WRESTLING: Perry dominates at home

Perry wrestler Ikaika Maldonado works to make the final push to beat his opponent Alex Sanchez.

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January 8th, walking into the gymnasium any participant would notice a pretty distinct difference to the typical dual meet formula. Directly in the middle of the floor, rising three feet into the air, a platform was constructed to elevate the single, spotlighted mat. In dramatic fashion, the lights were turned down, entrance music played and the wrestlers ran out on to the stage. Obviously this being the first event back from break, the crowds would be bigger. 

Over the break, the team competed in the Holiday Classic, an annual meet that’s held every year under the bright lights of Las Vegas, Nevada. Perry would take Ninth overall, out of 66 teams from around the country. Caleb Milnes, Alex Edjourian, and Ikaika Maldonado all placed individually at the tournament with Milnes taking 8th, Edjourian taking 3rd, and Maldonado taking 2nd. 

Coming off a top ten finish at such a large tournament, the Pumas took down Skyline 54-18, and despite the sometimes ramshackle nature of the platform, no incidents occurred. Perry wrestler Tyler Rovnak won a hard fought decision 7-2 against Pedro Llera to kick off the night festivities. After losses at 126, 138, and 145, the pumas would pick up six points when Jacob Kimling would pin Skyline’s Luis Varela in a spectacular six minute showing that filled the gymnasium with chanting voices. Another highlight reel moment was Alex Edjourian’s earth-shaking throw of Skyline Heavyweight Kyller Fitzpatrick, not exactly legal in terms of high school rules, but Edjourian’s strength makes him a versatile player if he chooses to continue his career.

But the first week back would also hold the annual Peoria tournament of champions, and in their first appearance the Pumas would take Ninth, and have three medalists scoring seats on the podium. Daniel Mendoza took 4th, and both Ikaika Maldonado and Alex Edjourian took 3rd.

With Chandler at home on 1/15, the Pumas would beat the Wolves 45-33. Wrapping the first two weeks back up as a successful period for Perry Wrestling.