: Leah Kochampanasken (sixth grade), Joaquin Suniga (eighth grade), Kaleb Pacheco (sixth grade).
SRHS Wrestling Update: Jr. High Competes in State Championship
By Richie Corrales
Au-Authm Action News

The Salt River High School junior high wrestling team traveled to San Tan Valley to wrestle in the 2016 CAA Junior High State Championship Tournament at the end of January and had a great showing. The team qualified seven Eagle wrestlers to compete in this year’s championships, held on January 30.

Of the seven wrestlers who qualified, four placed in the tournament. Eighth-graders Alex Enas and Joaquin Suniga both received third place; eighth-grader Demetrius Garcia received second place; and sixth-grader Leah Kochampenasken received second place.

“Congratulations to coaches Hosteen Smith and Alondra Chase for their hard work teaching and developing the junior high team this year,” said Na Humma, head coach at Salt River High School.

On January 23, the varsity wrestling team participated in the last regular-season tournament of the year at Imagine Prep Superstition.

“With only five wrestlers, the team still managed to place ninth in the boys division, second in the girls division, and fifth overall, with some excellent performances turned in by all of the Eagle wrestlers that led to three individual champions,” said Humma.

Jason James Jr. placed first and avenged his only loss of the season, beating his opponent from Harvest Prep Academy 8-3. Shady Suniga and Luz Hill-Jimenez also placed first in their divisions, Cedric Prieto placed fifth, and Denton Miguel did not place.

“The varsity wrestling team traveled to Coolidge to compete in a multi-dual match at Imagine Prep with a small team that competed well on January 26,” said the coach. Eagle Shady Suniga had a great evening, fighting for a 2-2 record on the night and earning a pin against Imagine Coolidge in 34 seconds. All her matches were against male competitors, since none of the teams brought girls in her weight class.

Hill-Jimenez ended the night 3-0, accepting forfeits from ALA Ironwood, Imagine Coolidge and Canyon State Academy.

Joaquin Suniga stepped on the mat to get some experience at the varsity level before wrestling in the junior high state championship. He lost both matches he entered, but he gained valuable experience on what it takes to compete at the varsity level for next year.

As of February 18, Hill-Jimenez, Miguel, Emilio Garcia, Andre Enas and James have qualified to represent Salt River High School at the 2016 CAA State Championships on February 20 at ALA Ironwood. Additionally, three wrestlers were recognized for being among the top wrestlers in their weight classes and earning a top seed in their brackets. The students were Emilio Garcia, who is the no. 3 seed at 170 lbs.; Andre Enas, the no. 1 seed at 220 lbs.; and James, the no. 1 seed in the heavyweight division.

For the championship Jason James was named 2016 heavy weight championship, Andre Enas came in at fifth and Luz Hill-Jimenez came in at second for the girls division.

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