WRESTLING: Perry successful in closing season


Photo by: Roman Valenzuela. Perry Wrestler Alex Edjourian controls Basha wrestler Sam Borg at the Dual Meet Thursday January 30th

State is on the horizon for Wrestling. February 8th is the Division 1 Section 1 Sectionals, where teams from all around the state converge on Chandler High School’s Gym to see who goes to the state tournament The top four Perry wrestlers stand a chance of taking home one of the weight class titles. 

The Pumas have taken on tough opponents, in tournaments and at dual meets, and the last two meets of the year, the Ironwood Invite and the rivalry week dual meet with the Bears, may be instrumental in the highly competitive world of the postseason, the Bears haven’t had the most successful season, in multi and dual meets they are 3-9, with notable losses to Chandler, Tucson Magnet, and Brophy, all schools the Pumas have beat over the course of the season. 

In the end, rivalry week’s ball is in the Puma’s court, but Basha’s Heavyweight Sam Borg may have been a challenge for Alex Edjourian, he’s been to both the Las Vegas and Peoria tournaments, and while not placing, Borg has beat a good handful of wrestlers. However, he could not beat Edjourian, who used his explosive power and wrestling technique to take down Borg in three minutes and six seconds.

Edjourian commented on his approach to this season, “Confidence, walking out there with confidence, head held high, even after a match, win or lose, but it’s always going to be a win”.

An amazing moment from that night was Jacob Hanson’s match with Basha’s highly ranked 222-pounder Charles Gilbert. Over the course of almost six minutes, Jacob defended submission after submission, in a heavily contested bout between two talented wrestlers. Gilbert’s strength and endurance would see the bout to its end, however, and he would pin Jacob and secure Basha six points, but, Basha would lose 69 to 12, with only Hanson and 113-pounder Vincente Aparicio getting pinned.

“Regular season wasn’t great, but it wasn’t bad,” said Head coach Pavlenko about the last two months. “Overall it was a pretty good season.” He talked about the second-ranked Ikaika Maldonado and Alex Edjourian.

“We knew they would be our top tier wrestlers, and they still are.” Both wrestlers have shown incredible competence inside the ring, placing in big tournaments, even at the Peoria Tournament of Champions, which Coach Pavlenko described as the hardest tournament in the state.

“This has definitely been the best season of perry wrestling for sure… great new coaching staff we are all looking good, all sharp, super excited” said Ikaika Maldonado, what made this season different. 

In the latest and last individual tournament, Ironwood, nine Perry wrestlers took home bronze or better, ten if you count Ernesto Aparicio, who took fourth. Ikaika Maldonado, Cooper Call, and Alex Edjourian all took home gold, at 172, 184, and 287 respectively.

Dominating the tournament was 3.5 points away, but comparatively the Pumas showing was an overwhelming victory, to say the least. Demonstrating all the work they have put in over the season, and just a taste of what they are bringing to Sectionals.

 But other wrestlers have enjoyed many wins, like Daniel Mendoza and Jacob Kimling, both of whom have achieved remarkable things over the course of their varsity career. The whole team has seen definite improvement since the beginning of the season when they saw one of the toughest opponents in the division, Mountain View. That will all be decided in February, where the Pumas show the state what they are made of. Both Ikaika and Edjourian were confident in their abilities, and when prompted Ikaika summed his approach in three words. 

“I’m winning state”